5 Signs Your ERP System Has Met It's End of Life
As most modern businesses are heavily dependent on their software to run their business and remain efficient, having outdated systems running on their last legs has an extremely detrimental effect on your business.
After all, the main objective for most businesses is to turn a profit which is done by reducing operational overheads, increased profitability and more sales. So, it completely perplexes me that many people are unaware of how to determine if their current system is actually doing more damage to these areas than good.
At WilldooIT we see countless organisations that come to us for advice before they inevitably change their ERP system. At the same time, there are many circumstances stopping our potential clients from making these changes. Some of these are because they may be going through a rapid period of growth and not wanting business disruption, not having the internal resources to take on the implementation, being locked in with licencing costs or even the lack of knowledge about how to get the ball rolling to name a few
But, what are the key signs that should see you move to a new ERP system?
Whether you are willing to make the change or not, I recommend you take some time, to read this article and determine if anyone of these points sound like you. With over 36 years of providing ERP systems, our team of experts have determined 5 of the most common tell-tale signs that your software is nearing the end of its end of life.
5 signs you have outgrown your ERP system
1. You have outgrown your systems capabilities
This is the most common driver for change we see. The general evolution of the modern day ERP system stems from the core business functions that you need to run your company, such as finances, accounting and inventory management to a full suite of business applications covering all departments. Today, ERP systems can manage every department, from sales and marketing to accounting and finance, to manufacturing and everything in between.
Therefore, it is imperative that the core software you use to run your business has the capability to cover every department without any restraints.
So, if you’re organisation cannot execute the vital parts of your business strategy due to a lack of tools to get the job done, it’s time to evaluate your current ERP system and see what else is out there!
2. Integration is holding back productivity
One of the most significant issues we see facing growing businesses is that they are using several legacy systems or a collection of third-party systems that don’t talk to each other. At the time, it seems like the most logical progression as each department needs their specialised technology. However, as you grow utilising dozens of systems that don't talk to each other is actually holding back your growth and productivity.
Choosing a user-friendly package that hosts your everyday apps in the one location allows for integrated transitioning from one application to another, saving you time and increases collaboration resulting in efficiency gains. Having separate programs to manage all your business functions decreases output, efficiency and performance.
The result of a fully integrated ERP solution means that all departments of your business work in unison through the one solution. The result is not only increasing productivity but lower end costs, easier to manage billing, enhanced administration oversight, accountability and increased visibility into your business processes.
3. Ease of use is causing staffing problems
As you grow, the natural way forward is to hire additional staff to accommodate your workload. Therefore, it’s inevitable that you will face the speed-bump of highly trained staff leaving you and the resulting effect it can have on your business performance.
If you are using an outdated ERP system that lacks relevant training documents and new staff are having issues resulting in mistakes and a long time to learn the solution, perhaps it is time to re-evaluation your system.
A friendly user interface will allow you to navigate freely and complete tasks with ease. Older ERP systems might be harder to use and will require more on the job training. Younger generations and non-tech savvy employees might have issues executing their daily tasks due to the functionality of your ERP, which causes a lot of staff turnover. ERP functionality is a key sign that your business needs have changed, and that you require a more comprehensive product.
4. Accessibility is hindering productivity
One of the most significant issues that we currently see in the market are people coming to us saying something along the lines of, “I want a system that we can access from anywhere, not just in the office”. The age of downloading and installing software is quickly becoming obsolete as Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are becoming the norm and are projected to become the standard for all business technology.
An advantage of PWA’s is that they work in the same way that traditional software does, but you have the luxury of being browser-based meaning you can log in anywhere, anytime and on any device. As we are well aware of the trend towards the remote workforce, real-time accessibility is quickly becoming a necessity for any growing business.
Accessibility opens a whole new avenue to possibilities regarding workplace flexibility. It also means that there is no messy installation process on workplace computers which reduces wasted set-up and configuration time. Another benefit of browser-based software is that you don’t need to continuously update your software as nothing is stored locally.
Although cloud hosting is not a necessity for every business, the ability to store your data locally or in the cloud sees numerous benefits. We generally advise our customers about the benefits of browser/cloud-based solutions, but that is another article in itself.
5. Costs are through the roof!
When we see growing companies still utilising outdated systems, we generally find that they are investing enormously in modifications to keep them running. Creating modifications/plug-ins for holes in the system is like placing a band-aid where stitches are needed. Not a good idea!
One client of ours was using a very well-known ERP solution, but it wasn’t designed for their industry and the way they operated their business. The result of this was that their SaaS provider had to keep creating additional plugins with additional modifications costing our client hundreds of thousands of dollars, slowing down their system while migrating to a more flexible ERP system would have been more cost-effective.
Old school legacy systems were not developed to handle the digital and online nature that business has progressed to today. Therefore, it's costly to get modifications to keep them running to ensure you are not missing opportunities.
Felix Choo, MBA B.ENG – Solutions Consultant, PNORS Technology Group
Having worked in national and senior roles in both Timber and Packaging Industries, Felix has gained significant experience and knowledge in a variety of businesses and business processes. Being a creative problem-solver, he is a great listener and seeks to understand a client’s challenges and difficulties, before stratergising and proposing a solution.
Felix is a man of many talents, approaching challenges head on which assists his strategic decision making by turning ideas, thoughts, or even a bit of scribble on a post-it note, into massive action with excellent results. Felix is passionate about working side by side his clients as they grow and he works with them to achieve great things.