4 Critical Questions for Choosing Small Manufacturing ERP

We all know that ERP isn’t a decision that is made overnight. There is a lot of thought, decision making and planning that goes into deciding if ERP is right for your business. For small manufacturers, ERP may seem unattainable with high costs and upkeep, however, with the introduction of cloud ERP more and more small businesses are able to implement. The big question with small manufacturing ERP is usually where do we start?

When you begin planning to take on small manufacturing ERP, the best place to start is by conducting research. Evaluate your options and yourself. These four questions are the best place to start.

  1. Will the software be running you?
    Without a doubt, there will be a lot of learning and adapting when you implement small manufacturing ERP. However, there is a fine line between learning and having to change your entire process. Don’t let a vendor talk you into a system that you are not capable of handling. The software should make your company better, not change it completely.
  2. Have you considered your needs?
    Always sit down with your team and the different departments of your business to discuss your needs before shopping for a small manufacturing ERP. If you go to a vendor with no plan, you may end up with a system that is simply a wish list, but missing important strategic pieces that your business would really benefit from.
  3. Will it be configurable?
    Small manufacturing ERP that is “configurable” can have a few different meanings. If it is only going to meet 50 to 70 percent of your requirements, it may not be best suited for you. If its “configurability” means you’re going to have to endure a lot of ongoing training and implementation cycles, you may want to forgo that solution. You want to find a small manufacturing ERP that is configurable to meet your specific needs.
  4. Is the system for manufacturers?
    Every ERP system is best suited for a specific purpose. If it is a more generic ERP solution, it may leave out a lot of critical processes to manufacturing like supply chain management or lot traceability. Look for a small manufacturing ERP that is an industry specific solution.

The cloud has brought a lot of options to small manufacturers. What was once an expensive and out of reach solution to small markets has now become attainable. However, just as with on-premise ERP, you still need to make careful decisions when implementing small manufacturing ERP.

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