ERP systems can hold your organization back from growth. If you remain on some of the older versions long enough you may be looking at a sizeable investment simply to get onto a version that anyone in the market still supports or may even still have someone on staff with knowledge the version you are stuck on, and even then, you may be on something stale from a functionality perspective.
ERP systems can also provide your organization with exponential growth opportunities. Modern ERP systems can make the simple sharing of data real time for everyone who has access to the system, which can be a huge advantage. Modern ERP systems can also provide a plethora of new role based security features, backups, and can cut IT hardware and support costs considerably.
Here are a few signs to look at in your own organization to see if it may be time to explore moving to a new ERP platform:
- You are not in the cloud:
- Accessibility to your data on an as-needed basis is a huge game changer. This not only adds speed to your decision making, but it will also add speed to removing bottlenecks. If you can approve something via a device in your pocket and get a day, a few days or even a week ahead that efficiency adds up.
- You data is not real time:
- Lack of visibility is causing issues, inventory can affect supply chain decisions, reports that do not provide good data can also cause issues. All these issues are byproducts of having stale or incorrect data, good decisions are made when you have visibility to good data.
- Overreliance on spreadsheets and inefficient or impossible reporting. This again does not enable timely decision making or may even cause you to have to make decisions, then convene when the answer comes back that the data you used was incorrect.
- You have Limited scalability and lack of customization or optimization options:
- You may want to format a report, you may want to adjust your check form if you change to new stock, you may want to create new role based security and access to costs, etc. If your old system does not allow for this, you are operating at a less than optimal level for your needs.
- Limited integration options, lack of 3rd party compatibility, overly reliant on too many different software packages, and/or data is all housed in different systems:
- Multiple touches and data inputs for the same processes. You may have disparate production and inventory systems and when some of your production is completed, you must finish it in one system and then make sure you update the disparate inventory system with the new inventory, a process that is ripe for making mistakes and causing issues on top of the time spend doing literally double the work.
- Just one example, you may not have a third party logistics provider today, but you may need to add one in the next quarter or two. They may need the ability to see inventory levels and manage your safety stock for you, or help you make other decisions. If you do not have the ability to add them to your platform to provide data, you may have a lot of your team spending time updating them on inventory levels or other data areas and that data is only as good as the last update you provided the third party with.
- Workplace dynamics have changed overtime:
- Employees complain about the system, or your team is spending too much time dealing with creating workarounds or having to constantly adjust workarounds to perform tasks in the system.
- Overreliance on only a few key people with internal tribal knowledge and you are stuck with a lack of training options for new users you want to add as you grow. You may only have access to outdated training, or training that is focused on a very old and unsupported version of the platform.
- No vendor support or the version or even platform is no longer supported by the original vendor and has reached End of Life:
- You can get stuck with the need to update to a newer version before the original vendor will continue to support you. Some of these vendors require you to upgrade through a ladder of old/outdated versions which cost your organization time and money to jump through hoops to get minor support from them.
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