ERP comparison - beyond the software

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The process of ERP comparison (Enterprise Resource Planning) can often seem deeply technical and clinical. Eminently sensible, given that you’re lining up the features and facets of different software packages. You need to understand who can do what and how well. It’s entirely natural that checklists will proliferate and spreadsheets spread. But sometimes these kinds of analyses don’t cover everything.

When making ERP comparisons, sometimes you need to go beyond the software. Think more holistically. Consider every aspect and discover just what kind of program your business is finding itself purchasing. Here are three important factors to think over.

The upgrade contingency – is it disruptive?

When making ERP comparisons, you can’t just think about the software in its current state. Any ERP provider worth their salt will be working on upgrades, patches, and overall improvements for the foreseeable future.

Of course, you shouldn’t make judgements about ERP comparison based on what future upgrades may contain. But you can make decisions based on how smoothly these new features enter your system. Is the installation process automatic? Is it something your IT staff need to oversee? How much communication does your provider offer?

Your ERP software will be evolving and changing, much like the wider marketplace. With so much change coming, disruption isn’t something you can afford. You need to be confident that any software changes should slot in seamlessly. Be sure to factor upgrade procedures into your ERP comparison decision-making process.

The seasonality situation – is it flexible?

Your ERP comparison has to consider the seasonality of your sector. Very few businesses experience consistent levels of demand throughout the year. Most B2C firms are finding an ever-growing segment of their annual sales come in an intense four-month window between November and February. While B2B companies also have their own seasonal intensities, either indirectly echoed by the B2C winter season, or by the specific demands of their own sector.

This is why it’s vital to consider the overall level of flexibility built into your ERP system. Can it perform just as well completing dozens of orders one week, and then thousands the next? How much data can it process? Does it require cutting edge hardware to remain optimised, or is it more adjustable and configurable as the situation requires?

When making an ERP comparison, you need to find the system for all seasons. Since ERP systems connect with every process your business uses, you cannot afford an inconsistent or unstable performance. That’s why you need to make sure that the ERP system you choose is ready for anything. Drought or deluge, feast or famine, make sure you choose the very best ERP software possible.

The partnership position – is it supportive?

When making ERP comparisons, as well as the software itself, you also need to consider the business you are purchasing from. Buying from a vendor means you are working with experts in selling. They understand the software very well indeed. They’ve worked with lots of other businesses, so they know what companies require, and how to show it to them. But how present will they be once the purchase is complete?

When making an ERP comparison, ask yourself about the business you are purchasing from “do these people seem like supportive partners?”. ERP vendors can’t make software upgrade suggestions. They can’t implement new features or adjust existing ones to better suit your business’s needs. All they can do is sell you what they already have on offer.

In your ERP comparison, you need to seek out businesses that go beyond working as mere providers. You need to be working with a specialist that has proven itself to be proficient and professional in the role of a partner. The kinds of experts that demonstrate strong connections with their clients. Companies that balance vast resources with clear and responsive communication.

ERP comparison – look no further

If you want a supportive ERP provider and partner, you have come to the right place.

OrderWise has built a brilliant system on the back of three decades of supportive commercial communication. A system that upgrades seamlessly, and that can flex and adjust to take on any number of different seasonal situations. Speak to one of our customer success managers today to discover why hundreds of companies have ranked us so highly when they made their own ERP comparisons. At OrderWise, we understand that while the right software is absolutely vital, it is also only the beginning.

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