Are you in the market for your first ERP platform? Choosing the right cloud-based ERP platform for your small business is a big decision. The right platform will make you more efficient and help your business grow, while the wrong platform can frustrate you and hold your business back. This is why it’s important to follow a guide to cloud-based ERP solutions. Here are some tips for choosing the small business ERP platform that’s best for your business.
Determine Your Requirements
Before you can start shopping for a small business ERP platform, you need to determine your business’s requirements. There are many ERP platforms on the market, and each vendor offers a slightly different product. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, choosing the right ERP platform can feel overwhelming.
To determine your needs, first identify all the business functions you need an ERP platform to support. For example, if you have stores or warehouses, you may need a platform that offers multi-location inventory management and integration with your suppliers. If your business runs a lot of promotions, you may need a platform that offers pricing management and helps you handle campaigns and coupons. Make a list of every key function you want to manage through an ERP platform.
Also, identify the inefficient processes you want to be able to automate with an ERP platform. Survey your employees to find out which processes slow them down. For example, if your employees spend a lot of time emailing payment reminders to customers, look for a platform that offers automated payment reminders.
Try Before You Buy
After comparing your list of requirements to the features of ERP platforms, you may find a few platforms you’re interested in. It’s important to not to base your decision only on price. The lowest priced platform may not meet your needs, even if it seems perfect on paper. Some platforms are more user-friendly than others, so it’s important to try before you buy.
Reputable ERP providers let you test their platforms free for a short time. During the trial period, test all the modules of the ERP platform to make sure it has the features you need. Test the platform to see how user-friendly it is. You’ll be using your chosen ERP platform for a long time, so ease-of-use is very important.
Before you make your decision, ask the major players in your company for their feedback on the platform. While selecting an ERP platform is ultimately your decision, you want to choose a platform that your managers are excited to use. If managers don’t like the ERP platform, their teams will pick up on their resistance and you could have trouble implementing the platform.
Invest for the Long-Term
When you’re shopping for a small business ERP platform, remember to invest for the long term. You don’t want to need to switch ERP platforms every couple of years. Not only will you have to start the buying process from the beginning, but you’ll need to transfer all your data to the new platform. Then, you’ll have to teach your employees how to use a brand-new platform. For maximum efficiency, choose a platform that will meet your needs for many years to come.
Before you choose a platform, make sure it’s scalable. Your company may be small now, but you don’t know how large it will become in the future. To prepare for future success, look for an ERP platform that can scale to support any size of business. When you choose a scalable platform, you can keep using the platform in the future, no matter how large your company eventually becomes.