Part 3 – functionality and technology
Selecting software for your business can be a minefield. Based on his 25 years’ experience in the industry, and as the third of a series of articles, George Troullis provides his top tips for selecting a new ERP system for your business. Read part 2 here.
7: The ‘one size fits all’ myth
Having worked with nearly 500 merchants, distributors, wholesalers and suppliers, I can assure you that there is no such thing as the 100% perfect fit without some form of software development. The reason is clear – you are unique and no two companies run the same. So therefore you either need to compromise on your functionality wish list, use “bolt-on” software products to supplement the functionality or invest in a system that can be changed to accommodate your innovative nature – you don’t have to bespoke your system, but it’s reassuring to know that you can, if required.
Blue Rock take the latter approach, believing that it is best to have an ERP system that can be enhanced to meet your company’s specific requirements if necessary; if you are keen to have the ability to develop your system as your company grows, then having an ERP system that is flexible enough to keep up with your changing requirements is a huge benefit.
8: How flexible is the solution?
Every business has its own unique processes and ways of working; whilst using standard “best practice” functionality where possible is often beneficial, it’s important to know that your ERP system is flexible enough to accommodate your unique requirements and nuances. When selecting a new ERP system you should ask whether the software is written in a modern and widely used development language (.Net for example) and uses a modern “best of breed” Relational Database Management System (RDMS) e.g. Microsoft SQL Server. Getting this right will have a big impact on the speed of development/customisation, compatibility with other leading applications, as well as ensuring the reliability and lifespan of your ERP system in terms of continued support and updates.
9: What other modern technologies does the supplier offer?
Aside from the development environment there are plenty of modern tech options. Does the software supplier offer either their own or live integration with e-commerce platforms (eBay, Magento etc)? Is there the option to move your software and/or your hardware and infrastructure into the cloud? Depending on your business there might be aspects of a system which might be more important to you. Other things to consider are advanced warehousing capabilities, delivery/logistics solutions and whether the system has inherent CRM & Business Intelligence (BI) capability.
We think that staying up-to-date with modern advances in the tech world is important; where available we will advise on the latest apps for mobile or tablet, knowing that these new pocket solutions make working on the move a lot easier.
The last in the series is “buying green”…