4 Steps to ERP Buying Success - Step 2: Define Your Needs | Encore

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Step 2: Define Your Needs

Careful planning is essential for any important business objective and evaluating ERP solutions is no different. A successful outcome starts with a little homework and a well-defined game plan. 

Don’t forget to include your employees in the analysis process. User adoption is critical so you’ll want perspectives from different roles and departments to select a system that will be utilized to its full potential, thereby securing a rapid return on your investment (and happy employees).

The Draft: What do you need from a new system? 

Go ahead and create a wish list of what you want out a new business management system. 

  • What overall improvements do you want to achieve?
  • Which tasks do you need to automate?
  • What types of information do you need to report on? 
  • How could you simplify your HR, project, financial and relationship management?

The Scorecard: What issues are you having with your current systems?

Document the shortcomings of your existing systems so you can address them with the new system. 

  • Talk to a variety of users from different departments
  • Get details on what is causing challenges
  • Find out how much time they are spending on manual processes
  • Ask what their vision is for a new system and what they hope to accomplish

The Playbook: How should everything work together?

Consider how a new system should flow with your existing environment, both from a user and technical perspective.

  • How much flexibility and scalability do you need?
  • Will the new system need to interact with existing systems or applications?
  • Do you require customizations for unique industry or business requirements?
  • Does your workstyle best fit an on-premise or cloud-based solution?

The Press Conference: What do others have to say?

Arm yourself with the facts by learning what actual users think of the ERP systems you are evaluating. 

  • Talk to those in your peer network for advice
  • Search industry forums and blogs for expert insight 
  • Use social media to find additional resources and reviews
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help 

Once you’ve defined your needs, talked to your team and gathered your research – it’s time to explore your options. 

See Step 3 - Choose the right system