As I mentioned in the last blog, there are some great benefits to be had from deploying ERP, if a company is ready for it. The catalyst for a change of business system often comes from new employees into the business. People who have worked with good software find it frustrating not having the right tools for the job and demand more from business systems. Once the decision has been made, implementing the ERP system can be equally challenging, with staff putting the new system in place whilst still needing to do their day jobs. If the process is not planned well, the disruption to the business can create frustration and a loss of confidence in the new system even before the system starts to pay for itself.
Software systems marketed as ‘out of the box’ have standardised processes and require very little functional development; such systems minimise risk and costs associated with project creep. There is an element to which business processes need to be shaped to fit the software and most systems can be adjusted, but some are more flexible than others. Systems such as Sage ERP X3 have effectively several different out of the box modes, i.e. several different configurations for the typical business. This means that you get flexibility without having to reinvent the wheel.
Finding a balance between risk and reward can be managed with careful project management and proper training to get the most out of the new system. People within a company do not always have experience of managing a new ERP implementation and finding the right partner with the right skills, can be critical to the success of the project.
Moving on from Sage Line 50 to Sage 200 was the most logical option for us. As a company we were already familiar with Sage and CPiO’s ability to work with our bespoke database provider gave us the assurance we needed. We had found the right partner to make the change with.