Steve Goodwin, Sage 200 Account Manager discusses the right time to update your software.
If integration is proving difficult
With multiple business systems, comes the need for integration. Many companies find themselves spending many hours and many pounds keeping complex, custom built integration routines alive and kicking. As data grows, complexity increases and so does the requirement for more code and more management of that code.
The move to a new integrated ERP system will alleviate that problem and will lower the total cost of ownership over the lifecycles of that solution.
When employees start to find alternative ways of fulfilling a process
It’s normally a good indicator that your systems are no longer fit for purpose when people stop using it and find “work arounds”. ERP solutions that prove slow or have outdated features can offer a huge disincentive to employees, with productivity and morale being affected because of cumbersome, inefficient processes. This can be particularly true when new employees join your workforce and bring with them experiences of modern IT. If you have started to see a rise in the number of spreadsheets being used its time to ask why.
Don’t ignore the best before date
ERP vendors used to work to the rule that a business would look to change their system every 7 years. Over the past 5 years, the increasing pressure on the average business has seen this lifecycle increase to closer to 11 years. And whilst there isn’t a date that a company should rigidly look to when considering new ERP software, there is an argument that ERP should be reviewed every 5-6 years.
When a business considers the changes it may have gone through with products or services, changes to demand, new technology or the rise of emerging markets there will have been a considerable change in any 5 year period. So it begs the question; is your ERP flexible enough to cope with those changes?
Risk of doing nothing outweighs risk of changing
There is no doubt that implementing a new business system or ERP solution is risky, akin to open heart surgery on your business. But there comes a point, and it is often a very obvious moment in time, when the risk of doing nothing outweighs any risk associated with implementation and user adoption. Whilst you may be biding your time, waiting until you have built a solid case for ROI, ERP is fundamental to a thriving modern business. According to research conducted on behalf of Sage, companies with effective data grow 35% faster.
When users want modern features and functions
New ERP is packed with modern features and web capability that help an organisation to increase efficiency, drive productivity and provide employees with the space and flexibility to consider incremental improvements, eeking out every last resource. Potentially even more important is that your competitor could be taking advantage of those modern features to drive efficiency in their business and build even more competitive advantage over you.