Considerations When Switching ERP Software
Learning how to manage growth is a tough challenge for most modern manufacturers, and switching ERP software to a platform that delivers the right level of support for your company is absolutely vital if you want to progress and develop in such a competitive industry.
For any business, big or small,. one of the most important tasks to be successful is to know how to react instinctively to new complex processes quickly and efficiently. Reacting in the wrong way and making a poor decision in the process can potentially jeopardize your business or at the very least, stunt its development. You need to be confident that the new ERP software you’ve chosen can deliver and adapt to the changes it needs to in order to be able to support you in your development.
If you find yourself overly customising your ERP beyond its means to meet the criteria of your growing business, then this can lead to problems being created in the long run. In these instances, it is advisable to consider switching ERP software if your current system cannot be upgraded. Be sure to make a full review of your selection criteria before choosing a desired system, and ensure you are confident that it can deliver both now and in the future.
Below are some critical factors to consider when switching ERP software:
User Friendliness & Compatibility
Functionality is far more than a “must-have” it’s absolutely necessary to the future of your business. Most businesses that are successful have ERP that is closely aligned with their business objectives. If this is the case then your ERP will provide the pathway to increasing productivity and profitability within your workplace.
Functional ERP Software should make use of the latest technology advances and give you the best user experience. If you take Statii for instance, we have a customisable user friendly dashboard which uses a lot of the latest software developments to power this feature.
Testing if a piece of software is easy to use and functional is the best way to “try before you buy” and is really simple. Just ask for a demo and see if your employees are ready and willing to use it. If they find it difficult to use or resist it then this could create problems for your business, with more work being created if essential data is not logged in the system.
The right ERP for you will be the system that can operate effectively, maintain the standards required to process information and will support, and not disrupt your company growth. It will also be popular with your staff.
Age & Support Network
The average useful lifespan of an ERP system is around 7 to 10 years, and to ensure you get the most out of your system during this time you need to ensure that you have a support network in place to tackle the integration of your ERP and troubleshoot any issues you may experience during its lifetime.
Besides the initial implementation of the software, you will need to see a guarantee from your software supplier that they are committed to providing training for your staff as an ongoing concern and are ready and willing to assist your in developing and upgrading your new system going forward.
Training support for ERP can come in a number of forms, whether this is a webinar, workshop or another event, as long as you can gain further insight into how to use your ERP system then this will be really worthwhile, so it’s always necessary to check that the vendor you choose will do this.
Aside from the vendor, you can get support from other system users, why not develop your own network with businesses who use the same ERP software as yourself and use this network to share experiences and develop your knowledge of your solution so that you can demand more from it.
The Cost Of ERP
We all know that cost is a vital part of deciding whether or not switching ERP software is the right decision to take. However, spending money and cost should not be the primary thought when choosing which software to take on.
What really needs to be considered during the budgeting process is the cost of the software against the potential savings you could make over the time of its implementation, compared to other solutions. Often the best solution is not the most or least affordable, but the solution that will offer the best value for money and deliver quality results in the long run.
As well as the cost of the new system itself, be sure to consider the potential need for any new infrastructure you may need when pricing up a solution. A SaaS solution for example may meant that you require faster broadband, additional IT staff may be needed and so your budget should be designed to reflect the potential for these costs in the future.
If you have a system that you’ve been using for quite a while then switching ERP software to a new system can be a stressful prospect. ERP is so important to your business and without a clear plan and an idea of your needs your new ERP won’t be able to take you to the next level. Ensure you’ve carefully considered all the features of your current system, and what you may require before approaching the implementation stage of a new system.