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Our clients ask us all the time: “what are the best ERP systems in the market?” As you can imagine, this is a near impossible question to answer with any sort of accuracy.”

You’re unique. It’s a good thing, but it makes that question incredibly difficult to answer. Every organization is different. You’re in a different industry, you have a different strategy and you have different needs than most other organizations out there. This helps explain why it would be disingenuous of me (or anyone else) to tell you what the best solution is without knowing your specific needs and requirements in more detail.

However, here are some good benchmarks and questions to help steer you in the right direction in the meantime:

Late last year, we published our first annual survey of the top ERP systems in the market. In this report, we objectively and quantitatively assess how each solution fares in terms of average implementation cost, average implementation duration, average functional scores among our clients and other criteria. This completely unprejudiced report has proven to be a good reference point for clients trying to narrow down their choices in the market – and the vendors that finished in the top 5 may surprise you. Download the report here.

Review how the “big” ERP vendors compare to one another

Some organizations lean toward the “big” (a.k.a. Tier I) ERP vendors – either because they are bigger companies or because they want a well-established brand to provide their ERP software, and/or they want a bigger solution to help scale their companies for future growth. Whatever the reason, we published our annual Clast of the Titans report, which outlines a quantitative deep dive into how SAP HANA S/4, Oracle Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Infor CloudSuite compare to one another. Download the report here.

Define and prioritize your highest priority business requirements to quickly arrive at a short-list

When helping clients through their ERP evaluation and selection processes, we can define thousands of business needs and requirements for larger, more complex organizations. Even our smaller and mid-size organizations can experience analysis paralysis with so many requirements and decision criteria. This is why it is vital to prioritize your needs to focus on the most important ones.

You can quickly narrow the field down to the top 10- or 20-percent requirements by prioritizing those that meet two key requirements:

1) they are critical to your business, and

2) they are differentiating functions of various ERP systems in the market

Only those that meet both criteria should be used to narrow down your short-list.

Leverage independent experts who can help you quickly narrow the field

It is much cheaper, faster and more effective in the long-run to hire independent experts to help you through your evaluation process. Whether the intent is to define your short-list and/or take you all the way through a final decision and implementation of that solution, independent ERP experts such as those at Panorama can do this for you much more quickly and effectively than if you tried to do it yourself.

Don’t forget to consider implementation while evaluating ERP systems

It’s easy for an ERP evaluation to myopically focus on the functionality of the software. But don’t forget how important it is to understand how that solution will be implemented, how much it will cost you, how complex it will be and how much of an ROI it will ultimately deliver. It is important to lean on experts that not only understand the functionality of ERP systems, but also have hands-on experience implementing those solutions. This will help ensure that you have an accurate evaluation of the software based on real-world experience and that you understand what the implementation will really look like.

These tips may not give you the immediate, silver bullet answer you may be looking for, but they should help to quickly get you on-track to finding and implementing the right ERP solution for you.

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