Startups or even established businesses considering expanding to a new market, have important decisions to make regarding the ERP systems they intend to use which best serve their specific process requirements.
Choosing the wrong ERP system can result in loss of time and capital, which your business can not afford, especially if you’re a startup.
The ideal ERP system for most startups should be one that is based on the latest technology, has flexibility, a high level of functionality, and be operable on common platforms (i.e. Linux, Windows, etc).
During the startup phase, your business is likely to experience growth, so it is important to be able to start with a basic ERP system (to save some money in the short term) that can easily have functionality added over time as required (as your startup grows). This will also help simplify the implementation process. Software that is capable of being run on all of the widely-used platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc) will ensure it can be used in every area of the company.
Improve Productivity Of Your Business:
Implementing a new ERP system right at the outset should positively impact productivity. If you don’t notice a significant change immediately, do not worry. Increases in productivity from an ERP system usually take some time to go into effect. Keep in mind that you are making a long-term investment that will pay off greatly over the next several years, not the next several weeks. You have to have a long-term perspective when deciding to make an investment in an ERP solution.
If you are asking your staff to fulfill several different job roles, they may feel stretched. It is important to address this problem early on, all the while ensuring adequate preparations are made to ensure the future growth of your business. ERP software can help relieve some of that stress by allowing them to interact and communicate better with other employees. It can make employees feel more connected and “in-the-know” which can also boost employee morale.
One of the factors that should be considered when purchasing an ERP system is how easily it can be installed and how quickly it can be up and running. You should make sure that the ERP system can be set up as quickly as possible so you save time and money. Equally important is whether the partner you have chosen to work with has the ability and willingness to effectively implement future upgrades that are in line with the vision for your startup.
Core Characteristics of ERP:
Here is an overview of some of the characteristics that an ideal ERP system and Value-Added Reseller (VAR) for startups should have:
Provides a standard Windows experience so that staff can be quickly trained to use the ERP system. This will reduce the costs associated with training and deployment. It will also speed up the training process for staff.
Not all ERP systems are sold through a VAR but if you are making a purchase through a VAR, make sure that they offer initial setup, configuration, and support for future configurations as your business develops and needs changes in the ERP system.
The system should utilize the latest technology and have the functionality required to provide immediate delivery and reporting options. SaaS (or “Cloud”) ERP would probably be the ideal option for startups. SaaS ERP requires a lower upfront investment and is very adaptable to changes in the company.
Your implementation partner needs to work with you to ensure you not only gain immediate benefit but also ensure that additional functionality will be added as your business grows. The VAR or the vendor should also provide customer support during business hours. Also, before purchasing, check to see if the vendor offers a free trial or at least a custom demo. This should give you a good snapshot of how the ERP software will function once it is li.
While opting for cheaper or open-source ERP software may save some money in the short term, researching and choosing the right ERP solution from the start that provides all of the characteristics listed in this article will serve you far better over time. Switching ERP vendors can be a pain after you have been with a particular vendor for a long time, so it’s best to pick the right vendor from the beginning.