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Optimize ERP Selection Process

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) allows for the integration of management solutions across an entire enterprise. Accounting, sales, manufacturing, customer relationship management (CRM), marketing and other domains can be brought together as part of an ERP solution. Although businesses recognize the benefits of ERP, it's difficult to assess how to select the best solution that will suit a company's particular needs.

ERP helpful to contractors
According to Construtech Magazine, ERP is extremely helpful to contractors looking to streamline technology. The magazine interviewed Roger Kirk, president and CEO of Computer Guidance Corporation, about what technologies might benefit the construction enterprise. Kirk told the news source that it's difficult to implement an ERP solution in a number of steps. When deploying a solution, it's better to make a transition all at once.

ERP vendors and providers
A number of software companies provide technologically advanced ERP solutions that use cloud computing. SAP, SAGE, Oracle and Epicor all provide reasonable ERP software solutions for enterprises looking to expand their offerings. These solutions allow firms to integrate data services, customer contact, product life management, human resources, budgeting and more. A customized ERP solution can streamline processes with an easy-to-use interface that can benefit employees.

Companies struggle to deploy ERP
A recent study by IFS revealed that 85 percent of manufacturers should have ERP solutions in place, while only a few actually have such systems in place. Manufacturers and engineers need particular solutions to suit their needs, according to IFS.

"Many of these executives involved with engineering, fabricating or managing highly engineered products or assets believe that running traditional ERP will suffice. But traditional ERP focuses only on products, not the types of projects associated with something like engineering or constructing a processing plant, or asset lifecycle management processes like maintenance, plant shutdowns and lifecycle extensions," said Steve Andrew, IFS vice president of marketing in North America.

It's important that companies consider their unique and individual needs when selecting an ERP solution. A software that benefits a manufacturer may not be the best fit for an accounting firm, for example. IFS reported that ERP allows managers to control processes in real time, creating solutions to address operational issues.

Focus on the future
According to Enterprise Irregulars, ERP solutions have recently undergone changes. Utilties are becoming more prevalent and the best ERP providers are changing. According the news source, Workday's ERP solution recently went public, generating a stir on Wall Street- it's shares had to be adjusted twice. ERP providers should focus on the future as they seek to create new solutions. Resting on their laurels will not benefit ERP providers in the long run, reported the news source.

Like with anything else, IT decision-makers and specialists should carefully consider the benefits of ERP solutions before implementation. Enterprises should choose their goals, recognize their needs and seek to deploy a solution that works well for them.

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