Your ERP software can make all the difference between delivering on-time and being profitable versus missing customer deadlines and losing money. And it’s not just enough to have ERP software. You also need the right software for your shop, and you need to utilize it to its fullest capabilities.
The good news is you have options available. There are plenty of companies who offer ERP platforms for manufacturing companies. The bad news is they all differ and it can often be hard to know which one is best for the unique goals and needs of your shop.
Maybe you’re considering a change in your software. Or perhaps you’re thinking of purchasing software for the first time. Either way, you may find it difficult to sort out the differences between all of the products available.
Below are four key categories you might want to consider. Look at the software packages you’re reviewing and see how they stack up in these areas. Also, if you haven’t done so already, take a look at Shoptech’s E2 software. To give you a head start on your evaluation process, we’ve offered our grades on E2 in the categories below.
Comprehensive scope of service.
There are many ERP software packages that are extremely helpful with specific aspects of your operations. For example, an accounting-centric program could help you streamline your invoicing process. There are other software packages that may focus more on scheduling.
What you really want, though, is one platform that is comprehensive in scope, meaning it can cover every aspect of your jobs from beginning to end. For example, Shoptech’s E2 system tracks your jobs all the way from estimating a quote through scheduling and producing the job to shipping and collecting the invoice.
If your software isn’t comprehensive, you may find that you have to piecemeal a solution together. You could have one piece of software for invoicing, another for shipping, another for scheduling, and you might even have to fill in the gaps with spreadsheets and other documents. That’s no way to run a modern shop efficiently. Look for a software package that can meet all your shop’s needs.
Shoptech E2 scope grade: A+
Flexibility and relevance to your business.
While having a comprehensive platform is a great benefit, there may be a legitimate reason why you don’t need every step in a software package. Maybe you’re happy with your invoicing system and aren’t looking to replace that component. Perhaps your shop has a unique scheduling process that is best handled by an in-house solution.
Whatever your needs, it’s important to have a software platform that can be comprehensive, but is also flexible enough to adapt to your specific needs. Many of the comprehensive software packages out there are an all-or-nothing proposition.
You’re forced to buy the full version of the software because that’s the only option available. However, if you only need certain components of the package, you’re then paying for a lot of software that isn’t being used
A good alternative is a comprehensive software package that is module-based, like E2. With E2, you have the option of purchasing and using the modules that are most relevant to you. Only need help with scheduling right now? No problem. Just purchase that module and put it to use.
You can then add modules as the need arises. That allows you to grow into your software package and keep software costs in line with your shop’s budget and needs.
Shoptech flexibility grade: A+.
Service and support.
Let’s face it: software can be complicated. Whether it’s ERP software in your shop or even software on your personal computer at home, there’s always a learning curve. And as a busy shop owner or manager, you don’t have time to sit in front of a computer for hours on end. You need your software up-and-running quickly and you need your team to understand how to use it as soon as possible.
That’s why support and service should be a priority as you evaluate ERP software options. Look for a true partner, not just a vendor. A software partner is a company who is by your side to make sure you’re leveraging your new software to its fullest capabilities.
At Shoptech, we offer a number of training and support options to help you get the most benefit possible from E2. We have classroom trainings in offices all across the United States and Canada. We also provide online training so your employees can learn without having to leave your building.
Need more support? We have real, live people in our office waiting to take your support calls. And if you need it, we can even send our staff to your facility for an on-site consultation.
Shoptech service and support grade: A+.
Maybe you know you need new software. Perhaps you even know which software you want to choose. And you might even have the budget available to make the purchase. So what’s holding you back?
If you’re like many shop owners, you’re concerned about implementation. Specifically, you’re worried that the process of transferring data into the new system, learning how the software works, and getting it live in your shop will be an all-consuming, resource-draining, monumental effort. And frankly, you just don’t want to deal with it.
That sentiment is understandable. There are many software packages that are very much of the DIY variety. You pay for the software and it’s installed on your computers, but the rest is up to you. Given the complexities of implementation, there’s a very real prospect that the software will get implemented incorrectly, or never even get fully implemented at all.
We understand those concerns. That’s why Shoptech offers an industry-leading implementation solution. We have an in-house development team who will handle your data conversion for you. That’s right. Our team will take on the task of putting your data into your new E2 software, allowing you and your team to focus on more important tasks.
And we’ll offer a robust training package to your shop’s employees so they know how to fully use the new software package. We want you to hit the ground running with E2 and start seeing benefits immediately. That’s why we make it our priority to get your software implemented correctly the first time.
Shoptech implementation grade: A+
Choosing the right ERP software is too important of a decision to take lightly. Consider your options carefully and think about the criteria discussed here.
For more information on the E2 system, contact us today. We welcome the opportunity to help you choose the best software for your shop.