Many growing companies eventually hit a roadblock in their path to success. In most cases, that roadblock comes from the systems & processes businesses rely on daily: the various spreadsheets storing data, limiting accounting software and a lack of synchronisation between data and people.
You can only scale so much with a disconnected business before it struggles to keep up.
That’s where the value of an ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) like Microsoft Dynamics NAV comes in. Unlike normal accounting software like Sage & QuickBooks, an ERP system centralises all of your business processes into one unified system — allowing your teams work more productively, creating efficient workflows and ultimately making your business more profitable.
Now that you’ve decided you need an ERP system, there are a few things you’ll need to carefully consider when changing your software.
7-step checklist for choosing an ERP system
1. Define core business issues
Upgrading to an ERP system that ties your entire business together has a lot of benefits, but in reality not all businesses actually need one and it can be a heavy investment.
One of the most important things on this checklist is evaluating your business pain points first — contact our experienced business consultants who can help you with that — and then making a decision on the suitability of an ERP system.
2. What are your must-have requirements?
Talk to the people who use your systems day-in, day-out. What hinders or slows down the process of completing important tasks? What would help them do their jobs better?
Knowing these things will give you a much better understanding of what needs to be changed, and what features your new ERP system needs to have.
3. Functionality you really need
Let’s assume you’re currently juggling various spreadsheets with data all over the place. Pulling any sort of report is a nightmare and data accuracy is far from perfect. Based on this sort of scenario, you would need a way to connect all business data into a single, synchronised place to improve accuracy and make reporting easier.
Analyse your business processes and how they all interlink to judge what sort of functionality your new ERP system will need.
4. Think long term
An ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV is hardly an “off the shelf” purchase; it’s a serious investment that requires forward planning. Your problems of today may not be those of tomorrow, so if you want your investment to last for the long term it’s worth factoring in your business’ ambitions.
Chances are you don’t have an unlimited budget to play with, so be mindful of this during your search for a suitable ERP system.
Just remember to ensure your chosen ERP system meets your requirements, includes the functionality your teams need and gets your business closer to its goals. If the right ERP system costs a little bit more but meets your criteria, it could very well be worth the investment. Equally, be weary of being over-sold a system with bells & whistles you don’t actually need.
6. Who will use the ERP system?
The cost of an ERP system isn’t just predicated on the system itself — you also need to factor in the number of users. For that reason it’s worth deciding (and prioritising) who will need the system to do their job effectively.
7. Deciding on reporting formats
Good reporting capabilities is bound to be one of the biggest considerations for your new ERP system. Ensure your choice has the ability to produce reports in the way your management teams need.
There are plenty more questions to ask when it comes to investing in an ERP system, but hopefully this list of 7 is enough to get your brain going!
In the meantime, if you have any questions about ERP systems — including whether your business needs one in the first place — get in touch for a free chat with our experienced consultants.