ERP Evaluation Checklist: An Easy to Use Solution Helps Your People Move Business Forward
A business management solution that's easy to learn, use, and manage empowers people to do their best work
Choosing the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is a strategic investment for your company, so it's well worth your time to carefully examine your options. We've created a 10-point evaluation checklist to help you do this, and we're exploring one checklist item each week for 10 weeks. So far, we've covered four items (follow the links to read the full discussions):
1. Goes beyond traditional ERP
2. Offers deployment flexibility and choice
3. Features strong customer-vendor relationships
4. Integrates easily with other LOB applications
This week, we highlight the importance of choosing a business solution that makes it easy for your people to excel at their jobs. Equipping them to deliver peak performances enhances their job satisfaction, and those performances help your company flourish.
Choose a business management solution that delivers ease of use
This sounds pretty obvious, but take the time to examine "ease of use" from four different perspectives.
The individual user experience. When was the last time you were given a user's manual for an app that you downloaded? Who taught you how to use Facebook? A good business management solution will be easy for your people to understand and use. An intuitive user experience will eliminate extensive training time and costs-and accelerate adoption. Your people get up to speed faster, and their productivity and efficiency accelerate your return on investment.
Applicability across the business. Benefits can be amplified when a business management solution extends ease of use to all parts of the operation: headquarters and the field, for example, or sales and manufacturing, accounting and distribution, and all geographic locations. Consistent, end-to-end ease of use helps everyone communicate and collaborate better, meet deadlines, and make the best decisions.
Cloud-based options. The flexibility to deploy part or all of a business management solution in the cloud opens additional ease-of-use opportunities: easier deployment, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and scaling. In cloud-based options, off-loading these workloads frees you and your people to focus on taking your business to new levels.
Compatibility with other systems your company uses. Individual business systems might be easy to use, but the benefit can be lost if they don't work together in a consistent way. The right choice for you will be a business management solution that works like and with other systems and technology that your company already uses.
Business solutions from Microsoft deliver ease of use from all four perspectives
Business solutions from Microsoft feature a consistent look and feel that your people already know and work with. If they already know and use Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel, they will find the Microsoft Dynamics ERP user experience familiar and adopt it faster. Because a business solution from Microsoft works like and with other Microsoft technology, it helps increase adoption rates and lower training costs. Straightforward deployment, features designed to support international business, a global community of technology professionals available to help, and quick, easy extensibility combine to enable consistent ease of use throughout an organization. Flexible Microsoft cloud-based options simplify deployment, operation, and maintenance-and offer financial benefits as well. And a business solution from Microsoft helps you get more value out of your other Microsoft technology investments. Maybe your company uses Microsoft SQL Server for databases or Microsoft SharePoint Server to maintain portals for your employees and business partners; or maybe you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage customer information. Your people probably work with productivity tools like Microsoft Word to create forms or Microsoft Excel to analyze data maintained in a SQL Server database. All of these products share the Windows platform, and they present a familiar look and feel to users. Choosing a business management solution that works like and with these productivity tools and server products unlocks a new level of value in all of them. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts.
Customer success story
Small and midsize manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and other organizations around the world count on business solutions from Microsoft to deliver the ease of use that boosts their employees' productivity, efficiency, and job satisfaction. Many of these organizations also run these solutions in the cloud, helping them to simplify system deployment and management. Take a look at how a surfboard and skateboard company is achieving success, positioning itself for growth, and helping its employees excel at their jobs.
Sitka Surfboard Corporation
"[The multiple parts of our business] all need to be linked together. And that's what [Microsoft] technology has allowed us to do…. It's very easy to use, and the power you get from it-it's just a huge time-saver…. Our goal is to create long-term, sustainable careers for our employees. We want them to have a good time at their job, and therefore they're going to be doing a good job. And that's very important to the success of the company." Andrew Paine, President, and Kyle Treleaven, IT Ninja
Learn more about a business solution from Microsoft, take a product test drive, register for an upcoming webcast. Join us next week for part 6 of our blog series, when we'll encourage you to test the cost predictability of the new business management solutions you're considering.
Thanks for following our blog series, until next week.