Manufacturing ERP software is a business management solution that allows organizations to deal with all facets of an operation in one convenient place.
ERP software solutions such as 2020 Insight can help with product planning, development, manufacturing, assembly, sales, accounting, scheduling, and even installation.
If you’re thinking about adopting a manufacturing ERP software, you’ll have to do some research before making a decision. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve prepared a checklist that will help you choose the best solution for your business.
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1. Identify your business requirements
First and foremost, you need to identify what your business needs are. Ask yourself what challenges your company currently faces. What features and capabilities are lacking that would enhance your organization’s work processes.
Be as detailed as you possibly can, and make sure you consult with all departments involved to get the full scope. Being prepared before searching for an ERP solution will make it easier for you to narrow the list of potential candidates. The more you know what your business requirements are, the better.
2. Build a list of your top ERP software vendors
Now that you understand exactly what your business needs are to succeed, prepare a shortlist of software vendors that meet your criteria. Do some research online or talk to other professionals in the business who can offer their expertise.
You don’t want to end up with a long list of vendors because your decision will be that much harder later on. Pick the ones that qualify the most and take it from there.
3. Meet with vendors and ask specific questions
Once you’ve got your list of potential manufacturing ERP software vendors, set up meetings with their sales reps to learn more about the product. Speak to them about your business needs and make sure their solution is able to fulfill most – if not all – of your pre-determined requirements.
Do a run-through of your business’s workflow and see if all aspects are covered. If there are some things the ERP software is unable to provide, see how much it would cost (or if it’s even possible) to integrate it with another software solution.
Some ERP providers even offer to visit a client’s factory so they can gain understanding of how the company runs things. This on-site meeting allows them to provide better guidance, discuss projects and timelines, and answer questions more thoroughly.
4. Ask if training and implementation are available
Training and implementation are important when it comes to robust enterprise manufacturing solutions. It can be overwhelming for new employees to learn how to use the new software, which is why it’s vital to have the company implement the ERP solution and train all employees who will be using it.
Many ERP system providers will offer on-site and online (virtual) training to facilitate the adoption of the solution. Online training is convenient because employees don’t have to travel and be away from their roles in the factory to be trained.
Classroom training is also available depending on the vendor. These are normally conducted by an experienced implementation team who have years of expertise under their belt. These are all benefits to consider when making a final decision.
5. Get references from vendors
It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the ERP vendors for references. That way, you can ask their customers what they like best about the software, what some of the challenges are, what they might have done differently, etc.
If the vendor is unwilling to provide references, that should raise a red flag. They should be able to provide you with at least 2-3 reliable, happy customers you can speak to before making a decision.
Some ERP vendors will even encourage prospects to visit a non-competing factory (along with their sales rep) and speak with their leadership in order to ask hard questions in person. This will really help you determine whether or not the ERP solution is a right fit for your company.
6. Compare prices and capabilities
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, it’s time to compare the prices and capabilities of your top manufacturing ERP software candidates. Discuss it with your team – weigh the pros and cons of each solution, and take into consideration the customer service, industry-specific knowledge and partnership offered by each.
You’re now ready to make an informed decision. Implementing a new system will have a big impact on your organization, and it takes some getting used to. Make sure everyone gets adequate training for a smooth and successful transition.
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