What is ERP?
ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning, is a way of utilizing technology in order to better manage business processes. Today ERP tools are typically in the form of software that unites multiple business components into one single package.
ERP software includes a financial or accounting module, and several other modules such as manufacturing, distribution, sales and service, and customer relationship management. The idea behind an ERP is to gain efficiency and decrease cost by having end-to-end visibility of your revenue impacting business operations.
Not all ERP programs, however, are created equal. There is software that can simulate an ERP experience by integrating one software into another completely separate software program. Some companies have all of the components, but they are piecemealed together so that an organization can choose only certain components. MasterTools, however, is comprehensive -- giving you a full ERP out of the box.
The question now becomes does your company need an ERP?
Are you using multiple systems to get the job done, creating the need for double entry tasks?
Are you still relying on manual entry with paper invoices and sales orders?
Are you experiencing inaccurate inventory counts, causing a hit to your bottom line and customer experience?
Are you looking toward the future and need to implement a change such as serialization and lot traceability?
Are you concerned about product / job costing?
These are just some of the reasons that your company may consider moving to an ERP. Fundamentally, if you are looking for ways to increase efficiency, decrease production costs, and streamline your accounting, it is worth looking into what an ERP can do for your business.
So, which ERP is right for your company?
When choosing an ERP, you should consider several ideas.
What are my end goals of implementation?
Are you looking to streamline your accounting or fix your inventory issues? Maybe you want to begin serializing your product. It is important to "know your why" so that you know exactly what features you need in an ERP, what you want, and what you can live without.
What type of training will my team need?
Some companies only offer online or virtual training. Other companies will also offer face-to-face training. Here at Online Computing, we leave the ball in your court. We most commonly perform face-to-face training or a combination of both.
What is my time frame of implementation?
Do you currently use an accounting software and you just need a quick fix for inventory? Something that you can implement now? Rather, you may be looking for a long-term solution that will take you into the next 15 years of growth in your business and want a solution that is customized to you. This type of solution may take longer to implement, so it's important to take that into consideration.
What level of support will I need post implementation?
Post implementation you may think it would be good if you just had a call center that you or your employees could call into for assistance. An alternative is that you want a complete business solution that will work with you on changes and customization. Maybe you want a company that is able to come to your location as frequently as you request. Any of these may be options.
Is this solution scalable for my business, or will growth require me to change solutions?
Some solutions are great for small businesses, but with growth it may become a challenge for that software to continue to fit your needs. You are small right now, but you want to grow to that medium or enterprise size organization. Finding a solution that is scalable to your company goals will be a factor in your decision.
What is this going to cost?
At this point, you may be thinking, "This all sounds amazing but what is it going to cost me?" Pricing structures are set up differently for every solution. What it will come down to is your return on investment. Ideally, the ERP that you choose will increase your efficiencies in your business so much that the cost of the ERP doesn't even but a dent in your long-term goals. There are even different options for capital expenditures or payment over time via a Software-as-a-Service model. To check out the differences between pricing models, visit our Delivery Methods page.