Companies of all sizes struggled with the changes brought on by Covid-19. The lockdowns caused by the pandemic created pressure that exacerbated problems that, for some companies, had lingered for many years. One of those issues was whether they should upgrade or replace their ERP solution.
Lack of access to crucial information, the inability to plan for changes in the supply chain, and forecasting financial results based on rapid changes exposed issues with some of our clients’ current ERP solutions.
Remote Work Brought on New Issues
One area most businesses never considered was that the finance and accounting team would be working remotely. Some organizations did not allow their employees to access their ERP solution remotely. This posed several issues for businesses that were not prepared including, how to process payables invoices, how to manage cash receipts and bank deposits.
When people aren’t in the office every day, how do you obtain the invoices, get the necessary approvals and get them paid efficiently. On the cash receipts side of the business, many companies still get paper-based checks that need to be opened, entered in the system and manually deposited in the bank. Modern systems allow for integration with bank lockbox receipts. Some systems support that automatically while others do not. Being efficient in a remote work environment is completely different now than it was just one year ago. However, there are many other issues that indicate your ERP solution is past its prime.
Indicators that your ERP system is Outdated or Doesn’t Fit Your Business Anymore
Many companies have been using the same ERP solution for many years even though their business has changed since it was first implemented. Considering the rapid changes that occurred in 2020, will your current ERP solution support how you work now and what business will look like going forward?
Here are some issues you should consider as you evaluate your current ERP solution:
- Your system does not allow for remote access.
- You have a hard time finding support.
- It is difficult to get meaningful and timely information from the system.
- You depend too much on spreadsheets to manage the business.
- There are no dashboards or real-time information readily available.
- Your system is not integration friendly.
- It is too complex for most of your users.
- You have a lot of performance or stability issues.
- It does not flexible enough to support changes in your business entities or processes.
- Too many manual processes.
- Entering the same information in multiple systems.
- It does not have robust security and multi-factor authentication.
If you feel like your current ERP solution is holding you back, here are some options you have:
- Add new complementary solutions around your ERP solution
- Upgrade your systems to the latest version from the same vendor
- Replace your legacy ERP solution.
We will explain and explore the various options below.
Add new complimentary solutions around your ERP solution
Some companies choose to add third-party solutions around their current ERP solution instead of replacing it. This is a good option when your core ERP solution is fairly up-to-date, but you need some additional capabilities to make it work well for your company. This approach is much more affordable than an upgrade or a full ERP replacement.
Some examples of items that are added on include the following:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Professional Services Automation (PSA) – for project-based companies
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
- Point of Sale (POS) – for retailers
- Demand Planning
- Warehouse Management
- Reporting and Analytics
If you decide to go this route, make sure you evaluate solutions that easily interface or integrate with your current ERP solution and provide a transition to a new ERP solution if you decide to make a change in the future.
Upgrade your systems to the latest version from the same vendor
It is easy for an organization to decide to skip an upgrade and before you know it, they are more than three versions behind. At that point, an upgrade to the latest version is more challenging and may require a reimplementation depending on your current ERP solution.
Evaluate the upgrades available from your current vendor and assess the level of impact (costs and benefits) of upgrading before you consider replacing your current ERP solution.
Replace your legacy ERP solution
If many of the issues above apply to your company and your current ERP solution is just not a fit or cannot be updated to accommodate your needs, it may be time to replace it. Replacing an ERP solution is a time consuming and costly proposition, but when done correctly, it can have lasting benefits for your company.
Whether you decide to upgrade or replace your ERP system, it is important you have experts who can guide your company through the entire process, from planning to deployment to successful user adoption. Ultimately, your new ERP system should align with your company goals and provide ROI. Turning Point Consulting can help you with an assessment of your current ERP solution, preparation of a business case for an upgrade, or an independent ERP selection.
If you need to build your business case or just set the right budgetary expectations, download our ERP Pricing and Selection Guide.