4 Questions You Should Ask to Choose the Right ERP for Retail
Your retail business is booming. Employees are busier than ever, and sales are up. The time has come to consider a major organizational change: the implementation of an ERP solution. To ensure the success of your change, it is first necessary to choose the right product for your business and the right partner to help with its implementation.
In this post, we’re examining the 4 biggest questions you should be asking yourself when you’re selecting your ERP platform.
1. Is it made with the retail industry in mind? Though it may be tempting to choose a more general solution that includes a little bit of everything, such a solution often requires a fair amount of customization and development during and after its implementation. This may become particularly true as the needs of your business change and grow. Having a clear and thorough list of your needs as requested by major stakeholders and employees across levels and departments can help you to further narrow down the options based on your required functionalities.
2. What is the total cost of ownership (TCO) and how will you pay for it? TCO is the purchase price of an asset, plus the cost of operations, which includes everything from hardware, to licensing, to any lost productivity during the transition - and more. It is important to know from the start whether you want a cloud or on-premise option, and if you prefer a subscription or perpetual payment schedule. Some factors that will influence this include:
- Internal IT capacity: do you want your software to be managed internally or by a vendor?
- Cash flow: can you pay for it all up front?
- Scalability: how will your software be able to grow and evolve with your business?
- Deployment ease: will you need additional hardware and related infrastructure to support your choice?
3. What are your long-term goals? One key thing to remember is that once you’ve implemented your ERP solution, doing it again just a few years down the road is something that you’re very much going to want to avoid. Determine how you will define success and how it will be quantified with the help from key stakeholders across your organization to better understand if your potential solution will help you to meet it. This is another place where having employee feedback from all levels and departments here will be key as they often are the ones that may spend a majority of their time within the platform.
4. Who exactly is your vendor? Minimizing disruption and data loss are some of the most important factors of any ERP implementation and choosing a vendor that has extensive experience in both your industry and in the platform, itself will be key to meeting these goals. Additionally, you want a partner that will be there as support and training for you and for your employees after the initial implementation has been completed. This is key as sometimes employees may be tentative to adopt a new technology and having a trusted resource to help guide them through the process can be integral to both your initial and ongoing success.
Choosing an ERP solution may feel like a daunting process, but once it has been completed, it is sure to be one of the best organizational moves for your retail business. By properly assessing your different options based on these criteria you can help to ensure the success of your implementation from the start. Understanding these criteria can also be key for getting stakeholder buy-in from the start, so be sure to discuss any additional criteria before you get too far into your evaluation process.
Want to find out more about ERP platforms and how choosing the right one can boost your retail business? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your complimentary consultation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Systems Limited, or any other entity related to Systems Limited.