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How do I Perform an ERP Comparison?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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The goal of enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms is to improve the efficiency of business, and each business has its own idiosyncracies and special needs that can make one ERP more suitable than others. Getting an ERP with the right features for your company can make a significant difference in whether an ERP is successful. The best way to perform an ERP comparison is to examine the needs of your company and the knowledge that you have about how the company works to determine which ERP offers the service and options that will improve business operations. Company size, financial resources, and growth rate can all play a factor in ERP comparison.

In most cases, the most important thing to consider during an ERP comparison is cost. This can eliminate a number of platforms in the beginning of your comparison because the cost of ERP service can vary greatly depending on what types of customers use each ERP. Large ERP platforms built for massive corporations are usually significantly more expensive than small business ERP systems.

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Researching available ERP companies to determine the companies' reputations for quality of service can help you choose among a vast selection of available ERP software. Often, an ERP company will offer more than one ERP, so you may wish to narrow down the company you wish to use by comparing the ERP providers' reputations before choosing the specific ERP you want to use. You will also want to decide whether you wish to have an onsite ERP server or an ERP accessed using the web.

An ERP platform needs to be hosted on a server, which can be located either on site at the business or hosted off site by an ERP host. Generally, an ERP hosted off site is called a web ERP. When doing an ERP comparison based on its server hosting type, you should consider the costs and convenience for your company. An on site ERP kept in the company building must be maintained by company employees, so they may not be a good choice for companies without a well-trained employee dedicated to technology and server management. For growing companies that cannot afford the cost of full-time server maintenance, a web ERP has the clear advantage in this ERP comparison.

Understand your company's needs for scalability in your ERP when choosing your software platform. Scalability refers to the ability of the ERP to change and adapt to new conditions in the company. A company that is stable in size with few plans for significant growth requires less scalability than a small company that is quickly hiring employees and taking on new projects designed to rapidly grow the company. Because web ERP systems do not require the initial investment of an ERP server and can be more easily expanded or minimized based on company needs, they might be a better choice if you are not yet sure what size ERP you need and what functions your company requires.

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