3 ERP Selection Dilemmas You Will Face in 2014

Selecting an ERP system is never easy. You are betting your whole business or organization on the right choice. What are some of this year’s important ERP selection considerations?

Should Your ERP Live in the Cloud or Should You Use It on-Premises?

More and more businesses are moving to cloud systems. There is no server maintenance and none of the costs involved with managing your own servers. You can skip the really large up-front investment required for on-premises ERP. Your data is always backed up. ERP implementation is usually faster.

But on-premises ERP is not an outsider in the ERP selection race. Your total cost of ownership can be much less as the payments for a cloud system go on forever. Your ERP security might be better and you control the security yourself. The provider of the cloud ERP has access to your business which makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

Should You Select a Customizable or Configurable ERP or Go with an out-of the-Box System?

A completely customized ERP should be the best fit. You probably will pay more but if it fits perfectly it might be worth the cost. But there are risks and one of the biggest is ongoing maintenance. You don’t have the advantage of ongoing improvements and, if your customizer goes out of business you could be all on your own.

An out-of-the-box ERP might fit your business almost as well as a custom one. There are many good ones to choose from. You avoid the risk of ERP customization to a model that might not fit as your business evolves. Out-of-the-box ERP will always include maintenance and support. There is likely to be a raft of independent consultants you can call on for help during the ERP selection process also.

Configurable is in the middle. You have modules to select from that are each out-of –the-box and you choose the ones you need. You will have many user-definable fields available that can simply be integrated into existing query and input screens.

Should You Buy from a Big Vendor or a Small One?

This might seem like a black and white consideration but doesn’t have to be. There are excellent ERP selection choices all along the vendor size spectrum. A large vendor might be better able to provide international support. But the ERP itself and how it meets your requirements is far more important. The organizational fit of the vendor to your business and your culture is where you should focus attention.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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