When it comes to selling in a multichannel environment, access to real-time data is no longer an added bonus — it’s a table stake. And, thanks to the visibility that comes from cloud services, business of all sizes can update featured products on the fly or prepare themselves for sudden inventory demand without breaking a sweat.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems bring all of this data to one place, making decisions easier and, ultimately, increasing the bottom line through more efficient business operations. And, with the added benefits of data security and easy access from any device, the value of ERP systems speaks for itself for those looking to take their business to the next level.
ERP systems combine disparate data to help to optimize the decision-making process.
Of course, business solutions are not always one size fits all. To choose the best ERP platform for your business, it is important to evaluate your current needs through the lens of your projected growth. Below, we’ve gathered some tips to help you choose the right ERP for your business.
Consider Your Needs
The decision to move to an ERP platform is often prompted by outdated or no longer supported technology. While this is definitely a motivator, don’t let urgency be the driving force as you choose between providers. Instead, look at what you’re trying to achieve in your business. It’s likely that your needs have changed. In order to make a holistic decision for your business’ unique needs, weigh each of these factors:
1. Scalability: Choose a solution that is upgradeable and adaptable to grow with your business. Although all of the features may not be applicable right away, you’ll be thankful you picked a provider with ample options in the future. To make updates easy, ensure you have the option to turn on/off functions and features as you need them.
2. Efficiency: Look for ways to improve business processes across all areas of your business from managing finances to customer service to vendor relations. Ensure important data is easily accessible and that you can benchmark progress through robust reporting and analytics. Once you have access to these real-time numbers, you’ll be able to make faster, more data-based decisions to grow your business.
3. Deployment: ERP platforms are meant to make running your business easier, not more difficult. Get away from customization, which can bog down resources and delay launch. Stay on schedule with pre-built, pre-certified solutions that integrate easily into your ERP.
4. Risk: Look for solutions that follow best-in-class business continuity, reliability and security protocols and that help you improve compliance and reduce risk in all areas of your business.When it comes to building your business on the cloud, there is nothing more important than keeping your and your customers data secure. Cost: Choose a platform with a predictable cost model to help keep you on budget. Cloud-hosted ERPs and subscription or usage-based pricing are affordable options and offer the most flexibility.
Make Integration a Priority
A properly deployed ERP system can handle your business activities with a high degree of accuracy and reliability. However, integration is critical. Implementing new systems can result in data fragmentation, with transactional and customer information getting moved or lost.
Choose an ERP solution that is upgradeable and adaptable to grow with your business.
Take the time to understand how your partner and third-party solutions work with your new system and choose ones with a solid track record of service, performance and ease of integration to make the migration process as smooth as possible. Your ERP should also allow you to increase functionality as your business grows and adds new partner services, such as order and payment processing, inventory management and email marketing.
Don’t Forget about Sales Tax
Don’t overlook transactional tax compliance during ERP implementation. Remember, sales tax misconceptions can have a major impact on your business, including compromising sales conversion and customer service or triggering an audit. Many ERP systems have built-in functionality to handle transactional tax, but can be basic and often require manual effort.
Better yet, streamline your compliance with an automated sales tax management solution to achieve accuracy and ease of use. With Tax Powered by Avalara, all Bigcommerce merchants get accurate sales tax rates using Avalara’s industry-leading calculation engine.