How to Use Software Reviews to Select Your ERP Software

Last Updated: September 14th, 2023
Researched and Written by: Lexi Wood

Selecting ERP software can be made easier by looking at real user reviews of each product. These reviews allow you to make more informed decisions about what software to purchase.

How to Use Reviews to Select an ERP

For a review to help, you first need to know your own needs.

  • What are the objective goals you have for your ERP?
  • What budget do you have available?

You need to find the reviews from others within your industry or with similar organization sizes to fully understand how the software works for them and how it could work for you.

Consider context when reading each review.- Some information might be related to a specific feature or industry which doesn’t apply to your ERP search. And beware of reviews on a company homepage, as the developers and vendors only want to show the best of the best to prospective customers.

Last, be sure to check multiple sources. See what reviews on other sites say - and be sure they’re not just posting the same duplicate reviews.

What Makes a Review Good

Good reviews provide clear insight into how the software works, what it has to offer, and experiences working with the vendor. While it’s tempting to focus on the pros, cons are a good thing. They provide a clearer picture of what failings a software might have, from the superficial to the serious.

Next, find reputable editorial reviews from experts who have used the software personally. They can provide deep dives into what makes a software work, how well it performs under real-world conditions, and any notable shortcomings. These types of reviews are also useful for comparing different ERP products side-by-side.

Last, see if there are any developer responses to the user-generated reviews. Some third-party review sites allow the software developers to respond directly to user reviews. See what they say in response to negative criticism, such as explanations for poor performance or fixes they’ve implemented.

How to Identify “Bad” Reviews

A 1-star review is pretty obviously describing a bad product experience. But even some perfect scores can be misleading. Here’s what to look out for when reading reviews to identify “bad” reviews or user comments:

  • Outdated information: Look for the original publish date on the review or, if that’s unavailable (already a slight warning sign), check the review itself to see if it references an edition or version number.
  • Too many reviews: Thousands upon thousands of reviews listed on the developer website could be a sign of fake reviews.
  • Short reviews: Sometimes only a few words are needed to explain a positive or negative user experience. But too many short reviews, especially if they only contain generic phrases like “great software” without any details as to why it’s great are a sign of fake reviews.
  • Too many perfect scores: No software is perfect, so 500 5-star reviews without a single con mentioned should be considered with caution. This is also why composite scores can be misleading as to an ERP’s overall performance.
  • Incentivised reviews: While providing incentive for a review is not always a bad sign, it can have an impact on the final score. Look for a “$” symbol or similar notation on aggregate review sites to know if someone was paid to leave a review.

Best Practices for ERP Selection Teams

Too often, ERP selections are made via ad-hoc processes and without significant input from departmental leaders. The 5 key steps of successful ERP implementation begin with project planning and creating an interdepartmental team to oversee the selection.

Before even looking at any reviews, the team needs to identify the selection criteria for your future ERP:

  1. Industry-specific needs
  2. Scalability and flexibility
  3. Integration capabilities
  4. Total cost of ownership

Keep these factors in mind when reading product reviews. A software with dozens of glowing reviews might not be a good fit if it’s lacking the industry-specific features you need.

Once you’ve found a software which seems like a good fit, ask for a vendor demo to see the product in action. During this process, you can directly address potential issues here, i.e. if a user review said the loading time was slow, see how long it takes during the demo. And you can even ask the vendor about any negative reviews you’ve seen. They can clarify if commonly reported issues have been addressed, how quick their support team is, and more.

Reviews aren’t the only thing you should consider when searching for software. Look for as much information as you can from as many sources as possible. Well-rounded research into ERP products can save you lots of time and trouble down the line.

Need help finding the right ERP for your business? Get free ERP software recommendations from our team today!
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