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Questions to ask before switching ERP systems

Posted by Jesse Roark on Mar 23, 2018 9:54:05 AM
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Here at AMP we work with furniture companies all day long. On a daily basis we hear about the ins and outs of the pains associated with ERP systems. Every company has different needs and we know it’s hard to find the best fit. Here are some of the questions we’ve found to be helpful when embarking on this endeavor:

What are you looking to gain? (i.e. revenue, margins, customers, net income). Look where you are at today and where do you want to be.

How can those gains be measured? These answers will be both qualitative vs quantitative.

What is the effort sticking with and switching will take internally? Know who you want to lead this project and or to help you. 

What is your timeline? You know what it took to implement your last one. Being organized and having the right team can influence this a lot. 

What is the average deal price for an ERP system in your industry? A furniture company with multiple warehouses should budget at least $300K at a minimum with higher end budgets reaching well into the millions.

Do you know what to look for in a service level agreement with your new potential ERP company?  Understanding what is inscope vs. out of scope is key in minimizing your change order requests and their fees. Make sure to ask: What the change order fees are and how they are decided? Ex: flat rate fee vs. minimum number of billable hours per request.

Here are a few specific ERP systems to look at: Accumatica, Microsoft AX/ Nav, SAP, JD Edwards, SAGE, APPRISE, & Epicore

Alternatively, you can look at using two system an accounting systems (Quickbooks, Xero, & NetSuite) and an inventory/ warehouse management (Inflow, SOS Inventory). Alongside additional 3rd party vendors to mimic EDI tools that are in ERP systems like DI Central will give you a low cost add on solution.  

The relationship with an ERP system is commonly set up through a 3rd party consultancy. It’s important to understand what your service partner’s level of customer satisfaction is before you jump into an engagement. 

Questions to ask your potential new ERP system partners:

  • Can anyone in your company export reports?
  • Do you need an IT team to export reports?
  • Do you need to pay someone at the ERP company to do it?
  • Does it take knowing a specific programming language to work with the data?
  • Is that programming language antiquated and is it hard to find IT folks that know it?
  • How customizable are the reports? (PDFs, CSVs, Flexible formatting)

 If you have any other quesitons you found helpful please don't hesitate to comment. Also feel free to reach out to  jesse@amptab.com

Thanks for reading!

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