Matthew GibbonsLead Data & Tech Writer
- September 6, 2023
- 5 minute read
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
In this video, Trevin from our Marketing team will walk you through how to choose an ERP system for your company. Keep reading to find out more!
Contrary to popular belief, ERP does not stand for “extremely random penguins.” I know, I was as shocked as you are.
It actually stands for “enterprise resource planning.” An ERP platform is a tool for storing data and managing processes across your entire business. Finance records? Purchase orders? Product inventory? It’s all stored in your ERP, meaning everyone in your business can access all that info from one centralized location. Pretty handy!
Maybe you don’t have an ERP yet, or you’re starting to look for one. Or maybe you’re not happy with your current one, so you’re interested in a change. No matter what, you could be wondering how to choose an ERP system. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, you’re in the right place — we’re gonna go over six steps for helping you choose the right ERP.
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1. Consider your business needs
Different ERPs have different features. When you’re trying to choose one, you should think about which features you plan on using. Which types of data do you want to store in your ERP? What tasks do you want to manage? What do you want to automate?
Whatever your company’s specific needs are, try to think about them in advance and look for an ERP that can address all of them. If you really prioritize automation, for example, you obviously don’t wanna get an ERP where automation breaks all the time.
2. Compare budget and total cost of ownership
Alright, this one might seem pretty obvious, but it’s important — make sure you consider price. Don’t waste time looking at ERP options that are way over your budget.
Be careful, though — don’t just look at the initial price tag. You need to think about the total cost of ownership for your ERP. For example, ERPs can be complex, and you may need some professional help setting yours up. That’s gonna cost you money, too, so be sure to factor that into your budgets.
3. Look at user reviews and testimonials
Sometimes it can be a little confusing trying to figure out the best ERP by reading their websites or talking with their sales reps, because of course everybody’s going to talk themselves up as much as possible. But one source you can trust is customer reviews.
Go check out what other businesses are saying about different ERPs. If an ERP has really terrible reviews, it really doesn’t matter what its website says — you pretty much know that it’s likely not a good choice. On the other hand, an ERP with glowing reviews is definitely one to consider.
By the way, when you’re looking at reviews, it’s best to check out third-party review sites like G2. I mean, no ERP company is going to post the bad reviews on their own website.
4. Think about which apps your ERP should integrate with
You know how we said earlier that ERPs can store—and share—data from across your business? Well, that data doesn’t magically appear out of thin air. ERPs have to pull it from other tools, and to do that, they need to be able to integrate with those tools.
Not every ERP may integrate with every tool, though. So, you need to think about which platforms you’ll integrate with with your ERP, and then focus on choosing an ERP that integrates nicely with all of those tools. The last thing you want is to go through the process of buying the perfect ERP just to realize that it doesn’t connect easily with the tools you use.
You should also think about how easy or difficult it is to integrate your ERP with other tools. Even if an ERP integrates with a ton of platforms, that’s not a guarantee that it’ll be easy to set up those integrations. You want an ERP that makes it simple for you.
5. Consider user experience
No one wants to waste time using a tool that’s super complicated or keeps having issues. You want to choose ERP software that has amazing user experience. It should be easy to navigate and easy to use.
One way to figure out which tools you prefer using is to make sure you’re getting demos or free trials for different ERPs when they’re available. I’d recommend trying out as many tools as you can before making a final decision. That way you’re not in deep financial trouble with nothing to show for it. Instead, try and get into the tools early in the process so you can really and fairly compare options.
If one of the ERPs is really a struggle for you to use, it might not be the best fit for you — unless maybe it’s just got a ton of other factors that you really like about it. You have to be comfortable with your decision either way.
6. Decide whether to prioritize customization or standardization
Some companies want things to be as simple as possible when they get a new ERP. They’ll happily accept a “one-size-fits-all” tool if it means they don’t have to pour tons and tons of time and effort into configuring every last little detail. On the other hand, some businesses want as many customization options as possible.
When you get a new ERP, you need to decide what your priorities are on that spectrum. Do you prefer to simplify things with a very standardized tool? Or is it important for you to have all the bells and whistles that you can customize exactly to your needs?
Whichever it is, it’s probably good to have that figured out before you start looking. That way you can quickly narrow your options down to the ERPs that match your preference.
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That wraps up our list of tips for how to choose ERP software. But if you want to learn more about ERPs or digital marketing, or random penguin facts, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel — or our email newsletter, Revenue Weekly. We put out useful content that you can learn from each and every week.
That’s all for today, though. Thanks so much for watching — I’ll see you next time!
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
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