abas USA

October 19, 2015 08:00 ET

5 of the most important things to look for when selecting an ERP system

STERLING, VA--(Marketwired - October 19, 2015) - In many ways, the ERP system you choose will be the primary medium through which the various functional areas of your company cohere into one unified whole. Selecting and implementing an ERP software solution is generally done to improve efficiency and transparency across business processes, which include everything from purchasing and sourcing, manufacturing, and inventory control to sales and marketing, distribution and customer relationship management.

Selecting an ERP system is not something that should be taken lightly. Considerable organizational resources must be dedicated to the implementation of a new system, and the cost of a failed implementation can be staggering. The planning and selection process, then, are critical for a successful ERP purchase. Here are five key criteria you must consider before deciding on an ERP system:

1. Platform scalability and flexibility

Your current list of requirements and needs should not be the only thing that guides a purchasing decision. You must also consider what features you'll need as your business grows or experiences change.

This means that you must look beyond the standard features a system boasts and consider how easily it will be able to adapt to changing business needs. If there are excessive limitations on how much a particular ERP system can be customized, it may be worth looking elsewhere.

2. Support for mobile users

With the advent of the bring-your-own-device workplace, more and more business users are accessing workflows and data through their own personal mobile devices. Giving employees the ability to work however, wherever and whenever they see fit has boosted productivity considerably. If mobile functionality is limited, those efficiency gains will be impossible to realize.

An ERP dashboard should be mobile-friendly and accessible from anywhere at any time. When your employees are on the go, they will be able to tap into key workflows and data to avoid prolonged downtime. Perhaps even more important is the ability to enter and store data all in one process. When employees can enter data directly from the field, it reduces the risk of errors that occur when they have to collect data in one place and re-enter it into the system later.

3. Customer recommendations or testimonials

An ERP software vendor should be able to give you the names of a few customers to whom you can reach out and get an inside look on the whole implementation process. It's important to note that you can't just focus on the software itself, but the experience the vendor's implementation team brings and its overall technical/business acumen. In many cases where an ERP system fails to live up to expectations, it's because not necessarily because the software was deficient, but rather, something went wrong during the implementation.

4. Ease of use and contextualization

Each functional area of the business will work daily with certain kinds of data while having no use for other kinds. The user experience should be customizable for each user so that only the most relevant information is presented for simplicity's sake. This includes contextualization for international companies that will need region-specific data and units of measurement for all locales. Essentially, a good ERP system will be able to present the right information to the right people at the right time.

5. Long-term costs

It's easy to get caught up in upfront costs, but you really should consider the total cost of ownership over the long haul. Consider long-term implementation costs related to change management. Your ERP system should be set up to mirror your future-state business processes, so as your processes evolve, so you'll need to factor in training and other adoption-related costs.

abas is an innovator of ERP solutions for mid-size businesses aspiring to be leaders in their industry. We use our 30+ years of experience to deliver exactly what our customers need -- software that is agile, intuitive, sustainable for the long term, and that works anywhere around the world.

Find out more about abas ERP on the web at, on twitter at abas USA, or on Facebook at abas-USA.

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