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5 Tips on Selecting an ERP from Manufacturers Who've Been There, Done That

Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM)
January 24, 2017

If you are in the midst of choosing an ERP system, we understand your struggle. You’re trying to please executives and end users alike. You have dozens of possible platforms to consider. And it’s important for you to get this right, because you want your system to last at least 10 years (or more).

We’ve helped many companies through the ERP evaluation process. Here are our top five ERP selection and implementation tips to get you started.

1. Embrace the Cloud 

Cloud ERP for manufacturing has a solid track record for growing manufacturers. Whether you need a full feature set—and not just a “lite” version—or you want to be able to support your unique business processes, or you are hoping for powerful modern technology on the back end, and a user-friendly format on the front end, Cloud ERP delivers. As your manufacturing business grows, your cloud ERP system will scale along with you—seamlessly. You won’t need to install new servers, hire new IT staff to maintain them, or take your system offline every time you want to make changes. Your vendor will take care of system maintenance behind the scenes. All you have to think about is logging on.

2. Don’t Cling to the Past 

We mean no disrespect to your old ERP system. Your team has probably gotten quite used to it, and perhaps even fond of it.

But if you cling to the old ways of doing business, how will you achieve a new level of success? Take this opportunity to examine your business processes and identify areas for improvement, then use your cloud ERP to drive these changes.

Share your vision of the future with your employees. Get them excited about embracing not just a new software platform, but also a more efficient, productive, and profitable way of working.

3. Adopt Best Practices 

When we talk about a new way of working, we’re not suggesting that you should throw out what works—there are probably some processes you won’t want to change. We mean those unique things you do as a company to give your customers the best service at the lowest possible cost.

These are your differentiators. You’ll want to keep them. With cloud ERP, you can.

Your cloud vendor should help you recognize your unique business processes that truly add value. They’ll then be able to roll out your system in ways that support these processes.

For everything else—for your routine everyday processes—you’re probably open to doing things more efficiently and cost-effectively. With cloud ERP, you can boost your productivity by adopting manufacturing best practices that are built right into the system.

4. Gather a Cross-Functional Team 

By now, you may be wondering which of your team members will have to be involved in your cloud ERP implementation. Although your vendor will do the heavy lifting, you’ll want to make sure some of your key people provide input.

Choose individuals who can help ensure that your new system will meet the needs of their teams—like plant floor operators, quality coordinators, financial managers, and executives. You’ll also want to involve your IT team. They’ll need to know the new system inside and out so that they can make sure it interfaces well with your other business systems.

5. Manage Change 

We’re fully confident that if your employees give cloud ERP a chance, they’ll embrace the new system and never look back.

But how do you convince employees to give a new system a chance when they’re comfortable on the old one?

The best place to start is by involving your system users early in the ERP software selection and implementation process. You can continue to build momentum by providing education and training on the new system as soon as it’s up and running.

For even more insider tips on selecting and implementing your ERP system, download the eBook: ERP Selection and Implementation Tips to Live By.

About the Author

Hemant Makhija Senior Director of Product Marketing, Plex Systems

Hemant Makhija served as senior director of product marketing for Plex Systems from January 2014 to March 2019.