Considerations When Getting Started With ERP Software

Enterprise resource planning software is quite powerful and can help your company correctly estimate what your expenses should be ahead of a big project. ERP software can help you increase profit margins or win bids for additional work by estimating exactly how much of a certain material you might need to finish a project or how many additional workers you might need to hire to build it.

But getting your company and all of your employees on board with this kind of estimating software is easier said than done if you've never used ERP before. To that end, here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind as you begin to work ERP into your day-to-day business.

Do You Want to Be in the Cloud or Host Everything On Site?

When using ERP software, there are a couple of different options. Your ERP software provider can host all the data for you in the cloud, and you and your employees will be able to access the cloud from anywhere. But keep in mind that this data is technically being held and analyzed on servers that are not on your own property.

You could also opt to build servers for the ERP software right on your own campus. This will require additional start-up costs, but then you'll have everything immediately accessible when you need it. Your own IT department might be able to respond faster than the cloud host would if a server were to go down. There's no right answer or wrong answer, it's just a matter of your company's needs versus the costs.

Do You Have Existing Data That Needs to Be Entered?

ERP software is at its strongest when it has lots of numbers from your past projects to crunch. Do you have this data on hand and will you be able to upload it in digital form into the software? Your ERP software provider may be able to help you with data migration. But keep in mind that this could increase the costs of your set up as well. You could try handling all the data entry yourself, but this will take longer and may pull resources away from places where they would be better spent.

Don't Forget Training

Setting up the ERP software on the right server and entering the data it needs to get started is only half the battle. All of that setup isn't going to do a thing for you if your employees don't know how to use the software. Your ERP software provider likely has some tips and on boarding best practices for getting your company started. Just keep in mind that there may be some trial and error as you get used to the new process. Eventually, everyone will be on board and your ERP and estimating software can start helping you increase your profit margins through more accurate project estimates.