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Selection Secrets Your ERP Vendor Won't Tell You

The right ERP system can improve business processes, lower costs, and give you a centralized location for accurate, real time data. Whether you are looking to update a legacy system or invest in your company’s first ERP solution, it is important to know what your ERP vendor brings to the table.

Your vendor of choice should have an innovative product roadmap and a deployment strategy that will give your business room to grow, so you don’t get left with an expensive, unsustainable legacy system.

Want to ensure your investment in a new ERP is worth the time and cost? Here are five must-haves:

Product Development Plan

Out-of-date ERP systems lack updates and applications to keep up with today’s demands, leaving companies in the dust as innovation and competitors sweep past. It is important to know that your ERP vendor has a plan for the ever-changing market and solid, sustainable business model. What does the product strategy look like? Are there capabilities that will allow you to do things you couldn’t do before? Do they offer a solution specific to your industry? As your business adapts to change, your ERP solution must be able to keep up.

Cloud Deployment Options

Cloud solutions have become increasingly enticing as a cost-efficient and low effort solution to ERP management. Cloud deployment and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) reduce hardware and labor costs, while providing the latest functionality. IT staff are freed up for more strategic tasks and applications can be added on by the vendor without dealing with configuration issues. Applications of the future will be in the cloud. Talk to your systems integrator about how to leverage the benefits of cloud in your business.

Standardization and Centralization

Working on spreadsheets is not efficient, particularly as businesses grow or add new product lines, facilities and distribution channels. Plus, information silos contribute to disconnections between departments or divisions and redundancies, hampering growth and ability to use data for enterprise-wide improvement. An ERP system that reduces these silos creates one source of truth, streaming up-to-date information between internal departments and supply partners. An ERP system that provides your company with a centralized repository of data should be an essential on any ERP checklist, especially if you plan to grow and expand the business.

Flexibility and Scalability

Your company may not have immediate plans to expand, but as the business evolves, your ERP solution should not be the reason to limit growth. ERP systems that offer application modifications, without over-customization will help your business in sustainable and innovative ways, without expensive maintenance. Even if your ERP vendor is able to keep up with your current needs, it must also be able to be a flexible asset to your expansion in the future.

Industry Knowledge

While you want an ERP system specialized to your industry, you do not want an overly unique solution that will only bring headaches and costs a fortune. A vendor with solutions created and proven to improve workflow in your industry is essential. Working with a partner with deep industry knowledge, implementation methodologies and specific solutions built for speed and a track record of success will ensure you select the right solution and optimize the investment in Infor software.


Greg Benton is vice president of healthcare and strategic markets, responsible for helping customers leverage investment in ERP software to increase operational efficiency and drive the most value from the technology.