Standardization, security, speed, scalability. Being able to count on an ERP is today fundamentally important for all types of companies. However, the problem is understanding what the best ERP software is based on your own needs. Which factors should we take into consideration? What are the differences between one system and another? How has this type of software evolved in recent years? In this article, we will explain how to choose a ERP solution without making a mistake.
ERP software: what they are and how they have evolved
We have been talking about ERP, or rather Enterprise Resource Planning programs, for several years: in brief, they are software programs that provide the precise coordination of all the company’s resources, in order to provide a simple, rapid solution to all the most common issues. Nowadays, ERP software covers several functional areas, ranging from warehouse management to sales and administration. Of course, it has not always been that way, to the contrary. ERP software originated in the 1990s, with the first interfunctional ERPs integrating the management of several business processes into a single system, whereas before that the possibility was totally unthinkable. In the early 2000s, ERPs developed further, with several additional modules being added to further focus company activities into a single ERP: we are talking of CRM, SCM, Business Intelligence and e-commerce management modules. ERPs began to differentiate by each industrial sector and by size in the new millennium too, to answer the needs of different companies and to provide each area with the perfect ERP. There are so many variables involved, and they must all be taken into consideration when implementing a new application without the risk of making a mistake.
How to choose the right ERP software for your own business
We often start from the wrong basis when choosing ERP software. For example, several companies decide to buy a given ERP as it is used by another company in the same sector, without considering the fact that two companies may have different needs, even within the same sector. There are ERPs for micro-enterprises, that are therefore designed for all companies that entrust a large part of their work to their accountant and package ERP software, divided into modules, that can grow together with the company, by adding the necessary elements. There are also traditional on-premise and hosted ERPs, and the more recent cloud-based ERPs. The on-premise ERPs are purchased and inserted into your IT infrastructure, while hosted ERPs are hosted remotely, and are therefore used via a client-server application. In this case, there is usually a regular payment to access the service. In a certain sense, cloud solution are an evolution of hosted ERPs: this type of outsourcing provides for lower costs, by eliminating the heavy initial costs so typical of on-premise solutions, and based on the Software as a Service model, with no installation on hardware. When choosing ERP software for your company, it is always important to not limit yourself to analyzing your current needs: future needs must also be considered before choosing the most suitable and most efficient ERP.