What should you look for in ERP software and how have vendors worked to improve? Whether it’s product fit, functionality, or user experience, the path to selection may seem daunting. But if you know what to look for, your experience can be much less painful.
What Do Companies Need from ERP?
In today’s ERP landscape, fit is just the table stakes, and today’s companies can get much closer to perfect than ever. In a recent Mint Jutras guide, the company shared some of the top priorities for business decision makers when evaluating ERP.
1. User Experience
When it comes to interfaces, we’re spoiled. Websites are incredibly user friendly, software doesn’t require a manual, and we’re usually just a few clicks or taps away from an answer.
Considered the top priority by respondents in a Mint Jutras study, user experience in ERP software is more important than ever before. One of the key reasons for this? The proliferation of ERP across the enterprise. In today’s organization, at least 40% of a company’s employees touch ERP on average. No longer is ERP use relegated to IT and finance power users.
ERP vendors took this into consideration when developing products, making self-service tools a reality, simplifying the interface, and offering future-proofed technology like AI.
User Interface Enhancements
Over the past decade, solution providers have applied significant resources to improving the whole user experience. Software is both attractive and user friendly, allowing users to easily familiarize themselves with the product.
Mint Jutras recommends companies look for a user interface that looks familiar, one that mimics your interaction with your favorite consumer app. You should be able to tailor it to your needs and personalize it to your preferences and your particular role in your organization.
Robotic Process Automation
Sometimes the best user interface is no user interface at all. The rise of automation and smart technology has given rise to products that do more without a user input. Can you take a picture of a receipt and have it automatically attached to your expense report? And can the software tell the difference between a receipt for parking and one for lunch? RPA delivers.
2. Fit and Functionality
Still an undeniable concept, fit and functionality have remained a vital focus for businesses. However, it’s no longer just an 80% fit that was expected in the old days of ERP. Today’s products need to get you much closer to a perfect match.
During the last era of ERP, companies invested in being everything to everyone, but without the technology, an 80% fit was often the goal. This resulted in invasive (and sometimes expensive) customizations that built barriers to further innovation. It also resulted in a proliferation of disparate systems that may or may not (still) be integrated today.
In today’s “extensible ERP” environment, it’s much easier for a vendor to add specialized features and functions to a solid code base, with minimal disruption.
The last mile matters, and allows niche microverticals to get what they want.
Software can promise and deliver a variety of functionality, but if it’s not affordable, it’s not acceptable. Affordability has always been a key consideration in selecting a new ERP, but in today’s business landscape, companies can choose from any range of pricing options.
New ERP solutions used to always require capital investment, putting a hard stop on buying something out of your price range. But cloud options, subscription-based pricing and solutions that are delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS) provide more options today.
Capital investments (CapEx) in hardware and software can often now be replaced with operating expense (OpEx). In a SaaS environment you are removing the hardware costs, including maintenance and repair, along with the cost of obsolescence. And you need to look beyond the up-front costs and look at the recurring costs in order to determine total cost of ownership.
Learn More: Six Criteria You Can’t Ignore in Selecting Your Next ERP
Businesses like yours used to be at the mercy of ERP vendors. But in today’s enterprise software selection process, you hold all the power.
The market has evolved, the technology has evolved, and even the buying process has evolved. If you’re looking to learn more about the above three criteria for selection, as well as three not listed, we invite you to download the free Mint Jutras guide, Six Criteria You Can’t Ignore in Selecting Your Next ERP.
This guide shares the following and more:
- The best information sources for guiding your decision.
- Why the top six traditional selection criteria still matter.
- How to deliver a positive user experience that encourages adoption.
- Why you have every right to expect a better fit and more functionality.
- The surprising percentage of companies that achieve ROI in less than 2 years.
Click here to download. As a leading provider of ERP solutions for growing businesses in New York and the Northeast, MIBAR has the experience and expertise to help you get exactly what you want from an ERP project. Learn more about the products we offer and contact us for a free consultation.