Growing up my teachers used to tell us that there are no stupid questions. I’m sorry to disagree, but this is a stupid question.
This is also the most common question asked in the independent ERP consulting space, and we receive it in one way or another on a daily basis. The most recurrent response you will hear from a consultant on literally any question you ask is “It depends” - and this is the correct and only answer to this question, as well.
The underlying belief that any one software out performs another on every level is ridiculous. There are some software options that certainly have more functionality than others, but they also cost more than others and they take more time and effort to implement and maintain. There are also additional factors besides functionality and cost that need to be considered.
Even our own list of top ERP systems for 2019 is questionable at best. Every organization has different criteria, parameters, and requirements that leads to different answers. General and overly broad rankings like these are simply useful for sparking conversation and debate.
For example, user interface and ease of adoption cannot be ignored, as this can lead to successful vs. unsuccessful software usage. Software programs that are super complex might be able to handle every possible scenario, however a simpler version with slightly less functional capability might be more widely accepted by users and therefore provide more benefit to the organization.
Keep in mind that there are literally thousand of “ERP” software programs on the market, and several hundred are considered mainstream. The term “ERP” can be misleading in itself, but there are a whole bunch. This leads many evaluations to extend well beyond the traditional SAP vs. Oracle vs. Microsoft Dynamics debate.
With the exception of newly developed platforms that have not been tested or have limited market penetration, each product on the market holds a niche and is around for a reason. With great variation across functional requirements, vertical markets, company sizes, needed integrations and unique specifications, every software has a place. The trick is matching your specific needs to the best software.
With this in mind, consider asking “What is the best ERP software for my company or organization.” This slight change in wording makes all the difference in the world. The answer is still “It depends,” but at least we can begin to define the factors that will ultimately lead to an answer.
But don’t let your ERP consultants overcomplicate your software selection process. There are good ways to streamline the ERP selection process to more quickly and effectively arrive at the best decision for your organization.