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The Importance of ERP Design in Your Buying Decision

Man sketching app design

Written by Laura Schomaker

July 26, 2019

With so many things to keep in mind when deciding what ERP to buy, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But you have to be mindful of things like:

  1. What features do we need?
  2. How many users do we plan to have?
  3. How do we want to deploy the system?
  4. What is our budget and timeframe?
  5. Who will help us get the system up and running?
  6. Do we need any add-ons?

And that is just scratching the surface. So, it’s no surprise that ERP design sometimes gets overlooked in the buying decision. Often, you’re so focused on finding an ERP with all the features you need, it’s easy to forget about design.

ERP Design Is More Than a Pretty Face

When we think of design, the first thing that comes to mind is probably how aesthetically pleasing the software is. A pretty face is nice. And, given the choice between two systems that have the same features, most of us will prefer the one with the eye-catching interface over another that looks like something out of the last century. However, this is not the most important part of your design considerations.

Key ERP Design Questions

  1. If you have some employees who use computers and others who use smart phones or tablets, can the ERP give the same quality experience to everyone across the board?
  2. How intuitive do our users feel the interface is? Will they need a lot of training before they can use it?
  3. Are the help files easy to find and accessible on any device?
  4. Can users access the most critical parts of the system with just a couple of clicks? Will it leave them searching through endless menus to find the information they need?
  5. Can a user easily adjust the system to the way they work?
  6. Does the software connect to your other important business systems, making sure your data stays up to date with minimal human interaction?

Buying an ERP without considering how well it performs in these areas often leads to employee frustration, lost productivity and poor user adoption rates. Thus, leaving the ERP unable to do its job and ultimately delivering poor ROI results. Don’t put the success of your ERP project at risk. Be sure you consider design before making your final decision. And don’t just ask a few select people for their opinion on the design of each ERP you’re interested in. Get input from at least one person (hopefully more) from every department that will use the system. The more perspectives you take into consideration now, the less likely you are to run into an issue that could sabotage your success later.

Learn more about the importance of ERP design and discover some usability features every business should look for. Download Acumatica’s new white paper, “It’s All about Design.”

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