Do I need ERP? Or, if I have ERP, do I need a new version?
These are questions we frequently hear as we advise business owners about
putting technology to work in their companies. In our experience, a modern ERP
solution is usually a wise choice for all but the smallest firms. Here are some
thoughts on what to look for in ERP software.
ERP Software, at a Glance
When it made its debut in the early 1970s, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
software was originally intended to help big companies deal with major
operational concerns. The ERP toolset helped with supply chain management,
large-scale logistics and industrial operations. ERP still offers those
features, but it now does so much more as a class of software.
Modern ERP software systems enable a complete range of business
management, monitoring and analysis functions in a single solution—often in a
unified interface. Acumatica Cloud ERP, for example, provides extensive
operational and financial management features, accounting and numerous add-on
modules for sales management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and so
What to Look for in ERP
What makes for a good ERP solution for your business? The
answer, of course, will be as unique as your business. No two companies are
alike. However, we can suggest a number of common factors that all businesses
should seek when identifying
the right ERP:
Basic business drivers—An ERP solution
should readily reveal how it will help your business cut costs and increase
profits. That may sound basic, but it can get overlooked in the overwhelming process
of evaluating advanced features. When assessing ERP, it’s also wise to look at
how it will apply to your company’s distinct workflows and market realities.
For example, if your business competes based on fast repair service, you need
an ERP solution that enables fine-grained field service management.
Cloud deployment—While there are still compelling
reasons for on-premises deployment of ERP in some cases, our experience shows
that cloud-hosted ERP is a far better fit for the majority of businesses. The
deployment model is inherently flexible, with the ability to add functional
modules and scale up capacity without the cost and delay of adding physical
Workflow automation—ERP helps with
cost-cutting and profit growth when it can automate workflows. One of the great
strengths of ERP is its ability to streamline business processes and reduce
reliance on manual work steps like keying in data from paper forms. This is a
critical feature to look for in an ERP solution.
Integrated add-on modules—Solutions like
Acumatica offer a rich selection of add-on modules for functions like warehouse
management, payroll, inventory control and more. These should integrate easily
into the core ERP functions like accounting and supply chain management. The
right ERP for your business will offer a fit between such modules and the way
your business runs.
Industry vertical editions—If you’re in a
field like distribution or professional services, a purpose-built ERP for your
industry will be a factor to consider in making an ERP selection. Instead of
adapting a generic solution, you can take advantage of industry-specific
Data analytics—A suitable ERP solution
will contain built-in data analytics, reporting and data visualization
capabilities. It will also connect with third party analytics tools with
Choosing an ERP solution is a subjective process. We can
help. We have worked with many businesses in identifying the right ERP fit for
their particular corporate requirements. To learn more about our ERP selection
and implementation processes, contact
us for a meeting or a demo of Acumatica Cloud ERP.