Before you start looking for a new ERP system, it's important to truly understand your business. Getting a new system and automating the same old inefficient processes and practices won't serve you well, so getting to know what works, what doesn't and where to improve is crucial.
An internal audit will help you see where these inefficiencies lie and where you can improve. Your existing ERP system, or lack thereof, has likely resulted in wasted time and much frustration. Your ERP journey begins by investigating your current processes and practices, and creating a list of those that need to be revised or replaced inside your organization. Next, develop process documents with objectives, current steps and work-arounds. When it comes time to select a new ERP system, these process documents will help you objectively compare the new ERP candidates.
After discovering the issues, it's time to come up with a wish list of requirements for the new ERP. This list might include: ability to forecast manufacturing lead times, quality monitoring, visibility to production bottlenecks, job costing, sales order management, real-time equipment status and control, etc. Invite everyone to contribute to the list, especially the people who will not be part of your ERP implementation team. Then sort and prioritize the list, so you tackle the most important fixes first. In addition, make a list of your expectations regarding business improvements such as: better analytics and reporting tools, strategy evaluation, efficiency improvements, cost saving and control, growth, compliance, etc.