For many businesses their ERP system is an integral part of day to day operations. But like any other part of your business, what worked well enough yesterday might not be fit for purpose now and in the future.

Often, businesses won’t change their ERP software until they absolutely have to. The reason could be because it’s becoming too cumbersome to work with, lack of support from a vendor or some other issue. The problem is that by waiting until your hand is forced you’ve laid yourself open to two major problems:

  1. Implementation Difficulties. If you’ve been struggling on with your ERP software well past its sell-by date it will be deeply entrenched in your operations and become much harder to change.
  2. Lost Time And Money. The longer you wait, the more time your staff waste fighting with an outdated system, taking longer to get things done.

Like most things in business, it pays to take a proactive approach to ERP software otherwise you can find yourself getting outpaced by your competitors. So how do you know when it’s time to make the change?

People avoid the ERP software

Your ERP system should be the central repository for your company data, and where all essential business processes are carried out. But if you find that employees are using alternatives to your ERP software to get things done then it’s a sign that your system isn’t up to scratch. Look for a system that is flexible and will adapt to your working methods.

Lack Of Support For Your ERP Software

It’s not uncommon for ERP system developers, especially smaller name companies, to develop their products and then fail to adapt them to changes in technology and business practices. You may find that support for your software becomes reduced as it ages, or that it is withdrawn altogether, if you opt for a product from a small company. Having a system in place that is not being updated or supported can cause all kinds of problems for your business from system crashes to data security issues. It’s always safest to opt for an ERP system that is supported by a major name, for stability and assurance of future support.

Can’t transfer to the cloud

Older ERP software is unlikely to have an option for transfer to the Cloud. An ERP system based in the Cloud as opposed to on-site has many advantages. It doesn’t require you to change any of your current IT infrastructure, as the system is run on external servers. Cloud-based systems cost far less to implement and use than traditional software, and you get support as part of the package so any issues with the service are handled and resolved by your vendor. Cloud ERP software is also more flexible, allowing you to scale your usage up and down according to the demands of your business.

When considering changes to your existing ERP software, or if you’re looking to implement a system for the first time, it’s important to review your current business situation, your roadmap for the future, and how your current system (if you have one) is functioning.

Often it can help to have the situation analysed by a third party who can assess your needs and recommend the right ERP software for your business. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last moment because you could be in for a real headache!

Baker Tilly are a Microsoft Dynamics AX partner, and have extensive experience in helping businesses implement ERP systems. Contact their ERP Software_ team today for further information._