We’ve all heard the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, but perhaps not always paying attention to the subtle life lessons that we were supposed to be learning from this simple nursery school story. I suppose the first lesson was not to go into a stranger’s house without being invited. Despite whatever life lessons we were supposed to learn, the thing that stuck out to me was that Goldilocks wasn’t satisfied with just any food, or chair, or bed. Goldilocks was determined that everything needed to be just right. Just right for her that is.
Goldilocks is reminder of why we should not accept an ERP system that is too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, or too big. ERP can bring a level of efficiency and scalability to your business that you need, but choosing the wrong ERP system can be costly and frustrating.
When purchasing a new ERP system there is a danger in choosing an ERP system that gives you basic functionality that you don’t currently have, but is shortsighted and doesn’t give you the functionality that you need for future growth. It’s like sitting in one of the Three Bears’ chairs and determining that it is a good chair, and it could work for you, but it still doesn’t quite sit the way you want it to. Basic functionality is important and should be simple, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that you base your ERP decision on. ERP decisions need to consider what can be achieved beyond basic functionality.
Flexibility and scalability are other key components that should be considered when selecting ERP software. You want a system that is flexible enough to make production changes, yet has the ability to grow your production processes as your business grows. Flexibility and scalability often get overlooked when ERP decision makers feel constrained by time and budget, and begin focusing on an ERP software that is good enough, but isn’t just right.
Reporting is another key feature of ERP Software. In order to create a clear picture of your overall business, having accurate and reliable reports are a must. Often, reporting has to be customized or completed with excel spreadsheets. I call it Frankenreporting. You take the relevant pieces of multiple reports and mold them into one large report, usually excel based, in order to achieve the data analysis that you need. This is a time consuming, and unreliable process. A “just right” ERP system will have standardized or easily buildable reports that are created directly from the data that the ERP system is collecting. Not only have you saved man-hours, you have a reliable method for obtaining valuable business information.
Selecting a “good enough” ERP Software may seem like a great idea in the present, but often leads to problems in the future. Consider efficiency, scalability, reporting, flexibility, and basic functionality when exploring ERP Software Solution. Placing value on these factors will help lead you to an ERP solution that is just right.
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