20 Tips to Choose an ERP System in Singapore
Enterprise Resource Planning software is an suite of software modules that allow businesses to integrate the main functions of their business. Interlinking modules might include HR management, inventory control, billing, shipping, and so on. By integrating the main components of your business into a single system, businesses can automate many back office functions and more easily identify opportunities for efficiencies.
ERP software in Singapore is gaining traction as companies (both enterprise and small business) look to drive increase profit margins in their businesses. ERP is especially well-received in Singapore because the local government brings the upfront cost of ERP implementation to nearly S$0 with grants like PIC and ICV, available to businesses who make meaningful investments in productivity improvements.
If you are a small business in Singapore then getting a government subsidized ERP system seems like an easy decision, but which system is best? An Enterprise Resource Planning system is a long term commitment and changing systems isn’t always easy or affordable – you need to get it right the first time.
To answer how small businesses should choose an ERP system, we connected with 5 ERP experts. Combined they have decades of experience in ERP implementation, and they were generous to share some thoughts for this article. Please note, responses are edited for length, so any confusion or mistakes falls on us!.
The main take-away from the experts is that businesses need to be clear on what they do, and how they do it, before they decide which ERP systems to evaluate.
5 Experts Show How To Choose an ERP System
Dimitris Athanasiadis – Director Business Development, Megaventory
1: It’s a good idea to make a list of your requirements and compare them against what the software out there has to offer.
2: Good usability is often ignored or glossed over even though it can make all the difference when choosing ERP.
3: It’s important that you’ve spent time on which ever solution you select, and time enough to ensure it’s user-friendly so that employees will actually make the most use of it. That’s the only method for your business to benefit from the investment and see a significant productivity boost down the road.
Mor Sagmon – CEO, Excellench Technologies
4: Consider your business growth beyond “today”. Visualize you’re a large enterprise and see how the ERP solution scales with your business.
5: Consider how the ERP solution adapts to changing markets and regulations. Ask whether best practices have been built into the solution over time by leaders in your industry.
6: Make sure migrating to other solutions is easily and intentionally supported and offered. The data must remain yours. You need to be able to download all data in a standard format whenever you need it, and not get locked-in to the specific vendor who has your valuable data behind their walls.
7: For smaller companies, think like a well-established business. Be open to change processes you’re used to and implement processes that will last for long time. Avoid customization for your specific needs as much as possible. If the software doesn’t seem to work like you do – re-visit how you do it, before you attempt to change the software, it will probably benefit your business in the long run.
Sharoon Thomas – CEO, Fulfil.IO
8: Prepare a list of the top 20 issues that everyone in the company thinks are the highest priority issues they would want their ERP system to solve. Now evaluate the systems on the basis of these 20 issues.
9: Ask the sales person to explain their approach to solving your top 20 problems. This is where you would be able to differentiate between vendors who understand your business with the ones who don’t.
10: Even if a product is good, a poor execution and on-boarding leads to failure. Ask about the on-boarding process. Is the vendor handling you off to an implementation partner? Do they understand your top 20 problems?
11: Free trials are useless for complex products like ERP systems. If you are a growing business, it is not worth your time to evaluate a vanilla version of an ERP. Evaluating the ERP system with a few test records is also unlikely to show you potential issues when in actual use.
12: Talk to existing customers of the software and ask for references. See if businesses similar to you in revenue and business model have found success in using the product.
Gene Hammons – Practice Director, Vaco
13: Choosing an ERP system starts internally. Formally mapping transaction flows or just white boarding business processes will help you focus on your internal needs.
14: Determine what transaction costs can be realistically improved upon to drive savings. What are the savings year one through year three? Is there potential for revenue enhancement? Answers to these questions will help determine a realistic budget for your ERP investment.
15: Your budget narrows the ERP choices, and the evaluation hinges on your specific requirements and your agenda alone. Examine ERP packages to find the ones that have strengths where your greatest potential efficiency gains are.
16: Don’t forget secondary considerations – you might pay a little more for a program you won’t outgrow in 5 years to save the time, expense and effort of not upgrading ERP until year seven.
Brian Kappus – CEO, CloudLink ERP Solutions
17: A good system has got to be manageable without adding people.
18: Choose an ERP system that is scalable so you don’t have to switch systems as you grow your business.
19: Look for a cloud-based ERP system so you can access it from wherever you have an Internet connection.
20: As fast as software and technology is changing today, focus on SaaS (Software as a Service) software.