ERP platforms are a great investment for businesses of all sizes. With the proper ERP platform, you can maximize business efficiency, streamline common processes, and integrate data from disparate databases.
But not all popular ERP systems are built alike. If you’re looking for an ERP platform in 2017, there are some key things that you should be looking for – to ensure that you invest in a long-lasting, powerful, and scalable piece of software. Let’s take a look at some of the features you should be looking for in your next ERP solution.
- Modular Design
Modularity is key for ERP solutions. You want to choose a platform that has a wide variety of modules, but that does not require you to use programs that you don’t need. Most modern ERP platforms have an enormous selection of modules, including programs such as:
- CRM software
- Human resource management
- Sales/marketing automation
- Inventory tracking
- Data analytics
- Data integration
- Finance tools
- Inventory management
- Purchasing/order management tools
- Supply chain management
A modular design allows you to select the tools you need, while avoiding investing in tools that your company won’t use. For example, an IT company probably will not need an advanced supply chain management module – as it is not relevant to their business.
- Scalability And Flexibility
When you invest in an ERP system, you’re going to be in it for the long haul. You’re probably not going to be able to easily replace your ERP system for quite a while – and it’s likely that you will be relying on it for many years to come.
Because of this, you need an ERP solution that’s both scalable and flexible. It should be easy to scale up your system when you need more performance, and there should be plenty of flexible customization options, so that your ERP can adjust to your changing business needs.
- Software Integration Tools And APIs For Data Integration
Data integration is crucial for a successful ERP solution. Your ERP should be a central repository that contains all of your crucial business data – and that means it needs to play nice with third-party databases and software packages.
The best ERPs can integrate effectively with a wide variety of third-party databases and programs, and include APIs that allow companies to create custom integration programs. This reduces data fragmentation, and increases the power of your ERP solution dramatically.
- Robust Reporting And Big Data Analytics
Your company’s data is incredibly valuable – and if you can analyze it effectively, you can reap valuable business insights that will help increase business performance, and outpace the competition.
Your chosen ERP platform should include a built-in analytics and reporting package, with tools that can be used for business process improvement. With the right ERP solution, you can easily stay on top of business trends, and monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – all from a single, integrated dashboard.
- Support For Mobile Use And Remote Users
The future is mobile. More than 67% of workers are already using their own cell phones and mobile devices for work purposes – and the best ERP platforms support mobile use. If your ERP is accessible from a mobile device, workers will be able to use the resources available to them more effectively, even when they’re on the go.
In the same vein, remote users should also be supported on your ERP platform. More employees than ever are working from home – and they also expect to be able to access your ERP systems when they’re not in the office, such as during business trips.
This is one of the biggest reasons that cloud-based ERP platforms are becoming more popular. Because cloud-based systems can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, it’s easy to support both mobile and remote users.
Find The Right ERP Solution For You – Follow These Handy Tips!
Choosing an ERP platform is not a decision that should be taken lightly. It’s a serious cost commitment, and you’re likely going to be stuck with your chosen product for quite a while.
But if you take your time making your decision, think carefully about the above points, and consult with seasoned ERP professionals, you’re sure to make the right decision.