Here’s How to Best Work Through ERP Comparison

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The 21st century business space is a competitive one, and implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is crucial for manufacturers and distributors who need to keep up with the competition. An ERP system helps streamline business processes, improve inventory management, enhance customer relationship management, optimize vendor management and maximize supply chain management. However, with numerous ERP systems available in the market, choosing the right one for your business can be a daunting task. 

This article will guide you through the process of conducting an effective ERP comparison, empowering you to select the best ERP system for your unique business needs.

6 Software selection implementation pain points.

6 Software Selection & Implementation Pain Points + Solutions

To steer you around trouble and help you drive success, Ultra’s experts compiled a list of pain points and solutions to be aware of as you embark on this journey.


Why ERP Comparison Matters

ERP software plays a vital role in managing various aspects of your business, including inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), vendor management and supply chain management. By integrating these core business processes into a single platform, an ERP provides end-to-end visibility and streamlines operations.

The real challenge lies in understanding how each ERP software package can address your unique challenges and improve your manufacturing processes. Making an informed decision requires a strategic approach to Enterprise Resource Planning comparison.

Benefits of ERP Comparison

Conducting an Enterprise Resource Planning comparison allows you to evaluate different ERP systems based on features, capabilities and suitability for your business. By considering multiple options, you can:

1. Identifying the Best Fit

ERP systems vary widely in terms of features, functionality and pricing. By comparing different systems, you can identify the one that is the best fit for your business size, industry and budget. This ensures that you invest in a solution that meets your specific requirements and delivers the desired results.

2. Negotiating Better Pricing

Having a good understanding of the different ERP systems available puts you in a better position to negotiate a good price with vendors. By comparing prices and features, you can leverage your knowledge to secure a better deal from your preferred ERP vendor. This not only saves you money but also ensures that you get the most value out of your investment.

3. Avoiding Costly Mistakes

Choosing the wrong ERP system can be a costly mistake. It can lead to inefficiencies, disruptions and lost productivity. By comparing different systems, you can avoid making a decision that you will later regret. A thorough comparison allows you to assess the pros and cons of each system and make an informed choice that aligns with your business goals.

4. Staying Up-to-Date on ERP Trends

The ERP landscape is constantly evolving, with new trends and features emerging regularly. By comparing different ERP systems, you can stay up-to-date on the latest trends and advancements in the industry. This information empowers you to make informed decisions about the best ERP system for your business, ensuring that you stay ahead of the curve.

5. Getting Expert Advice

Many ERP vendors offer free consultations and demos. This is a great opportunity to get expert advice on the best ERP system for your business. By leveraging the knowledge and expertise of industry professionals, you can gain valuable insights and recommendations that can significantly impact your decision-making process.

6. Reducing the Risk of Implementation Failure

Implementing an ERP system is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and execution. When you choose the right ERP system for your business, you are more likely to have a successful implementation. This is because the system will be a good fit for your business needs and processes, reducing the risk of costly implementation failures.

By leveraging these Enterprise Resource Planning comparison tools, you can make an informed choice based on your specific requirements and preferences.

erp selection for manufacturing

Types of ERP Comparison

When embarking on an Enterprise Resource Planning comparison journey, it’s essential to utilize the right tools and resources. Here are some types of Enterprise Resource Planning comparison to consider:

1. “Best Fit” ERP System Comparison

The “Best Fit” ERP system comparison is a decision tool that has you identify ERP systems that align with your unique business requirements. By selecting specific criteria such as industry, manufacturing mode, company size and technology requirements, you can filter and narrow down your options. 

For instance, if you are in the manufacturing and distribution industry, you can focus on ERP systems designed specifically for that sector. Likewise, if you prefer a cloud-based solutions, you can filter your search accordingly. This type of ERP comparison chart helps you find the best-fit solution tailored to your business needs.

2. “Head to Head” ERP System Comparison

The “Head to Head” ERP solution comparison enables you to directly compare specific ERP systems against their competitors. This type of comparison is particularly useful when you already have a shortlist of ERP systems in mind and want to evaluate them side-by-side. 

For instance, you may want to compare Oracle E-Business Suite with SAP Business All-In-One, or Epicor Kinetic with Netsuite ERP. This head-to-head comparison allows you to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each system, facilitating an informed decision-making process.

3. “By Vendor” ERP Comparison

The “By Vendor” Enterprise Resource Planning comparison approach focuses on evaluating ERP systems offered by a single or multiple top ERP vendors. If you are already familiar with specific vendors, this type of comparison enables you to assess the various ERP systems they provide. 

For example, you can compare all Microsoft Dynamics systems, all Oracle ERP systems, or all Epicor ERP systems. Additionally, you can compare ERP systems from multiple vendors, such as Oracle and SAP. This approach provides a comprehensive view of the available options from trusted vendors.

4. Feature-Based ERP Comparison

A feature-based Enterprise Resource Planning software comparison allows you to evaluate ERP systems based on their core functionalities and features. This approach is particularly useful when you have specific requirements that are essential for your business operations. 

For example, if you need robust project management tools, you can focus on ERP systems that excel in that area. Similarly, if business intelligence features or revenue management capabilities are crucial for your business, you can prioritize ERP systems with those modules. A feature-based comparison helps you identify the systems that align with your critical business functions.

5. Cloud-Based vs. On-Premises ERP Comparison

Another important aspect to consider when comparing ERP systems is the deployment option. 

Cloud-based ERP solutions have gained popularity due to their flexibility, scalability and cost-effectiveness. On the other hand, some businesses prefer on-premises ERP systems, which provide more control and customization options. By comparing a cloud-based ERP solution and on-premise ERP system, you can assess which option suits your business requirements, budget and IT infrastructure.

6. Cost and Return on Investment (ROI) ERP Comparison

The cost of an ERP solution and its return on investment (ROI) often play a significant role in the decision-making process. When comparing ERP systems, consider the initial implementation costs, ongoing maintenance fees and potential customization expenses. Additionally, evaluate the long-term benefits and ROI that the ERP solution can deliver. A thorough cost and ROI analysis will help you determine the most cost-effective solution that aligns with your budget and business goals.

7. Customer Reviews and References

Customer reviews and references are valuable sources of information when comparing ERP systems. Reach out to existing customers or read online reviews to gain insights into their experiences with the ERP system you are considering. Pay attention to reviews that highlight strengths and weaknesses, implementation challenges and overall customer satisfaction. This information will provide a realistic view of the ERP system’s performance and its suitability for your business.

erp comparison

Examples of ERP Software Solution Vendors

  • SAP which offers SAP S/4HANA ERP solution and SAP business one

  • Oracle which offers Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP

  • Microsoft which offers Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • Infor which offers Infor M3

  • Sage which offers IFS Cloud ERP

  • Workday which offers Workday Financial Management

  • Epicor which offers Epicor Kinetic

  • abas which offers abas ERP

  • Deltek which offers Deltek Costpoint

  • IFS which offers Sage X3

  • QAD which offers QAD Adaptive ERP

  • Acumatica which offers Acumatica Cloud ERP

Considerations for Selecting the Right ERP System

Selecting the best ERP system for your business requires careful evaluation and consideration of several factors. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Software Features

Before choosing an ERP system, it’s crucial to identify the software features that are essential for your business. Consider the specific functionalities you need, such as: 

  • Sales Order Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Financial Management
  • Business Management
  • Asset Lifecycle Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Production Management
  • Professional Services Automation
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Project Management
  • E-commerce 
  • Customer Service Management
  • Human Resources / Human Capital Management
  • Timesheet Management
  • Business Intelligence

Look for an ERP solution that provides comprehensive coverage of your core business processes.

2. Scalability and Growth

As your business grows, your Enterprise Resource Planning software should be able to scale accordingly. Ensure that the ERP system you choose can accommodate your future expansion plans. Look for vendors that offer add-ons or modules that can be easily integrated into the system as your business evolves. This flexibility will save you from the hassle of switching to a new ERP system as your needs change.

3. Integration with Existing Systems

Evaluate how well the complete Enterprise Resource Planning software integrates with your existing software solutions, such as CRM software or project accounting. A seamless integrated ERP solution is crucial for efficient data sharing and streamlined business processes. Ensure that the ERP solution you choose can easily integrate with your existing technology stack.

4. Ease of Use

An ERP system should be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing your employees to adapt quickly. Look for a solution that offers a user-friendly interface and provides comprehensive training and support resources. The easier it is for your team to navigate and use the system, the easier it will be to streamline processes throughout your business operations.

5. Industry-Specific Functionality

Consider whether you need an ERP system tailored to your industry. Some industries have unique requirements that require specialized ERP solutions. Assess whether a general ERP system or an industry-specific solution would best meet your needs.

6. Budget and Pricing Models

Evaluate your budget and consider the pricing models offered by ERP vendors. Determine whether a perpetual license fee or usage-based pricing model is more suitable for your business. Carefully review the costs associated with implementation, training and ongoing maintenance to ensure that the chosen ERP system is cost-effective in the long run.

warehouse erp system

Finding Your Perfect ERP System

Finding the right ERP solution for your business can be a complex process. To ensure success, follow these steps:

1. Identify Your Needs 

Make a list of your organization’s requirements and challenges. Determine the core business processes that the ERP system should support, such as sales order management, warehouse management, financial reporting, or production management.

2. Research ERP Systems 

Conduct in-depth research on resource planning ERP software solutions available in the market. Identify top ERP systems that align with your business needs and industry requirements. Consider factors such as reputation, customer reviews and industry recognition when evaluating potential ERP systems.

3. Utilize ERP Comparison Tools

Leverage ERP comparison tools to evaluate and compare different ERP systems. These tools provide valuable insights into the features, functionalities and pricing of various ERP solutions. Use the “Best Fit” comparison, “Head to Head” comparison, or “By Vendor” comparison to narrow down your options and find the best ERP system for your business.

4. Consider User Experience

Look for an ERP system that is intuitive and easy to use. A user-friendly interface will ensure a smooth transition for your employees and minimize training time. Consider the availability of comprehensive training and support resources provided by the ERP vendor.

5. Seek Expert Advice 

If needed, reach out to ERP consultants or experts for guidance. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on industry experience and knowledge. Their expertise can help you make an informed decision and select the ERP system that aligns with your business goals.

6. Request Demos and Price Quotes 

Once you have shortlisted a few ERP systems, request demos and price quotes from the ERP software companies. This will give you a firsthand experience of the system’s capabilities and help you assess its affordability. Evaluate the features, functionalities and user interface during the demo to determine if it meets your business requirements.

7. Evaluate Integration and Support

Assess how well the ERP system integrates with your existing applications and infrastructure. Seamless integration is essential for efficient data sharing and streamlined business processes. Additionally, consider the level of customer support and ongoing maintenance provided by the ERP vendor. A responsive support team can make a significant difference in the success of your ERP implementation.

8. Make a Well-Informed Decision

Based on your research, comparisons, demos and price quotes, make a well-informed decision about which ERP system is the best fit for your business. Consider factors such as software features, scalability, integration capabilities, ease of use, industry-specific functionality, budget and customer support. Choose the ERP system that aligns with your business goals and has the potential to drive growth and efficiency.


In today’s fiercely competitive business landscape, implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an imperative step for manufacturers and distributors aiming to stay ahead. ERP systems provide the means to streamline operations, enhance customer management and optimize supply chains. Yet, with a multitude of options in the market, selecting the right ERP can be overwhelming. 

This guide has unveiled the significance of ERP comparisons, offering various tools to navigate the selection process effectively. From identifying the perfect fit to negotiating better deals, staying current with industry trends and seeking expert advice, these strategies can ensure you make a well-informed decision. In a world where agility and efficiency are paramount, the choice of your ERP system can make all the difference in your business’s success. 

Ultra Consultants helps your organization by creating the foundation for business transformation, providing the structure for successful implementation of your selected ERP system and ensuring that you achieve your performance goals. We serve both small- and mid-sized organizations in the manufacturing and distribution industries. We leverage our ERP software solutions expertise and deep industry experience to help your company realize the benefits of modern technologies. Contact us today to get started on your technology transformation journey.

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