The determination to implement a modern, cloud-based ERP system is one that will impact a business for many years into the future. Decision makers will no doubt find many potential solutions, but it can be confusing to identify the right one to invest in.
Every organization needs to find a pace they are comfortable with, which means balancing the change required with both benefit and reward. Moving to the cloud means bringing a superior system that handles more than financial management, but also other applications that support all areas of the business.
At first glance, it may appear that all systems are equal, but this is far from the case. It’s essential that companies fully understand ERP capabilities, as well as features and benefits of each product across various categories.
Acumatica is an award-winning ERP vendor specifically designed for small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), combining over 10 years proven business insight with cutting-edge innovation. The company’s ebook “Top Technology Challenges of the Modern CFO” provides information for those considering the implementation of a cloud-based ERP system.
Additionally, here are some of the areas that top decision-makers can consider as they research ERP solutions:
The ultimate goal of the software upgrade is to make internal teams more productive — the ideal solution must be intuitive and easy to use. It also has to offer the latest technologies, making it accessible from any device, anytime and from any place. More and more, staff work remotely or from a location other than company offices.
Today’s business environment is very much a global one. A product that has the capability to decipher various languages further enables staff, while helping to meet the needs of customers, no matter where they are located and what language or currency they prefer.
ERP systems do a great job of improving workflow matters; by automating business processes, approvals, and notifications, staff can quickly act on alerts that let them know when an item requires their attention. Likewise, documents are more easily accessible and users can share information with various teams and departments.
Operating in real time can make the difference in making a sale or meeting a deadline — a modern business needs a mobile solution. A single database with one-version truth gives a business obvious advantage; and that should be extended to include maintenance, as well as integrations and upgrades. This leads to better decision-making with fewer errors, as well as comprehensive reporting.
The ideal product should perform daily accounting and business management tasks, while supporting specific industry needs. To extend product functions, there should also be strong third-party software support. To meet unique business needs, a library of enhancements should be readily available, extending functionality.
Including CRM as a standard feature in the ERP ensures they are running within the same central database, which reduces the hassle of synchronizing two databases with like information. Integrated business intelligence gives entities the opportunity to understand financial and customer information — and what’s behind that data, so they can improve the overall customer experience. It further helps to include eCommerce for those companies that are fulfilling online orders; this enables businesses to track sales and manage inventory in real time.
Mobile ERP can be accessed through any device that is able to connect to the Internet. Employees are able to tap into company insights through either iOS or Android native apps, or any web browser. Some vendors will also offer dedicated mobile apps for specific systems or tasks — all of which make remote work much more efficient.
Look for a customizable product with the ability to modify business logic to meet the organization’s goals. Making the system modifiable to meet a company’s requirements, as well as using industry-standard tools and programming that doesn’t require staff to have to work in complex code is imperative. If a system is too difficult to use, adaptation will be difficult and employees are more likely to revert to old, outdated-methods.
Querying data within the ERP for reporting — including audits — should be easy for staff. Users should be able to access and export relational version of data for review, backup, and transfer. Personalized dashboards make it easier for the C-Suite and various departments to digest meaningful business information.
It’s most ideal to work in the cloud, and an ERP vendor should provide options for businesses, ranging from:
- SaaS Subscription: Annual subscription fee; installation and maintenance will be handled by an experienced, full-time IT organization
- Private Cloud Subscription: Annual subscription fee; either deployed on premise or at a preferred hosting provider
- Private Perpetual License: One-time cost along with recurring annual maintenance fee; either deployed on premise or at a preferred hosting provider
Enabling organizations with the ability to change licensing and users as needed is highly desirable — the ideal vendor will be able to grow as its clients’ business evolves. Acumatica offers the above licensing, as well as a pricing model, so companies only pay for what they use.
Getting Started, Today!
The first step to jumpstarting organizational growth by streamlining business processes through the implementation of a cloud-based ERP system, is to find an experienced partner that can work to meet a company’s unique needs. Contact us to learn more about how to utilize IT-managed services to meet business goals!