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ERP Selection: How to Avoid Common Mistakes

02/04/2017

An increasing number of companies are turning to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for the functionalities it delivers to streamline manufacturing, improve productivity, create greater efficiency, and stay competitive in their marketplace. A quick Google search also reveals there are a staggering number of ERP implementation failures each year. There is no question, the selection and implementation of an integrated ERP solution  is a daunting task for sure, and prone to error. ProcessPro has completed many ERP implementations over the past 30 years, offering critical insight in how to avoid some of the most common errors that cause problems, delays, and even total failure in ERP selection and implementation. The following are tips in how to avoid common mistakes in your selection process.

Process vs. discrete manufacturing

While the world of ERP software has been helping manufacturers for decades, it’s hardly a one-size-fits-all industry. Understanding the differences between manufacturing ERP software types can save you anywhere from hours to months chasing after a system that simply isn’t designed for your company.

So here’s the breakdown: process manufacturers make goods from ingredients and raw materials. With process manufacturing, the end products are unable to be unassembled to its original raw materials. While discrete manufacturers assemble and create products from parts and components. It’s not enough to have ERP software that supports manufacturing—your manufacturing type factors heavily into whether a certain ERP system will meet your processing needs.

Decisions, decisions…

Think about how your company typically makes important decisions. If your company has grown to the point of needing to buy or replace ERP software, then there is probably plenty of evidence to be found about how your organization makes big decisions. As you’re assembling a team to evaluate possible ERP solutions, ask yourself these questions while considering your company history and culture.

  • What is your timeline for selection process? For the ERP implementation?
  • What is the budget? Who will make the final decision?
  • Have all the stakeholders been included in the selection committee? Have you received input from every department head as to their critical, nice-to-have, and future needs?
  • Where have past projects run into problems? What went better than expected?

The earlier you can provide firm answers to these questions with input from all of your critical stakeholders, the better informed your selection process will be.

Industry-specific knowledge

It’s critical that your ERP vendor understands the language, terminology, and processes of your industry. Your everyday challenges—from regulation management to lot tracking—should be the very things that your vendor can help you address with your software. As well, a vendor with experience in your industry can help you discover unknown needs and share industry best practices for your company. An ERP provider that works solely with small-to-medium sized batch process manufacturers, and specifically, with your industry, has the knowledge to help make your business more profitable.

Scalable solution

If your business is expanding, it’s critical you find an ERP software scalable to your needs. Also, the ERP provider should have the flexibility, innovation, and technology to support your growth.

When your selection committee meets, it’s easy to focus  on the challenges of right now, which are very pressing problems indeed. Naturally, you can’t know every challenge that you will face in the future, but you can select an ERP and a vendor with a proven track record of adaption and innovation.

ProcessPro is a great place to start your search

As the designer, developer, and distributor of ERP software for process manufacturers in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and chemical industries, ProcessPro can be a tremendous resource for you in choosing an ERP provider-partner. Contact us to find out how our expertise can bring you closer to a smooth ERP selection and successful implementation.

Are you needing more specific tips and red flag warnings? 10 Tips for Avoiding and Recognizing Red Flags During Your ERP Search

Tags: ERP Software Selection