Your ERP system is the most important piece of technology your business has. It manages your orders and without those orders, there would be no business to run. That’s why it’s imperative to find a system that works for your company 100% of the time. If your business is being forced to change in order to fit the software (instead of the software being adapted to fit your business), then it could be time to begin the search for a new system.
These three red flags can help you recognize if it’s time to look for a new ERP:
1. Out-of-system “workarounds”
A proper ERP should have full functionality. Every task that needs to be performed should be able to done quickly, easily, and efficiently from within the system. From tracking orders to managing Amazon listings to printing ship labels, every aspect of your ERP system needs to be integrated and fully functional.
However, not all systems work this way. Maybe it seemed like it had full functionality when it was purchased, but after the install, you realized that your business needs a functionality that the software just doesn’t have. As a result, you have employees who are working in Excel or some other out-of-system program to track the data manually.
This is a clear sign that it’s time to look for a ERP system. This system is supposed to make it easier for your business to operate, not more complicated. If you’re working outside of the system with manual solutions for any reason, it’s time to begin looking for a new option.
2. Limited usability or functionality
A proper ERP should make your business run more smoothly. When you’re using the right system, it cuts down on time spent troubleshooting and manually entering/tracking data, which thus allows your employees to become more efficient. The proper system for your business is easy to use and fully functional in every way.
Other than the occasional bump in the road, your software system should run smoothly all the time. Employees shouldn’t have usability problems and every function should be available and run properly with the click of a button. If you’re constantly on the phone with your software provider’s support staff or have an IT guy with a never-ending list of things to do, it’s time to start looking for a new package. The right ERP saves time and reduces problems – it shouldn’t cause more!
3. Never ending costs
Choosing an ERP is a big decision and an even bigger investment, and once you make that investment, you should get something in return – the software. The right ERP will be yours at the end of the installation process, meaning that you should own it completely. However, this isn’t how it works with many packages. When you first purchase a subscription-based system, you pay an upfront cost for your new ERP package. Once your first year is up, you have to pay the full price (or more) again, and if you don’t, the software is no longer available to you. The next year, you’re paying again … and again, and again, and again.
And that’s not to mention upgrades. You finally decide on a system and finish the installation and then six-months later, there’s a new upgrade. After paying 100’s of thousands of dollars for the system that you have, the company wants you to pay another huge sum in order to get the new upgrade.
With software packages like these, there are never ending costs. No matter how things go in the coming years, you are forced to continue to pay the annual subscription and upgrade fees. When you realize that constantly paying your software provider isn’t economical for your company, it’s time to begin looking for a new ERP system – one that you can own, offers included upgrades, and doesn’t constantly charge you for new services.
Bottom line: If you have to change your business to fit the software, something is wrong. The process of switching to a new ERP is never easy, especially if you just recently implemented a new system. However, recognizing that your current system isn’t working for your business and finding one that does is worth it because the time, money, and effort that it will ultimately save your company is worth it in the end.