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5 warning signs that your ERP system may need attention

Posted by Dave Kravitt

ERP_warning_signsAn Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, like any complex IT platform, should evolve to meet the ever-changing business environment. If you’re like most companies and tend to let your ERP system slide along for a couple of years without much attention, the risk goes up for decreased efficiency and increased costs. 

It’s important to ensure that your ERP resources are current and your system is capable of meeting both immediate and future needs. If it’s been a while since you took a close look at your ERP system, here are five warning signs that it may need some attention and upgrading: 

1. Your ERP system has integration issues
Having trouble making various business and operational systems play nice with ERP? If your systems are having trouble talking to each other, that could be affecting data transfer  and workflows in a bad way. It’s critical that your ERP and other systems such as CRM are effectively integrated to ensure an optimal user and customer experience. Nothing more annoying to a customer than asking them to repeat information they’ve just given because you’ve switched to a different application screen. 

2. Your software’s functionality cannot meet current requirements
While there is some truth to the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” having ERP software that lacks current features and functionality can have a detrimental effect on your supply chain management and overall operational efficiency. But you don’t have to “throw the baby out with the bath water” either.  Modernizing your ERP by adding best-of-breed modules or customizations that deliver current industry standard functionality may improve your competitive advantage. You don’t have to toss away all of the investment of your current systems when they handle the vast majority of your current needs.. 

3. Business is booming
If your business is evolving and growing, your ERP system should be, too. Perhaps you need to add more users, new processes, and additional features to your system. This is where effective integration (see #1) comes into play. A good CRM system integrated with ERP can go a long way in solidifying and enhancing good customer relations to ensure your business keeps growing.  Enabling mobile devices to transact with ERP data can be a great efficiency booster for sales, operations and management. 

4. Your ERP system cannot easily communicate with the cloud
The preferred platform of new business applications is the cloud.  With the ever growing popularity of the Azure, Salesforce, Bluemix and other platforms, this will only continue to grow.  It is imperative that your ERP system is able to talk to applications in the cloud.  As new business requirements become easier to solve with applications in the cloud, the integration to your ERP cannot be a bottleneck for progress.    

5. Support for your ERP is not available
All good things must come to an end eventually, and that includes your ERP system. The question you need to ask yourself is: Are there quality resources available to me?  Is there an option for telephone, sustaining engineering and implementation/training consulting for the software I am running?  Perhaps the underlying architecture such as the language it was developed in or the database it uses is losing support.  If this is happening you know the end is near; your best strategy is to begin planning for a new ERP now. 

To learn more about enterprise planning systems and how to “revitalize” a legacy ERP system, download our white paper, Abandoning Your Legacy ERP?

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Tags: Extending ERP System Life, Enterprise Planning