Choosing The Best ERP Software For Your Manufacturing Operation

More manufacturers are turning to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software to help streamline day to day operations and create an overall more efficient business. There are so many different ERP software options out there, like Net-Inspect solutions, and choosing the best one can be a challenge. Manufacturing Business Technology recently interviewed Forrest Burn, a researcher with Software Advice, and discussed the most important things a manufacturer needs to think about when choosing the best ERP software for their business. Whether it be standalone, or worked into other systems (like those highlighted on Light The Minds), the functionality is key. Here are some of the most important points and why manufacturers need to do some research before jumping on the ERP bandwagon.

With so many new ERP options out there, a manufacturer must look at their business closely before making a choice. A manufacturer must first understand exactly what they want to get out of their new ERP software before speaking with providers. This is why consulting with ERP experts is important, and many companies that specialize in the field, such as, are able to offer advice and services depending on the need. Understanding exactly what the goals are and what essential systems are needed is the first step in choosing the best ERP software for a specific industry and organization.

Looking beyond the standard ERP applications that include accounting or CRM, a manufacturer might want the option to store quality management, product life-cycle management, supplier management, and distribution data as well. Shop around to see if any niche features are available that could have a direct benefit for a specific business. With the amount of ERP Advisory Services available now, there could be a perfect match for any manufacturer out there but it’s important to be able to first identify what applications are necessary.

Another vital part of choosing the best ERP software is ensuring to include the individuals that will be using it in the discussion and decision making. Involving department heads is vital, as these will be the people who will be using the software in their daily routine. Accountants, supply chain managers, operations managers, and IT teams all should be a part of the discussion, but make sure there aren’t an unmanageable amount of people so the discussion doesn’t get bogged down. Make sure all of their needs will be met by the new software and their goals are clearly stated so success can be tracked.

When shopping around, it’s a good idea to speak with other manufacturers that are around the same size to hear about their experiences with ERP software. Seeing what worked and what didn’t work for them is a great jumping off point, but it’s important to remember what worked for them might not be the best choice for everyone. The most important deciding factor must be a company’s personal goals and expectations. Then when it’s time to speak with an ERP provider these goals can be communicated and the best software can be chosen for the job.

There are a lot of different variables that will lead to choosing the best ERP solution for a specific manufacturer. It is important to take all necessary steps when choosing the ERP software that will perform best for a specific organization. All businesses operate differently and this is the same with ERP software. Without clear cut goals and expectations, a manufacturer could waste money and time on the wrong software. Come up with clear cut goals, figure out what is needed and what extra options are available, and look for the service provider with the most responsive customer support, then the best ERP software options will begin to float to the surface.