| by Alan Simpson
Why businesses need to re-evaluate its ERP system
Whether its Cloud, Big Data or IoT, the technology industry is often guilty of heavily promoting the latest innovations and advances to UK business well before it is practical for them to adopt internally. However, with many businesses still stuck with old Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, the channel should be responsible for advising its customers on how and when to move forward with new technology to operate in more practical and strategic ways.
We look at some of the areas that should be considered for our businesses management customers to benefit from a more streamlined approach to its processes.
1. Business growth surpasses existing systems
It is important that channel partners are aware that most ERP systems are usually implemented at the beginning of businesses life. Successful organisations grow rapidly and can find themselves quickly processing large volumes of transactions and amassing a significant amount of data.
With this in mind, business partners should be monitoring its customers’ systems and turning them into more effective solutions to cope with the increased workload. At the right time, business partners should then be advancing their ERP system or the infrastructure that supports it, or be at risk of systems operating at over capacity resulting in issues such as data violation.
2. The battle with user experience
User experience is something that many struggle to get right, especially customers with hundreds of thousands of employees. The modern mobile experience we are using daily is vastly different from the old fashioned screens and clunky menus offered by many existing ERP systems.
Whilst ERP vendors are starting to re-evaluate their existing systems and invest in updating their ERP interfaces, the business partner should be looking to take responsibility for the user’s entire experience. They should be advising on simplifying the business’s processes, automating workflow and introducing intuitive searches.
Mobile access should also be a given but the business partner must ensure full security of the systems is still maintained.
3. An unsupported business system
Customers tend to stay loyal to their ERP system that is reliable, trusted, familiar and ‘does the job’. This is all well and good but software authors forge ahead of their users, pushing them to upgrade to the latest version or even an entirely new product within their portfolio.
It is essential that the business partner understands their customers and provides honest advice when it is appropriate for the customer to begin moving forward. They should be on hand to point out the benefits, work involved and the cost. The customer will completely rely on the business partner for a smooth migration.
4. ERP does not keep up with the business
ERP systems tend to become the core business application of a company - the central, safe, trusted repository for financial data which is crucial to the organisation. But as a company grows and their business processes mature and become more complex, system requirements tend to spread across more of the company.
In some cases, this can be accommodated with a standard application. CRM is a good example but more and more companies need industry-specific applications, like fleet management systems in a road haulage company.
The business partner should be proactive in recommending additional applications and be relied upon to provide integrations to these specialist applications.
Adopting a new ERP system can offer multiple benefits that are missed from existing systems, including better data integration and streamlined reporting. But for businesses that aren’t going through a growth spurt, it can be tough to justify a move from an existing ERP system that is hassle-free and familiar, to a new system. The channel should look to evaluate other solutions in the market for its customers that promote more efficient ways of working they weren’t previously aware of.
It is essential for the channel to support its customers in investigating which modules or add-on solutions can accommodate their new direction through 2019. Additionally, the channel should help customers assess the differences between modifying existing ERP solutions and adopting a new solution that can bring multiple benefits for the end user.
Datel has been helping businesses for over 30 years and in that time we have seen a lot of change. As technology has evolved, we’ve witnessed our customers grow and succeed through embracing solutions that change the way they work. Speak to a Sage expert and see how we can help your business.
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