Do You Need New ERP Software?

ERP software has been around since the 1980s. Their purpose is to enable organizations to manage processes related to technology, services, and human resources. In reality, they can frequently hinder productivity because they are out of date and no longer meet a firm’s needs.

As you assess the effect of your current ERP software on your business processes, you should consider the following questions:

  • Do your current business processes decrease efficiency and productivity?
  • Are they in place to make up for inefficiencies in the ERP system?
  • Have they been dictated by the system because of lack of functionality?
  • Have your business requirements changed over the years making the reasons you selected your current system no longer valid?
  • Have users created many sidebar and workaround systems outside the ERP?

All businesses at one time or another have to weigh the costs and benefits of retaining an older ERP system against the costs and benefits of selecting and implementing a new one. Legacy systems, although on older technology, provide companies a level of comfort—comfort that is likely at the sacrifice of increased relevant functionality and technology.

ERP Evaluations

Many companies put off selecting a new ERP system because it’s a complicated and expensive undertaking. When you make the right choices, though, the process becomes less daunting and even welcome.

Successful ERP evaluations and implementations are crucial to the long term performance and profitability of a business.

Often times a search for the right ERP package involves an evaluation period during which various vendors are invited to present how their software offering best fits a business and will accomplish a great return on investment. While the end goal, of course, is to purchase and implement the best software solution, the evaluation period can bring additional benefits to a business along the way.

The most beneficial part of an ERP evaluation period is that it is a time to take a hard look at business processes and see where things can be made more lean and effective. In the busy-ness of doing business, it is often hard to see which workstreams have become inefficient or ineffective. An organization certainly does not want to select an ERP system that fits its processes if those processes aren’t optimal. Finding new processes that decrease waste and provide greater customer value should always come first.

The evaluation period is also a time to reconnect the business units of an organization with their IT backbone. All too often an organization takes for granted the IT aspect of doing business, which can lead to inefficient and bloated processes. By including IT into all aspects of the evaluation period, an organization can get business and IT management at the same table and ensure that the implementation and support of the newly selected ERP software system will be a success.

The decision to implement a new ERP system isn’t one that should be made lightly. It requires an investment in time and planning. However, you don’t have to make the decision on your own; the assistance of a knowledgeable consultant is invaluable. And having the right consultant makes all the difference. The right consultant can usher a company into an age of improved productivity and effective processes. Conversely, the wrong consultant can leave a firm mired in inefficiency. In fact, making a poor choice in consultants can actually set a business back further than before they came along.