Your independent ERP consultant is not just there to help companies who are investing in an ERP system for the first time; they can also help companies who already have an existing ERP system but are not 100% happy with it. ERP systems are vitally important to many companies as they are the information backbone that companies rely on to manage their internal resources, their business and their connections with both customers and trading partners in the supply chain.
It may come as a surprise then that many businesses are working with ERP systems that are over 20 years old. So, to put this in simple terms, they are working with a system that was put in place in the 1990s, or even the 1980s! However, there are also companies that are in the process of replacing systems that were only put in place a few years earlier, which seems like a waste of both time and money. Why is there such a disparity in replacement cycles and how do people decide what to do? Is it better to replace your existing system or to try to improve it? In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of each approach:
Reasons for Keeping Your Existing System:
If you have been through the process of selecting an ERP system already, then you will know what an expensive and time-consuming process this is. Replacing the system, you already have in place means throwing away your existing investment, spending more time and money to source a new system, and then spending even more time and money to implement the new system and train employees.
Before you decide to replace your system, you need to take a good look at what exactly is forcing you to go down that route. Take a look at the functionality of your existing system, the reliability of your existing system, and the cost (including maintenance). It might be that you can use your existing system in a better way. For example, if your existing system isn’t helping you to communicate with your suppliers as quickly as you need to in order to satisfy your customers, then instead of purchasing a new system you may be able to add a collaboration tool to your existing system.
It could also be that all your existing system needs is an upgrade. You may be behind on upgrades intentionally as you have decided against upgrading due to the expense or complexity, but this could mean that you are thinking your system is outdated whereas all you need to do is keep on top of updates and your system will have all the new features available.
Reasons for Replacing Your System:
Most companies we have worked with in the past have come to the decision that they need to replace their current ERP solution due to its lack of functionality and inability to provide the required information. This is usually felt to be having a negative effect on the company’s growth. Sometimes a company’s hand can be forced as their chosen supplier has gone out of business or is ceasing to support the present system, recommending that the company replaces their current system with an updated version which is very different to the current system.
On the other hand, it may be that the company is just unhappy with their current system. This may be because the ERP system was never chosen or implemented correctly in the first place. If this is the case then simply choosing a new ERP system may not be the answer. If internal company changes are not made, the new system may suffer from the same issues of poor planning, lack of commitment and poor project management. What is needed, in this case, is a clean re-start with a thorough, objective selection process; a properly managed implementation and commitment from the whole team.
At the end of the day, the best ERP system for your company is a system that offers all the functionality and information that you need, has been well implemented and is supported by a vendor who understands your industry. This is where we come in. We have many years’ experience under our belt and can quickly help you decide whether you need to go down the route of choosing a new system or whether you can stick with your existing system and just make some simple changes.
For more information on our independent ERP consultation service please give us a call on 0843 523 5630 or send us an email to [email protected]