You might be considering acquiring an enterprise resource planning software because you heard that a ERP software will standardize all processes in your Org and will streamline them such that you will realize increase in sales and reduction in costs or some other business benefit. Yes, it can help. But are there processes in your Org to streamline. Most small companies work in an adhoc manner. Sometimes working in adhoc manner gives the Org the edge to be more nibble and fast compared to a streamlined Org’s.

So why make an investment and give up this edge? Well you don’t want to remain small always. Processes are good for the long term. But they can introduce inefficiencies in the short term. You may argue that bringing in an ERP will bring in best industry practices (processes) to your Org. Maybe. But are these best practices suitable for your niche in the industry. If a vendor is marketing his ERP using best practices, ask them to give documents and references.


Best way to find out if your Org is ready for an ERP software, is to ask the question to your functional heads. Their answers, along with your own assessment will give you a more balanced view. Additionally, find out if any software is currently being used for accounts, billing, payroll etc. If such software’s are being used, meet the users and administrators of these softwares. Ask them what they feel about getting an ERP. They may feel insecure initially. Try to get them on board.
 
Normally an ERP system goes live at the beginning of a new financial year. Going live means getting the ERP used by real users. Plan enough time for the selection and implementation of the ERP. Then align the plan with the financial year start. Let the old systems run in parallel for some time. Communicate the plan to all employees. It will go a long way towards successful implementation. If the implementation falters or fails for any reason, then the bitter taste will remain for a long time with the Org. Avoid that by making sure that all details are taken care of.
 
Cloud ERP software’s are now available. They do not require you to maintain a server for the ERP database or even a local network. All that is the headache of the service provider. All you need is a internet connection. If you can find a low cost version without major obligations, experiment with it. Encourage your employees to also experiment. It will go a long way in preparing the Org for a long term ERP investment. You can also gain awareness about different ERP’s available in market by seeing demos and also if the vendor provides a trial version to experiment with. This exercise will also help you and your employees to understand different functionalities and processes that form the ERP system.
 
As they say, no amount of details is enough and that the devil is in the details.
 
The author Vispi Munshi is Founder of ERP India and has vast consulting experience with various ERP Softwares. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..