When you’re looking for new business software, you need to shop around and take your time to assess what’s on the market, particularly the new class of integrated multi-functional business software which is coming on the market. This business software, commonly called Enterprise Resource Planning software or ERP software, can cover any business or administrative operations, however diversified, on a network. It’s advisable to look for software which can provide clear cost benefit advantages and simplify your administration and operational tasks as well.
Assessing your business software needs
There are a range of considerations involved in getting new business software, and you need to evaluate your future needs as well. Let’s start with what you absolutely must have:
Integrated software – This is what ERP software is all about. It’s a full single system approach, top of the line for efficiency and ease of use in any business environment. Management can access current information instantly, including workflow, accounts, productivity, and other core business operational issues.
Built-in cost efficiencies – The best business software includes natural cost efficiencies following on from the integrated software approach. Data management is streamlined; duplications and multi-system entry issues are eliminated.
Security – Top of the line business software systems now incorporate built-in access security, a major issue in today’s leaky, hacker- prone business environment. This is also a must for businesses operating ecommerce sales.
Provider support – This is the sort of thing that many business software providers simply don’t do well and it can become a major issue for high turnover businesses. You need to see clear evidence of backup and help desk type support from the provider for any business software which is in continuous operation and using multiple inputs.
These are core business issues – High value functionality, cost efficiency, security and support are the minimum requirements for any good business software system. Just ignore any software that can’t prove it meets these criteria in full, and you’ll have many fewer problems.
The 4 best indicators of the right business software
Actually, the best software can be easily identified. Ideally, your new business software will be:
1. Fully suitable for your business administration and operations. This means that the software should be able to demonstrate that it can do all the work you want it to do. You may not need a full accountancy suite like MYOB, for example, but still need a good functional accountancy platform.
2. Scalable. As your business expands, you’ll find that your business software has to expand with it. A scalable business software package starts with a basic operational and admin functions, and can literally expand from small business to big business.
3. Customisable. The fact is that all businesses need customization of their software to some degree. Generic software packages often contain those wonderful things that you never use and don’t need, as well as the stuff you really must have. The best business software is customizable to match your needs. This also improves the efficiency of small business accounting operations, so you’re getting high value in productivity terms, too.
4. Technical support and backup. This is absolutely critical in modern business software. Glitches do happen, and anybody using business software will need at the very least a help desk from the supplier at some point.
ERP software starts by improving your cost efficiency and improving all points of operations, administration and management. It really is an investment in the future.
Note from the Editor: This was a guest post.