ERP PMI: 7 criteria for choosing the right ERP

While a (less and less) widespread idea attributes the use of ERP to large companies, at the same time, more and more SMIs are adopting the tool.


No doubt because the evolution of technologies is changing mentalities: no, the implementation of an ERP is no longer complex as it may have seemed before; no, maintenance costs are no longer an obstacle for small and medium-sized industrial companies wishing to integrate a high-performance management system for their activity.


SMIs are therefore now equipping themselves with an ERP, to benefit from integrated analyses, rapid deployment, and best practices for their various management processes, in particular finance, production, HR, purchasing. and supply chain management.


You decide to invest in an ERP for your PMI?


Discover the 7 criteria to take into account to choose your platform, a strategic choice to consider in the long term...


PMI: Why equip yourself with an ERP?

ERP is a system used in business to plan resources and to unify all business processes such as purchasing, sales, inventory control, production or accounting. Data is centralized in a single tool, working methods are standardized and internal exchanges are streamlined.


The use of ERP is commonly associated with large companies, because its reputation as an expensive and complex tool still haunts it and because the functionalities were originally designed to address the needs of large organizations with multiple departments.


But technologies have improved and uses have evolved. Large companies are no longer the only ones to benefit from the advantages of a high-performance ERP: SMIs in turn take advantage of it in the management of their business, with certain dedicated solutions specifically addressing the needs of small and medium-sized industries.


In this context, ERP is now an essential tool, in particular to simplify and automate repetitive tasks, increase productivity and avoid human errors.


How to choose the best business management system for your PMI?

The best ERP does not exist absolutely: the best ERP is the one that suits your specific needs. To choose your tool, it is therefore important to identify the objective that motivates your decision to equip your PMI with an ERP. A preliminary needs analysis is necessary for this purpose.


Given the range of solutions available on the market, it is wise to establish a list of criteria in order to refine the selection of the best ERP for your PMI. Here is the list of essential criteria.


1. Company size

The need of the small or medium-sized company differs from that of the multinational. Some publishers design solutions intended specifically for large groups: the ERP then integrates adapted functionalities such as multi-company management. You do not necessarily need this type of tool, in which case it is irrelevant to pay the cost and train your employees in its use. Choose software adapted to the size of your company: publishers generally specify the target audience for their solution.


2. Flexibility

The activity of your PMI is set to develop, keep in mind that your needs will evolve accordingly.


Illustrations: by increasing your workforce, you increase the number of users of your ERP; by diversifying your activity, you add business processes. To invest in the long term and avoid having to change ERP, ensure the flexibility and modularity of the solution with regard to the future developments of your company.


3. Mobility

In the era of ultra-mobility, it is essential to provide your teams with a work tool that is accessible at all times, regardless of where the employee connects to it. To this end, check that the ERP allows you to work in mobile and multi-device mode. The SaaS model guarantees you these essential characteristics.


4. Integrated management of all business processes

Decompartmentalising the functions of the company makes it possible to optimize the organization in order to improve performance. To this end, your ERP must not only have procedures for automating the management of your business processes, but also offer the interconnection of these procedures. From then on, the departments of your PMI are perfectly coordinated, so as to work in the overall interest of the company.


5. Automated Procedures

The degree of automation offered by the solution conditions your time savings and the level of difficulty of the work of your teams. Beyond these advantages es, automation reduces the risk of human error, an asset that is not insignificant for the PMI which must establish its professionalism and gain in brand image in a highly competitive environment... When choosing ERP for your PMI, inquire about the extent of automated procedures to ensure tool performance.


6. Personalization

As perfect as the software seems to you, you necessarily need adjustments – immediately or as you learn it – so that the ERP meets your expectations in all respects. Good news, some publishers offer customizable software solutions. Addition of functionalities, integration with other software already in place in the PMI… you adapt your tailor-made ERP, to conform the tool to your specific needs, and not the reverse.


7. Supplier Reliability and Updates

Of course, the choice of supplier is crucial: it is a question of identifying a responsive and sustainable publisher. This requirement is all the more decisive for the company that uses the on-premises model, which requires installation, maintenance and updates on site, on the company's computers and servers. In this context, the proximity of the supplier is imperative. Conversely, SMIs that choose the SaaS model derive a definite advantage: the software is managed offsite by the supplier. Therefore, proximity is no longer an imperative because support and updates are provided remotely. These services remain essential: to confirm your opinion of the supplier, you can consult its customers.


Archipelia, partner of SMIs in their ERP project

Aware of the challenges and constraints of SMIs, Archipelia offers you a dedicated solution: an ERP in SaaS mode, multi-tenant, to increase agility. At a time when innovation is accelerating, you immediately benefit from the latest high-performance technologies and useful functionalities for your specific activity. Note that in 2020, more than 80% of new ERP projects are open to the SaaS model to the detriment of the on-premises model.


To advise and support you in the implementation of your ERP project for your PMI, contact our team!