The Fast Show used to have a recurring character called Swiss Toni; a car salesman who likened everything to “making love to a beautiful woman”. While I’m probably unnaturally interested in ERP software, even I wouldn’t dare to suggest that purchasing new ERP software was in any way similar to Swiss Toni’s favourite subject!
(Image courtesy of Tiger Aspect)
Having said that, it did get me thinking about the similarities between buying a new car and purchasing an ERP system. Anyone who’s had a car for any length of time will start to recognise its shortcomings. While your friends are driving modern, efficient, good-looking cars, you’re left with a rusty, outdated banger that doesn’t handle as well as it used to and costs you more to run today than it ever used to! Unsurprisingly, you start looking for a replacement.
Don’t drive it ‘til the wheels drop off
Is any of this sounding familiar? It should, because this is precisely the same position that many businesses find themselves in when it comes to replacing an ERP system. It’s out-of-date, not fit for purpose, inefficient and costing the business money. So why is it that a car owner would instinctively look for a replacement, rather than ‘drive it ‘til the wheels dropped off, whereas business owners will all too often ‘make do’ with their ERP for another year?
The GTi of ERP
Once you’ve recognised that your ERP system is a bit of a banger, it’s time to explore replacing it with something that’s a bit more modern and a lot more efficient. At this stage, like the car buyer, you should research all the available options and weigh up precisely what it is that you need. A robust 4x4 of an ERP that can handle some heavy data, a sportier model that speeds up processes or a reliable run-around that can handle daily use across all departments.
It’s also worth considering systems that can handle the needs of your specific industry sector. A tractor is no good for a daily commute and a Ferrari wouldn’t last five minutes on a farm! Likewise, a construction company will have very different requirements from their ERP system to a retail business.
Taking it for a spin
Make sure that you learn as much about your new ERP system as possible before you take your first ‘drive’ in it. You wouldn’t want any unpleasant surprises, so make sure you’ve accounted for everything so that you can avoid any pre-implementation ERP errors.
Specific adaptations may need to be made to suit your current processes and ensure that the ERP system works seamlessly alongside any existing software. Speak to a supplier and they can advise you on whether there’s an existing solution for the job, rather than having a bespoke solution created for your business. This will save you time, money and won’t restrict you when it needs to be updated.
After all, you wouldn’t pay over the odds to have more boot space and multi-terrain wheels added to a mini when you can just buy a Land Rover.
Steering you in the right direction
When you’re implementing a new ERP system, you want to ensure that it’s going to benefit your business. The right software will have the flexibility to streamline your processes, saving you time and money, and future proofing the business.
If you want to get behind the wheel of a more effective ERP system, get in touch with us and we can help to steer you in the right direction.
Written by Adept Software, ERP Central/QBS partner
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