There are a lot of ERP systems on the market, but not all of them will be suitable for your firm. Systems in the past have often been expensive to buy and even more expensive to maintain for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Stories are common about companies buying software and then, having adapted to it, are forced into investing even more money in updates and add-ons to make the software work correctly for them.
There are also cases where a piece of ERP software is unsuitable for a company and ends up causing more problems than it solves.
So, what are the common pitfalls that you need to avoid when considering an ERP system for your small firm?
1. Initial cost
ERP solutions can be very expensive to buy and, if not correctly tailored to a business, more expensive than the several IT systems under one roof that they replace. Initial outlay costs often make the software unattractive for an SME, even when an ERP system is badly needed to improve performance. Make sure you find an ERP system that fits your budget, there’s no point starting off with a system that has a negative impact on your bottom line!
2. Additional costs
There can be considerable additional costs with small business software. ‘Upselling’, as it is known, can make the long-term use of a package expensive. The basic system can appear to be attractively priced until all the add-ons are introduced one by one. Often, support costs and upgrades can make an ERP system prohibitively expensive for an SME. Site visits by the company which has written the software can also end up a costly exercise. Before you buy, find out the supplier’s approach to ongoing support, as well as getting an exact specification outlining exactly what is included in your ERP cost.
3. Lack of flexibility
Often an ERP system created independently can be a ‘one size fits all’ solution to a company’s needs, with an IT boffin writing software in isolation from the real world. But what works for one business may not work for another. This creates problems with implementation and can cause an organisation to look inward as it wrestles with its new system rather than concentrating on its core business. Small business software can also have unnecessary extras which are simply not needed by an SME. A supplier’s clients might sound impressive, for example, with a list of well-known corporations – but are their needs the same as yours? Perhaps the system that the multi-billion pound firms need, is more complicated than the one you need – can the system be cost effectively altered to fit your firm’s requirements? Or will the ERP system always have a lot of systems that you’ll never use?
New ERP systems can be complicated to grasp, especially for employees used to doing things the ‘old way’. This is not helped by overly complex new software which can require in-depth training, diverting workers away from their actual job. At times, ERP software can seem as though it is not an improvement on what was there before. So, make sure that the ERP system you install is one that has been developed to be understood by your industry, and not just the IT specialists.
Small business software of old could often be unattractive to look at, making its use unpleasant for companies. No one wants to use an interface which is outdated and cluttered, especially when it is supposed to provide a platform to make a job easier to complete. Look for ERP systems with a simple and clear design and logical processes that lead you through the required data input.
The Team At Statii Can Help You
At Statii we can help all small and medium sized firms avoid these pitfalls. Our ERP software illustrates that a new system does not have to be expensive and complex, with features a small business will never use. We provide a simple, cost-effective solution to a company’s needs and are up front about what a system will cost. There is no upselling, no big initial outlay and no costly site visits.
Our wealth of experience in manufacturing ensures our systems are exactly what our users need. Hundreds of them are happy with the free for life, attractive software we have brought to the market, helping give them an important edge in a competitive market place.