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Back office system checklist: 8 ERP Considerations

Posted by Joe Hasson on Nov 9, 2017 3:52:24 PM
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There are plenty of requirements to consider before selecting a new ERP system for your business. Simply compiling a list can be a bit daunting, however there are some key features and functions your staff will need and expect. To ensure your business continues to grow at a sustainable pace, here are 8 things you should be thinking about to get you started.

  1. Mobility. Employees, especially ones in their 20’s and 30’s, have the expectation of being able to access systems from any device, on any browser, anytime. Provide staff members who are working from home, on weekend shifts, or field personnel, the ability to be productive without constraints. This should happen by opening up a web page and securely accessing the ERP system with a few clicks.
  2. Shareable. Make your company an environment where sharing information and company documents among teams and departments isn’t a hassle. You want people engaged and to have a 360 degree view of projects and initiatives without too much manual effort (leading to mistakes). Make documents attachable and accessible at throughout your internal workflow process.
  3. Basics. It goes without saying, that any ERP system will have standard accounting functions, including general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash management. It is however, important not to overlook these core functions. See how they exchange information with the other functional areas of the system and how user-friendly the interface being used is.
  4. Workflow. A solid quote-to-cash process is necessary for efficiency and to meet customer demands. Have your team work in one system to create quotes, convert quotes to sales orders, check inventory levels, pick-pack-and ship orders, and invoice. Don’t assume the core processes of your business need to be managed in multiple places. Have those main connection points in one place.
  5. Integrated. Share a single database between ERP and a CRM (customer management), and avoid having to synchronize two databases with the same information. You may have other systems in place, but through the use of modern API’s, everything can – and should – feed back to your ERP in real-time. Don’t be scared to use another system that meets a specific need, after all, we do live in a Multi-cloud world. However, all processes must be centered around, and lead back to, the core ERP.
  6. Customizable. Be able to make modifications and customize your business logic, to meet your company’s unique requirements. Be sure that the system is using industry-standard tools and programming languages. Avoid the need to use proprietary languages or compilers, which will complicate things unnecessarily and potential increase the cost when undertaking projects.
  7. Modern. Give your employees the modern look and feel they want. Have them be able to tailor screens and dashboards to their specific role, so that meaningful information is where they need it. Give them easy access to business tasks and approvals, with minimal clicks and an intuitive workflow.
  8. Intelligent. Ensure your staff have access to root data for detailed reporting and drill down capabilities. Give your finance team the ability to query data for reporting, BI, financial statements, and audits. They, and you, will have to complete view of the business’s financial status yesterday, today, and what’s forecasted for the future.

There is more to consider, sure, but that’s a start. Reach out any time to discuss more.

Thanks for reading.

- Joe

Topics: ERP Vendor, ERP Selection, ERP Accounting