No smart batch manufacturer searches for a mediocre Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) company to partner with. So then, why do some companies make painful, costly mistakes? If you’re a process manufacturer looking for an ERP solution, compare what’s out there with a solid set of standards. Your ultimate choice of a process manufacturing ERP provider should be one that is a standout. This means 1) industry experienced, 2) meets your unique needs, 3) offers a single-source solution, and 4) acts like your partner, rather than a vendor.
Experienced in the ERP business
Years in business is a great indicator of an ERP provider’s experience, usually, the longer, the better. However, other criteria may indicate a candidate’s value. Have they been a strong and visible contributor to the ERP industry? Are they financially stable? What industries do they serve? Do they provide references? Have they received kudos in the press or social media? Are they aligned with any notable third-party technology partners? When an process manufacturing ERP provider says it’s experienced, make sure you check the facts.
Positioned to meet your specific ERP needs
Consider the candidate’s knowledge of your industry first. How many of them design, develop, and sell solely to process manufacturers? And are they familiar with your industry? How many clients with needs like your own have they served? Let them walk you through a few examples of just how they met other process manufacturers’ specifications. Secondly, does the ERP provider know your business and operations? Explain how your operation works, and share your thoughts about ways you believe the ERP provider’s solution should work for you. Drill down on the ideas. Then, ask them to show you how their software solution can solve your problem(s) or make your process(s) run more smoothly. IMPORTANT: This means that you need to have done your homework and that you have identified those areas that would most benefit from the use of ERP.
Offers a single-source ERP solution
A candidate positioning itself as your single-source for ERP should be there for you during planning, implementation, training, and for ongoing support. Communication is key in all of these areas. You should have a dedicated “go-to” person at your disposal to explain and train and easily work with you, especially when it comes to customization and upgrades. Also, a single-source ERP solution can often offer lower fees for these services than an outside third-party vendor. IMPORTANT: Some process manufacturing ERP providers may use a third-party vendor to provide a particularly unique functionality. They should have seamlessly integrated the functionality so that it complements their own software solution.
Acts like your ERP partner instead of a vendor
Your best process manufacturer ERP providers invest the time to understand your operation. They focus on being a solution rather than simply selling you a product. As a resource, they make recommendations that anticipate your company’s future growth and/or the direction your industry is taking. They may even discover a way to improve your operation. (Remember the proverb, “Two heads are better than one”?) And they’re honest with you, even when it means they won’t make a sale, or when there’s a risk that you won’t necessarily like what you hear.
All things considered, your standout ERP partner should be experienced enough to understand your particular needs and able to demonstrate why it is the single-source solution for your company. As a leading mid-market ERP software solution for the process manufacturing industry, ProcessPro prides itself in our ability to serve the unique needs of food and beverage, chemical, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries for over a quarter of a century.