A French company keeps its ERP software for 10 to 12 years on average. This delay is sometimes longer, particularly in the industrial world where the change of management software is particularly impactful. Also, when a company embarks on the search for ERP software, it often finds itself lost in the face of the wide choice of solutions available on the market and may find it difficult to compare these software programs with each other. In this article we offer, not a comparator, but some advice to make the best choice for your VSE, SME or ETI whether it is for the replacement of an existing solution or for a 1st equipment.
Before embarking on a comparison, it is essential to have identified and formalized your needs beforehand, an essential phase in defining your criteria for choosing your ERP system.
On what criteria to compare software?
Before embarking all over the place on a risky comparison of the solutions on the market, we offer you below a list of criteria to take into account in your reflection:
Essential features or modules:
For an industrial company, this will undoubtedly be integrated production management or CAPM. For a company that already has an accounting solution, this module will not be necessary. For a group of several companies, multi-company management may be a mandatory option.
Specificities of my profession or my company:
If there are any, whether on the production method, on regulatory standards or on key processes, they must imperatively be taken into account in the selection.
Proprietary, On premise, SaaS, Cloud, open source, no code/low code are all terms that have significant impacts on the initial price and investment, on the configurability of the solution and the degree of independence you will eventually have to upgrade your ERP.
Budget / price range:
An ERP represents a substantial budget regardless of the size of the company. Try to find out the price ranges of the different solutions, even if it is complicated to compare the offers as they are so disparate.
Search and compare on the web
Comparing everyday products and services on the Internet to find the best value for money has become part of our habits. For professional solutions intended for B2B such as ERP software, it is quite possible to have the same approach.
Search engine, the sourcing tool
On the web, you can easily find information on all ERP editors. To be effective, we recommend that you use queries that specify your needs, your specificities or your profession:
- ERP for mechanical activity, ERP software for the automotive industry
- erp software with case management
- erp software for industrial tpe / sme
- ERP Cloud / ERP SaaS / ERP Open Source
The more specific the request, the more relevant the proposals submitted will be. By typing several different and targeted searches, you will be able to identify solutions that come up most often, and therefore have the highest probability of meeting your criteria. This allows you to create an initial list of ERP software vendors to compare that may meet your business needs.
ERP software comparators
On the web, there are also directories and comparators of business software allowing you to “compare” solutions with each other:
- Appvizer (France)
- Celge (France)
- Gamix – CXP
These comparators are useful and can save you time because they bring together many ERP publishers and offer visibility to solutions with less notoriety but which can perfectly meet your needs. However, it is impossible to compare ERP software back to back from these platforms because not all information may be available or updated regularly, and few platforms have actually tested the software presented. It is often necessary to leave your contact details on these sites to be able to access the result of your comparison. Personal data may subsequently be resold to third parties or to publishers directly. Some comparators are also the property of solution publishers or integrators. Their analysis may in this case be biased.
Customer reviews or testimonials are important. Whether on the publisher’s website, on a comparator or in the press, it is good to identify references or customer testimonials that are close to its activity, its size of company and its specific business.
This will make it possible to open topics for discussion with the sales or technical teams and then to make contact withcustomer users to compare and validate their choice at the end of the decision cycle.
At Sylob: The website includes many testimonials from customer users of the 2 Sylob 5 and Sylob 9 ERPs which cover a wide range of discrete production, on the job. Regular communication is also made on Sylob’s LinkedIn page on new customers and their success.
They can make it possible to compare solutions, technological choices, feedback or quite simply to draw ideas intended to feed the reflection in the preparation of its project, in the drafting of its expression of needs. Expert blogs can also inform about the latest trends in the fields, alert on pitfalls to avoid…
It is also possible to ask questions and identify experts who can, why not, accompany you during your project.
Comparing on the internet will allow you to establish an initial list of ERP software that can meet the selection criteria you have established. But there is no comparative table or list of the best ERP software because each company has its specificities and needs: activity, business model, size, process…
The professional network
Within his company, it is quite easy to obtain opinions and recommendations on the subject. Your production manager, financial manager or IT manager may have good or bad experiences with ERP software.
Via your professional network, you can also obtain opinions from other players (partners, colleagues, professional association, supplier) in your sector and using an ERP system. This information may weigh in your choice.
Consultants and consulting firms
Many companies are supported by external consultants or consulting firms for various issues: organization, productivity, digitization, robotization, automation, etc. Among these players, some have both a good knowledge of the company’s businesses and the ERP solutions present on the market. They can therefore accompany you in your approach, help you to write your specifications, to pre-select a short list able to respond to it and to make a final choice. Support by consultants may be subject to financial support. This aid is granted by local professional bodies or by regional representatives of the administration. Find out more from the CCIs, Chambers of Trades or on government sites.
Compare demos and test play
In the world of B2B software, there are different levels of demonstration offered by ERP publishers, depending on your maturity in the decision cycle:
- Introduction to the product in the form of more or less interactive videos that offer an overview of the interface, the user experience and the main features of the system.
- The online demonstration in the form of a webinar, which offers a more advanced experience. During this generic presentation, the editor presents the characteristics of the ERP, it is an opportunity to ask technical questions and to visualize the functionalities that we are looking for.
- The test game is the key stage which should allow to compare the two or three solutions retained in the shortlist and to make a decisive choice. During this demonstration, the ERP software is then configured according to a list of needs (the scenario) that has been sent to the editor. The test game generally takes place after the response to the specifications.
Also compare publishers according to their sustainability and product strategy
The choice of editor (and its integrator) is just as important as the ERP solution itself. You are committing for several years, so it is normal or even essential to find out in detail about:
- The financial health and organizational stability of the publisher
- Future developments and the 5-year product vision
- The latest innovations and the pace of updates
- The various services offered (accompaniment, training, advice, etc.)
- After-sales support