4 critical features to consider when selecting an ERP solution

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions make your business more productive and agile. They represent a significant investment in your operation - one that will change how the business works. As such, it is important you understand the key ERP features and benefits so you can choose the right system for your business.

In this post, we look at the key characteristics of ERP systems.

The benefit of ERP modular design

ERP system design is modular. For each segment of the business, a corresponding ERP module is available. Your business requirements will dictate what modules you need... and what you don’t need to spend on.

Here, we look at core modules that all businesses utilize and ones which you must investigate thoroughly before purchasing an ERP system.

ERP finance and accounting features

In many ways, the finance module will underpin your ERP system. Good systems offer a range of options to make financial management of your business easier. This goes beyond running reports to be able to make forecasts and projections, showing profit and loss to a detailed level.

When choosing ERP, look at the following aspects of the finance and accounting module closely:

  • Accounts Receivable (AR) - It is important the AR feature factors in money in your pipeline. This will give you more accurate forecasting and make chasing late payments easier. ERP systems have a lot of scope to make your business more efficient and agile. 
  • Accounts Payable (AP) - Like AR, having a good AP system is critical to determining bottom lines, cash flow, and forecasting. The better ERP systems give you the option of linking department spend to the bigger picture.
  • General Ledger (GL) - Better ERP software provides best in class GL management. The better systems will build the ledger for you allowing for full traceability and accountability. It is essential that you find a system that provides you with GL capabilities that meet business requirements.

Sales management ERP

The benefits of ERP extend to sales management. Good systems will tie sales to inventory flagging up shortfalls in stock. The better systems will go a step further and order stock automatically to meet demand as well as tie into AP and GL.

Inventory management ERP module

Nearly every business that uses ERP has some need to manage inventory. As such, you have to ensure that any system you choose can manage this aspect well. Features of ERP inventory management include:

  • Material resource planning (MRP) automated reordering of stock
  • Hierarchal management structuring for sign off responsibilities
  • Thorough and robust stock taking functions
  • Full sales and accounts linking

A good inventory management module that meets business needs is essential. It improves workflow and productivity.

Mobile ERP

ERP systems often work in the cloud. This has become essential in today's business world especially if there is more than one plant involved.

As well as enabling teams to be more agile, flexible, and productive, mobile ERP will bring the infrastructure cost benefits.

If you feel your business doesn't need mobile capability at the moment, the chances are it will as the business expands. Looking ahead is key to successful ERP implementation.

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Helen Peatfield

About the author…

Helen Peatfield is a writer, editor and marketing consultant with a wealth of experience in ad tech, supply chain management and SaaS. When she is not typing away at her desk, she can be found scuba diving or wakeboarding in the sunny Gulf of Thailand.

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Helen Peatfield

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