It has been said “necessity is the mother of invention” which leads us to make enterprise software upgrades with a “wait until there is a problem” mindset. This only makes sense if you think “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” shows wisdom and foresight.
Waiting for when things are “broke” or an emergency will result in high costs, untrustworthy fixes, and decisions that will have a long-term negative impact. Many issues lie under the surface and unobvious to a less experienced enterprise management team. Cash flow, revenue growth, waste, warehouse efficiencies, the speed of customer service, and inventory accuracy are but a few areas impacted.
Frankenstein software monsters are created when new software is invented and attached to an old system. Systems already broken may not appear to be so.
i.e. Your accounting department is running off of a stand-alone accounting package; your sales team is using a separate CRM, and your inventory is tracked in Access or Excel.
The cost involved to upgrade your enterprise software and for educating the staff are challenges that will be true for any software upgrades. You may find the conflict between the short-term benefits vs. long-term pain difficult and find calling in an expert to help weigh options.
In software programming, technical debt describes decisions like whether it is better to get a program up and running quickly or to take extra time to carefully architect the program.
The trade-off between running your business with a basic accounting package versus running your business with an ERP system is another example of technical debt. Basic accounting packages and Excel are a boon to small businesses. For very little money and effort, you can get your accounting and inventory up and running and focus on growing your business.
What if we can do a quick evaluation of key areas of the operation, processes and enterprise software and determine any risk of “breaking”? Instead of waiting for an unexpected calamity, with a little detective work, we can anticipate potential issues and predict the risk.
If we can predict the potential risk (and cost) of enterprise software marginal performance and its negative impact on the operation, we can then begin to know the real value of upgrading our current software system… such as SYSPRO and other enterprise software solutions.
You’ll avoid getting your books in a tangle with outdated processes that are time-consuming and inefficient, allowing you to continue to provide your growing customer base with world-class service.
An updated ERP software system automates all of your business processes and functions including project management, distribution, quality management, accounting and finance, human resources management, CRM, and manufacturing.
To help you evaluate the needs in key areas of your business… we have created an ERP upgrade checklist which should work well for not only an upgrade to SYSPRO 7, but many other enterprise software systems.
This checklist will help you better understand limitations of your current enterprise software.
Enterprise Software Checklist – “Is it time to Upgrade?”
Order flow issues
Are there bottlenecks when sales volume increases which interferes with service delivery times?
Do you observe inefficiencies with invoicing, receivable and payable accounts?
Do inefficiencies with inventory tracking exist?
Is there an increased level of “paper pile-ups”, wasted time on paperwork, and inaccuracies?
Do you have the ability to increase the capacity of employees?
Do you have the ability to assign a log-in with role-based access to data for every employee?
Do you consistently submit and meet payroll processing, deductions, benefits, and employee taxes deadlines?
Users have changed since the original implementation.
Is your system resistant to cyber theft as a secure, tamper-proof system?
Do you need better storage and backup ability to improve the security of the data and peace of mind for the business?
Does your system take advantage of new technology and sharing options that can be shared online to reporting agencies? (To minimize repetitive transcribing decrease human error.)
Do you enter the same data into multiple systems which waste time and increases errors?
Do you have easy access to help for both training and troubleshooting?
Do you find your system pausing/waiting/freezing/updating which keeps your staff waiting for software to catch up?
Does your ERP software include a workflow engine to prevent important tasks from getting lost and automatically route tasks to the next person in the chain?
Does your system offer the option to easily import (or export) data from (to) other applications? (If you do not have an integrated system.)
Does it seem like your team spends too much time on financial record keeping?
Does your software stay current with local and federal requirements and changing tax laws?
Does software system adaptable to industry needs, new or changing compliance regulations and/or additional trace or audit requirements?
Does your system offer features to adapt with the uniqueness, growing and changing the style of your business with better customization?
Do you have real-time visibility into the business performance to ensure timely strategic decisions?
Can you accurately keep up with variance in prices and calculate rising production costs?
Is your current system able to accurately manage and plan shop floor production?
Is your software system business friendly to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and/or work-from-home staff?
Do you find traditional storage methods at or over capacity?
Do you feel like you are “out of touch” with your business?
Are you experiencing inventory shortages, surplus inventory, expired inventory, missing inventory, or unexplained fluctuations?
Does your current system take too long or unable to help you figure out what materials or product you need, how much you need and when you need it?
Do month end reports take more time than the previous year and more than a few hours to complete?
Are the number of spreadsheets are increasing again?
Do you have instant access to necessary documents, which further improves cycle times?
Do you have the ability to access data and documents quickly and accurately, answer customer questions and ensure first class service?
Does your current ERP software enable sales reps to have the information needed at their fingertips to provide fast quotes?
Are you able to deliver customer orders on-time and error-free?
Do you have new business processes and new trading partners?
Have you upgraded (or added) hardware/equipment with no benefit because of out-of-date software?
Does your operation need new servers, new PC’s that requires you to upgrade to the latest operating systems?
Does your system limit your ability to adopt current vital technology? (e.g., cloud, mobile, EDI, workflow, barcode data collection, etc.).
The checklist above will help you make the comparison between current barriers, risks, challenges and costs vs. an estimated time and cost for upgrading.
The checklist reflects the most common challenges that drive businesses to upgrade enterprise software (ERP) solution, but deciding when to upgrade is not simple. You might be experiencing some of the problems to a tolerable degree, or you may be experiencing one problem particularly acutely. Neither scenario is an indication that it makes business sense to upgrade.
With a sufficient ERP system, you shouldn’t be dealing with anything on the list above and with an ERP system such as SYSPRO, you can take an already efficient ERP system and make it even better. Integrating your ERP software with CRM software is a simple solution for improving your ERP experience, and that’s exactly what we specialize in.
If you own SYSPRO ERP, you already know that with every new release of SYSPRO, the scope of the automation levels that can be achieved gets bigger, performance improves, it becomes more flexible, the reporting mechanisms get smarter and the functionality increases. All of these things combined are what a modern business needs from their ERP system in order to stay up to date with core processing trends and new technologies, and to stay at the top of their game and one step ahead of the competition.
It’s true that new software means the staff needs to invest time learning how to use something new, creating potential problems and a change from the norm. Although updating can be timely, it comes down to the question - do these negatives outweigh the dangers that will come later?
If you need help with a needs analysis to make the business case for upgrading your ERP, schedule an ERP upgrade consultation with one of our expert consultants. They have worked with many companies like yours and can quickly evaluate which are ready for ERP or whether it is better to grow a little more.
Your requirements will depend on your usage – whether your system is on-premise, in the cloud, the number of users you have, the types of modules you use and more.
To find out if your system meets the requirements to upgrade to SYSPRO 7, contact us today!
661-251-0484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.