Seven Elements of ERP System Selection in Manufacturing Industry

Summarizing years of experience and lessons, manufacturing companies have generally reached the following consensus on the construction of information systems: to use information systems, application software is the focus, partner selection is the key, and commercial software such as ERP is the trend.

National 863 experts believe that in manufacturing informatization, ERP and other application software are both the focus and the difficulty. The difficulty is that it is not only a technical project, but also a systematic project, covering both the full range of enterprise management and the entire process of manufacturing. Manufacturing companies are also the main users of ERP. According to the CCID market survey, although energy companies have invested heavily in informatization, their ERP accounts for only 6.5%; circulation companies are also hot spots, but ERP only accounts for 19.2%; while manufacturing companies’ ERP accounts for 63.1%, and manufacturing is obviously ERP The big market that manufacturers must pay attention to.

There is no shortage of selection elements. At the beginning of the enterprise information system, the selection only paid attention to hardware equipment such as computers and network infrastructure. Relatively speaking, these products have a high degree of brand concentration, mature technology, and high price transparency, so the selection is not difficult. . The same is true for the current operating system, database and other system software. Application software such as ERP is closely related to user needs and determines the success or failure of an information system. It involves all aspects of enterprise management and requires a considerable implementation cycle. Therefore, ERP should be taken as the focus of enterprise information system selection.

First of all, the selection should consider the specific needs of the company, implementation conditions, management foundation, personnel quality, investment ability and other factors, proceed from reality, do what you can, and do not blindly compare and pursue perfection. Before selecting a model, an enterprise must do the preliminary work according to its own conditions, such as the determination and quantification of needs, and the sorting of business processes.

Secondly, the overall plan must be comprehensive, and the changes in demand and technological development in 3-5 years must be considered. However, the specific implementation must be carried out step by step, first and then difficult. Without a solid feasibility study and master plan, do not act rashly. Users should generally consider the following factors when choosing ERP products and vendors:

  • 1. Brand ERP selection is not only to buy a product, but also to choose a trustworthy long-term partner, so the brand effect is worthy of attention. Choosing ERP products of internationally renowned brands can undoubtedly achieve better image effects, and choosing the right brand can also ensure the best investment benefits. Although there are many management software companies, the threshold for becoming a true ERP supplier is not low, so there are not many well-known national brands and industry brands in the market. Therefore, companies should choose ERP companies with outstanding business reputation, good operating performance, strong development capabilities, and rich implementation experience.
  • 2. Industry background Even well-known foreign companies have different levels of involvement in various industries, and they often only have advantages in specific industries. Manufacturers often say “for all kinds of industries” and “suitable for all kinds of enterprises”, which actually means nothing. And “the top 100 companies in the industry have XX companies using our software” undoubtedly have stronger persuasiveness, so it is necessary to conduct an in-depth investigation of the industry background of the manufacturers. In addition to manufacturer introductions, industry market information can be collected through media, conferences, and other channels, and can also be learned through organizations such as industry associations.
  • 3. Cases From the current point of view, most of the users put the successful cases of the manufacturers in the past as the first condition to consider in the selection. This is actually a comprehensive inspection of the manufacturers’ products, services, and customer relationships, which is a very time-saving Practice, especially the case of companies in the same industry. If there is an industry user group with high satisfaction, that is the best recognition of the manufacturer’s industry background. The person in charge of the enterprise information system selection must go to these companies on-site inspections to understand the successes and failures of these cases, and be aware of them. For companies in other industries, even if it is a “gold medal case”, there are still doubts: the production process is different, can the production and manufacturing management module be used in our factory? In addition, we must make careful preparations during on-site inspections. It cannot be simply used as an opportunity to learn and learn from experience, and it cannot be superstitious for the perfect demonstration of typical users. Instead, it is necessary to earnestly investigate the data operation in the system and the use of grassroots personnel.
  • 4. System function This is an essential link. Manufacturers generally prepare promotional materials and software demonstrations such as software function module manuals. In fact, most of the theoretical concepts described in the instructions are not very different from each other, and the differences in actual products are far greater than the differences in the instructions. Therefore, the selection enterprise should also prepare some materials in advance, which can be a product’s bill of materials (BOM), a simple process of the product, a purchase contract with a supplier, a sales contract with a typical customer, etc., and then submit these materials to the software supplier Quotient, let it be applied in the field in the demonstration, and it can explain the problem better.
  • 5. Price In addition to considering the price of software products, the cost of consulting implementation and after-sales service should also be considered. One point that must be explained is that one size-size-fits-all price model must not be used, and price reduction is the only method for selection. The consequences of doing so will inevitably increase the risk of the project.
  • 6. ​​The implementation consultant of the implementation team manufacturer is a key factor affecting the success of ERP projects. Even if the manufacturer has an implementation background in the same industry, but the consultant changes to a new person, the implementation effect will be greatly reduced. Companies can require consultants to participate in the whole process of selection and consultation. In addition, they can also stipulate consultant qualifications, time guarantee, and consultant replacement in the contract clauses, so as to select high-level and experienced implementation personnel as much as possible.
  • 7. After-sales service The manufacturer should have a complete after-sales service mechanism, which can respond to and meet the various and off-site service needs of the enterprise in a timely manner. It should be noted that the ability of a manufacturer to develop products is different from the ability to establish a well-established after-sales service team. Therefore, the manufacturer’s service commitment must include both local service outlets and remote support capabilities. This is for the management of the manufacturer. The test of level.

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