In our third article in this series on choosing the correct ERP provider for your business and the categories potential ERP providers should be graded on we will be looking at how providers utilize and leverage TECHNOLOGY. This category encompasses not only the technology that powers the solution but also what technology end-users can use to access the platform.
The most obvious and vital category when it comes to technology is the actual nuts and bolts powering the platform. Key among the many considerations in this category is whether or not the solution is truly cloud-based. The best solutions are accessible directly from the internet without requiring additional software needing downloaded or licensed. Another key element is the scope and effectiveness of a solution’s artificial intelligence functionality- does it feature machine learning, business intelligence, and other key tools to help streamline business functionality? A final consideration in the architecture realm is how the platform handles its databases. Top-tier solutions offer fully relational and exportable SQL databases, while other solutions may lack some of the reporting and auditing tools.
EASE OF USE
The best technology can be undone if end-users are not able to understand how to make it work. If a platform does not make the actual day-to-day business activity easier for its users, it is not the right solution for your business. A top-line solution will have a modern, easy to navigate user interface, complete with customizable dashboards and an intuitive workflow. The best solutions also feature a responsive design, eliminating the need for constant resizing or scrolling. A truly modern, agile solution also empowers their field users by offering a fully-functional mobile app, allowing full access to the system from anywhere, freeing users from the confines of a desk.
CUSTOMIZATION OPTIONS APLENTY
A truly comprehensive solution will offer deep customization options for a business, allowing for industry-specific tweaks and improvements that will improve a business’s processes in ways unique to the challenges that company faces. A top-line solution such as Acumatica will offer industry-specific solutions for diverse businesses needs such as distribution, construction, field service, and more. The tools used to customize the platform are also important, as top-level providers will use industry standard tools, not proprietary ones. Setting the upgrade schedule is also vital, as top-level providers will be turning towards the clients, letting them dictate when updates will take place, never dictating them.