Typically, a functional fit, cost of ownership, vendor experience, and credibility are considered to evaluate ERP systems. There are more elements that can help you choose the best solution.

Here are "6 must-haves" to consider:

Is the ERP designed for India?

Is the ERP easy to implement and simple to learn?

Does the ERP offer industry-specific templates for quicker adoption and learning?

Does the ERP automate your tasks and processes?

Is the ERP scalable?

Is the ERP reconciliation ‘mukt’?

This article is intended for the following audience:

Organisations looking to switch from traditional accounting to an integrated cloud-based ERP solution
Those that are in the process of finalizing an ERP Solution
Those that are using an ERP but are not happy with the overall deployment

1. Is the ERP designed for India?

India is one of the best business-growth hubs in the world. Companies selling within India must work with complexities of trade, statutory compliances and vast choice of business channels. When you evaluate an ERP solution for this environment, you must insist on an ERP that is designed for India. Some of the important considerations in your evaluation should be:

Does the ERP meet the Indian statutory requirements, including a seamless integration with GST and its compliance
Can it address the various types of “Trade Channels” in your sales process?
Can it integrate with the Indian banking and other ecosystems in future?
Does it support the process of subcontracting your products, a prevalent practice in India
Does the ERP Vendor have good experience in addressing India-facing businesses?

2. Is the ERP easy to implement and simple to learn?

A lot of small and medium size business are apprehensive of implementing an ERP as it is perceived to be a long drawn and a painful exercise. There is the fear of having to learn another skill-set that would require months of training. In many cases, organizations moving from traditional accounting systems to an integrated ERP system are overwhelmed with the thought of having to have highly skilled and additional resources to implement and manage them. The fact of the matter is that an ERP makes your life simpler. An ERP can get implemented in a few days provided the solution has a specific fit for your industry and has the people who understand your industry.

 

To evaluate the right ERP that does not give you sleepless nights, here are some things that you must consider in a goof ERP.

Is the ERP simple to use and will your users be able to familiarize themselves with a little training?
Does the ERP offer industry specific templates that can help you adapt and adopt faster, reducing the time to start by at least 40%?
Can it integrate with the IIs ERP as simple to use as an ecommerce site? If it requires lengthy manuals to read and comprehend, it may not be a suitable solution for a SME.ndian banking and other ecosystems in future?

3. Does the ERP offer industry-specific templates for quicker adoption and learning?

It would be wrong to say that every industry works the same way. Not only do they have different needs to run their businesses, but even the compliance needs are different. Here is a short list of what an ERP should be able to give you in its industry-specific templates:

Food and Pharma Industry: Adherence to strict industry compliances from an operational and control perspective.
Chemicals and Process Industry: Should be able to manage all material in lots and batches and it should be capable of addressing all aspects of storage, quality, vendor management etc.
Engineering Industry: Capability of managing nested Bill of Material for large inventories and assembly components . Have capabilities to plan for material, machinery, tools, fixtures and consumables.
Infrastructure and Construction Industry: The ERP should be able to plan for materials across multiple locations. It should have utilities for estimating projects, budgeting for them and monitoring them financially. It should be able to help in seamless tracking and managing of your assets and equipment across various projects.

Across industries, a few common things that the ERP needs to address clearly are:

Meeting the accounting and income recognition norms of any industry
Provide industry specific nomenclature which users can easily relate to

4. Does the ERP automate your tasks and processes?

ERPs can reduce a lot paper-work linked with authorization and approvals. It should let you easily build workflows to help electronically route transactions based on your company’s criteria for approval. Since most tasks in any  business operation are linked and sequential, the ERP solution should ensure that you are equipped with a very strong business workflow, that automates these tasks. When one task is completed, it automatically guides users to their next task.

 

Areas where this is applicable, and companies can see immediate benefit are:

Finance and accounts:

Purchase orders: Especially when they require multiple approvers
Payments: Rule based payment approvals
Promotions: Extending a special price to a customer

Management Decisions & Reporting:

The ERP should have the ability to get you information “the way you want it and when you want it”.
The requirement of information is also very dynamic. As the business environment changes, you may look at your business with a different perspective your ERP should be able to support it.

5. Is the ERP scalable?

Growth in business is one of the prime drivers for any organization to start thinking of ERP solutions. Growth is normally achieved by  increasing volumes and profitability of your existing business or by adding new business lines. With growth comes the need for all your business systems to be scalable. This includes your ERP system as well. Keeping this scalability in mind, your evaluation must ensure that:

The ERP should not only be capable of addressing multi-fold increase in your business transactions, but also able to adapt to new business lines that you add for your growth.
It should let you decentralize decisions and institutionalize it with controls to cater to an increase in business volumes.
The ERP must let you add more complex processes and rules as you keep needing them.

6. Is the ERP reconciliation ‘Mukt’?

Reconciliation is needed to ensure that the transactional data in the ERP is the same as the data from third-party sources. When using an ERP System, the solution needs to have very good data aggregation and validation, which is critical for avoiding reconciliation issues. Since any organization’s data is spread in multiple places, spread over years and spread across business areas, it is important that the ERP System helps you with easy integration of data sources for the correct information to be provided, every time.

Some of the key criteria to evaluate the right ERP that is “Reconciliation Mukt” are:

Ability to have reconciliation capabilities with all data sources
Integrated Real-time Data Analytics
Data Control and Security
Ability to extract data in spreadsheets

About Vision ERP:

“Vision” was created specifically for the Indian industry. It has evolved over time to ensure that it not only meets the statutory requirements in India, but also simplifies complex processes of various industries. “Vision” has an out-of-the-box solution to address the complexities of trade and supply chain, manufacturing, job contracting, and commercial nuances.

We can setup an Online Demo Access or a Proof of Concept for you based on your convenience. Do connect with us for knowing more about Vision by filling out this very short form. One of our core team members will connect with you to help you in your evaluation.