If you are a small business owner who has realised that the time has come to move on from mainly relying on your accounting software to an integrated business management system, you are on the brink of an exciting journey towards the digital transformation of your business. Moving from accounting to ERP.
An important step in implementing the right Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for your business is to decide who you will trust to be your long-term technology partner.
6 Criteria that you should pay attention to when moving from Accounting to ERP:
Warwick Hopcroft of Seidor recommends that small businesses evaluate service providers according to the following criteria during the selection process:
1) The size of the service provider’s company
2) Their experience and proven track record of servicing clients
3) Their knowledge and experience of your type of business and industry
5) The flexibility of the solution/ services offered
1. The size
The first consideration should be whether the company you are trusting with your business is big enough to have the resources to serve your business both now and in the future. A company with a global footprint can offer you the added benefit of access to insights on international best practice and system developments.
2. The track record
There must be a proven track record of servicing clients. “You are not only buying a product in the form of a new software solution but the knowledge and experience of the people who will guide you and implement the system for you. That includes their experience of the product as well as your particular industry and type of business,” says Hopcroft.
3. Knowledge and experience
The learnings from both good and bad past experiences make a good partner’s resources invaluable. You have to be sure that the service provider you select can support your business’s operations. It is worth investing the time to make sure that your chosen technology partner is well equipped to help you effectively adopt innovative technologies when and where it is appropriate.
4. The cost
The cost will always be a key consideration for any business investment decision. When it comes to pricing, Hopcroft warns small businesses should be wary of cheap deals that may lead to buying twice. If you think an offer from a service provider looks too low to be trusted, you’re probably right.
“A highly skilled and experienced ERP partner’s resources would naturally carry a higher valuation.”
The partner should have reasonable pricing ; that is not too cheap (as their lack of skills can potentially sabotage the success of the implementation), or too expensive (which would not be feasible for the size of your business).
Make sure you understand your budget and the factors which will impact the pricing so you can make an informed decision about the service provider you select as your partner.
5. The flexibility
Agility has become more than a buzz word in the current market. Businesses need flexibility from their partners as well as their business management solutions. Good business management systems interact with various other technologies. These include servers or network infrastructure, mobile platforms, web platforms and office automation tools to name a few. A technology partner who can, at least to some degree, either provide or support such dependable technologies will help mitigate the risk to your business in terms of the performance of your ERP system.
Last but not least, remember to ask about the training and support you will receive going forward and who will be responsible for it before you make a final decision. It is important to know who you will be able to call on for assistance and guidance on how to make the most of the system you’re investing in.
When you have a good ERP system, such as SAP Business One, and the ongoing guidance and support of a trusted technology partner, you can rest assured that you will have reliable data and insights to make informed decisions about your business and to grow and adapt in a constantly changing environment. Moving from Accounting to ERP should be easy with the right partner by your side.
Read our article on Understanding your Business Goals and Objectives
Written by Warwick Hopcroft