Questions to Ask Before Selecting an ERP Software Vendor

Finding the right ERP software for your business is crucial so one often spends a substantial amount of time comparing the features and capabilities offered by different software manufacturers. Aside from what the program can do, another factor that business owners often compare is the price. With ERP software, however, calculating the cost is not as simple as one would expect may surprise you but the license of ERP software can greatly impact the total amount you may spend when setting it up. The upfront cost of buying the software is just one portion of the total cost. Depending on how the software license is you might well be paying substantially more than you expected to. It is therefore prudent to spend even more time on analyzing both ,  and other hidden costs of the ERP software license so that you won’t be caught off guard with the possible additional fees. That being said what questions should you ask about the ERP software license before deciding to make a purchase

1. Can I only pay for what I need?   

Since businesses are of different natures the ERP software needs also differ. Some can operate using a simple accounting setup while others need a more complex system. Before you buy a particular software you should know if you can upgrade it once your business grows and  is needed. You ought to take into consideration that you may need to pay for these added functions. Conversely, being able to buy a basic setup can save you money since you won’t need to pay for functionality that you are not as of yet using. Also, a more basic setup can mean lower annual maintenance costs.  

2. How much will the annual maintenance fees cost and what is the scope of the service?   

Different software manufacturers calculate maintenance costs differently and some companies ask you to pay for longer than others so when shopping around, be sure to ask about it. Maintenance services are also not created equal. Maintenance does not just include the updates to the software. One has to verify if the basic maintenance costs include customer support via chat or a dedicated contact number. Should these customer support services cost more or will there be cheaper alternatives like an online knowledge base users can consult for frequently asked questions on functionality  

3. Is the software pricing scheme per module or user based? 
These types of accounting programs are usually priced in two ways. The first is user based. In this type  pay per user. This means one license fee per user with access to all modules. The second type is module based, where you buy only the modules you need when you need them. For some businesses who foresee that they will only ever need  could be a good way to save money. For businesses who expect to use more advanced functionality in the near future a user based system  more practical for them. In relation to this, you also need to look into being able to buy full user or partial user licenses. For  all the employees in your office will be granted the same user access as others. Some will only need to view the data and extract reports while others will have more functions.  

4. Is there an active community of users as well as an add-on community?   

One of the things you have to bear in mind when choosing an  ERP software   is whether the community of users is active. An active community means additional support, experience, and knowledge that you can tap for your business.  see if the user base holds meetings or conventions. In   they share a lot of useful information, as well as help, bring to the fore any complaints or upgrades the community of users might need to be addressed. An active community also encourages an active add-on community. An add-on  independent from the parent company that can offer additional functionality to the base model. Such options may mean savings for businesses that only need a specific add-on function instead of a new upgrade or module from the parent company which would cost more. 

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