10 ERP Software Selection Criteria for 2020

By: Alyssa Lamberti

So your manager has tasked you with finding a new ERP system to help run your company’s growing business practices. Your manager tells you to do the research, and suggest the best system for your company’s needs.

You immediately answer, “Of course! I can definitely do that for you!” But as soon as you accept the task, you think to yourself, Where do I start?

Don’t panic. Breathe. You’re not on your own. We put together an ERP selection checklist that goes through the 10 criteria you need to consider when looking for a new  ERP system.

Table of Contents

When it comes to ERP, there are a lot of options, and even more criteria to take into consideration. An ERP system is a huge time and financial investment for a company, so it needs to be the perfect fit. 

From cost, to modules, to business requirements and goals, there are a lot of aspects to consider. 

If you’re at the beginning of your journey, check out the ERP selection criteria below 

ERP Selection Criteria

Choosing the right ERP solution for your business may be one of the most important business decisions you make. So, the decision needs to be right.

Here are some of the system selection criteria that you should keep in mind when making the decision!

ERP Selection Criteria #1: Your Business Needs

Your business’ goals and needs will be one of the biggest factors for the ERP solution you choose. While many ERP systems nowadays, like NetSuite ERP, are designed to meet the needs of companies from various industries, some systems offer specialized features from companies looking to improve manufacturing processes, distribution, ecommerce, and more.

To narrow it down, create a list of your company’s

  • Goals (long-term and short-term)
  • Pain-Points 
  • Industry Requirements 
  • Necessary modules/ functionalities

Use your company’s resources to make this list. Talk to members from every department, from production to purchasing. Listen to executives, workers, and even customers alike to make sure there are no gaps. 

Is your company looking to grow? Are you looking to streamline the flow of information between departments? Maybe you want to automate a series of manual processes?

Make sure to prioritize your needs. 

  • What are the must haves?
  • What are the secondary priorities?
  • What are “nice to have” features?

Once your list has been created, review it with your colleagues. Make sure you’re covering all your bases. 

P.S. Check out the “6 Early indicators that your core financial systems need to be upgraded” to find out what pain-points you may be experiencing, without even knowing it.

 
ERP Selection Criteria #2: Executive Buy-In

This step is crucial, because without your executive team, your company likely won’t have access to the resources you need to begin an ERP project. 

Getting executive buy-in isn’t just about financial resources, it’s also about obtaining support. You want to make sure that your executive team believes in your vision and your choice of ERP so that when you need a resource from another department, or if you’ve encountered a hurdle, you know your executive team will be there to help. 

When it comes down to ERP selection, our team at GURUS Solutions is often asked the same questions in our conversations with executive board members. So, we put together a list of the most commonly asked ERP questions by executives to help inform future ERP users about the ERP process, as well as the benefits of an ERP system.

It’s a great way to prepare for that important meeting with your manager.

ERP Selection Criteria #3:  Employee Support

Next is getting support from the people that will actually be using the system, the employees!

Your colleagues will be those using the system every day, so you want to make sure that you’re taking their needs and requirements into consideration when choosing the system for your business.

Your colleagues will have a lot to gain when you implement the perfect ERP system, and you’ll be reliant on them to make sure your new system is up and running.

Getting employee support will help you obtain any resources you need during and after the implementation, and help you make sure that it’s running smoothly later on.

Let your colleagues know they’ll always have the support they need to make the most out of the new system, such as training, equipment and documentation. Make sure that they also know they’ll get the support they need to help them through the changes. 

An ERP implementation can be long and tiresome for some companies, so it’s best to start off on the right foot!

ERP Selection Criteria #4: Feature & Functionality Requirements

With so many different ERP solutions, and even more available modules, you need to understand what features and functionalities your company needs the most. 

Does your business have requirements for production, purchasing, ecommerce, human capital management? There are many industry specific features and modules to consider.

In addition, are there business requirements to consider? Does your company operate in different countries? Do you need to work with multiple currencies or comply with a variety of taxation laws? If so, you may need something like NetSuite OneWorld, for example. 

ERP Selection Criteria #5: Integration Capabilities

Most systems that are considering an ERP system already have other systems that they may be using to perform other actions. While many of those software solutions can be replaced by an ERP, some companies may have tools they don’t want to get rid. 

Instead, make sure that your favourite tool or software can be integrated with the ERP system that you choose! 

An integration makes it so the data from all your separate systems can automatically flow through your ERP system, without having to input anything manually. It also allows these systems to communicate seamlessly, and share information without fear of error.

To make sure you can integrate your system, look into what integration tools come with your ERP options, and if an integration between your ERP and your other systems is available. 

P.S. An ERP partner, like GURUS Solutions, can integrate your systems for you! We map out the flow of information between systems to enable streamlined. Learn more about our ERP integration services

ERP Selection Criteria #6: Company Budget 

Small companies very likely have different budgets and available resources compared to large enterprises, which means they may not be able to afford the same ERP system. 

Many ERP systems now offer packages for different sized companies that vary in price and available features. So it’s important to know what features and modules you need, as well as to decide how much budget you have available to put towards those functionalities. 

Keep in mind that aside from the ERP licenses themselves, there are costs associated with implementation, customization, training, and more.

Most ERP systems will be with your company for decades or longer, so your decision today will affect your future budgets.

P.S. If you’re thinking of NetSuite ERP for your business, check out the NetSuite Price Calculator to calculate the cost of your NetSuite project - from licensing to implementation and beyond.

ERP Selection Criteria #7: Available Resources

An ERP implementation project takes a team; it’s definitely not something that can be done alone. That’s why you need to ensure that you have the resources available for your new ERP system - whether those are internal or external resources.

Some companies that have the number of resources available, may not have the expertise. That’s why we always vouch for working with an ERP implementation partner, over using your own resources. 

If you want to fully understand what resources you need and be prepared, check out our guide on “Who should be on your ERP implementation team?” where we give you a list of everyone from your influencer, to your implementation and integration partner.

For those companies thinking of using your own resources, or taking on a complete ERP self-implementation project, learn about the costs, the pros and cons, and the do’s and don'ts in our Guide to ERP Self-Implementation.

ERP Selection Criteria #8: Preparing for Future Growth

For many companies looking towards an ERP system, they’re looking to either:

  1. Manage existing growth
  2. Prepare for future growth

That means that you need an ERP system that can scale with you. Make sure that the system you choose has an array of available modules, can support a large number of users, and has functionalities that can help you run your business internationally. 

Nobody wants to invest in a new ERP system a few years down the line to keep up with a growing business. 

In addition, find a partner who can help with development and ERP optimization when needed.

ERP Selection Criteria #9: ERP Selection

Due to some amazing innovations in both business and technology, there are now an array of amazing ERP systems to choose from. Of course, depending on the scope and needs of your business, there is always one that will stand out more than the rest.

One of the most crucial steps in the ERP selection process is, of course, actually selecting the right ERP system. 

Traditional ERP systems once ran on an on-premises server, supported by an in-house IT staff. Today, many businesses choose an ERP that operates in the cloud using a SaaS framework. The initial investment is reduced in favor of monthly “rental” payments that include the software and most support needs.

If you want to have a look at some of the best ERP systems on the market, check out our ERP Comparison Hub where we compare features, modules, and usability from the best systems. 

It’ll give you a great idea of what you can get from the best ERP systems around, and hopefully get you one step closer to your ERP project.

ERP Selection Criteria #10: ERP Maintenance

The last thing to consider during the ERP selection process is what happens after you choose the perfect solution for your business. We already spoke about ERP implementation, whether you decide to use an ERP implementation partner, or use your own resources. This is what happens after that.

Some businesses require certain customizations to make their ERP system meet some of their companies’ unique needs. Think about what customizations your business may need that are not part of the out-of-the-box functionalities of the ERP systems you are considering.

If you decide to work with an ERP implementation partner, they may provide their own ERP custom solutions, such as for container management, engineer-to-order, etc. A great implementation partner will use a custom script to create their own customizations.

Training and support are two other factors to consider after your implementation. Is your team knowledgeable about the ERP system you’re implementing, or will they require training? If they aren’t experienced (and sometimes even if they are), will you need support to help you troubleshoot obstacles you may encounter along the way? Once again, a good implementation partner can provide these services for you!

What’s Next?

Now that you’ve been through the ERP selection criteria, it’s time to ask yourself: “Do you have the answers?”

If you don’t, don’t worry! Use these criteria to guide you through the selection process. Choosing an ERP solution is not something that should be taken lightly. So keep these steps in mind when you’re thinking about your new system, and discussing it with executives and employees alike. 

Get A Free Assessment 

The best way to understand if an ERP system is right for your company is to ask the right questions to the right people. 

GURUS Solutions offers a Free Assessment with one of our NetSuite professionals to help you evaluate your needs, and see if NetSuite is the best fit for your company.

You can also use our NetSuite Price Calculator for a quick price estimate based on your company needs, size, scope of operations and NetSuite package. 

Work with an Experienced ERP Partner 

When you explore how to select an ERP, you also need to ask “who can help”? The answer needs to be an experienced ERP implementation partner who listens, understands the scope and needs of your business, and can offer solutions.

With 15+ years of experience in the world of ERP, GURUS Solutions has seen all the pitfalls and problems, solved them, and helped companies like yours thrive. 

When it comes to ERP, experience matters. 

GURUS Boasts:

  • Largest Oracle NetSuite partner in North America (with offices in U.S. and Canada)
  • 5-Star NetSuite Partner for 9 years in a row.
  • 15+ years of experience & specialization across industries like manufacturing, ecommerce, life sciences, professional services and more.
  • Over 2500 successful projects completed
  • A unique implementation process based on a collaborative SHERPA approach

Find Out if NetSuite is the Right ERP

About Alyssa Lamberti

Alyssa Lamberti is a resident Blogger, Writer, and Marketing Content Specialist for GURUS Solutions. She comes from a background in English Literature, having graduated with a degree in English Literature from Concordia University, and has worked in Marketing and copywriting for companies in the tech and media industry.

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