5 Tips for Efficient ERP Maintenance

You have a wonderful ERP system in place. You spent a lot of money on the software and even more on ERP implementation. Your people are trained, everyone is using the ERP and your business is getting most of the hoped-for results. Now what?

Your ERP is a powerful tool. You need to keep it sharp through ERP maintenance or the performance will drop away. Neglect the system, and its life cycle will be minimal. Here are some annual tips (your maintenance may be required more or less frequently) to keep your tool sharp.

Look Back on What Changed in Your Business over the Last Year What new customers have you added, or have old ones dropped away? What new technologies have you used this year? Do you have new personnel with skills that you did not have a year ago? Any of these evolutions could be helped by changes to your ERP. If your organization has growing pains, tweaking your ERP system may provide a quick fix.

Keep Your Staff Well Trained A large part of the implementation expense was training, and yet training is often neglected during the maintenance program. You have added new people over the year. This could be a good time for formal training. They all got on-the-job training when they started but probably picked up some bad habits along the way. Give the employees who were with you last year some updated training too. They might have forgotten some of the training from a year ago.

Take a Good Look at Your Servers and Network Systems Technology keeps improving. Equipment keeps wearing out too. Have any performance indicators fallen off? Monitoring KPI’s can allow you to react quickly to pain points where ERP maintenance is required. Is any equipment on its last legs? Your business depends on this every hour of every day. Keep the ERP hardware in top condition.

Ask People What Can Be Improved Ask your employees what suggestions they have to make their jobs easier and more productive. Ask your customers and vendors too. They have connections as well and can bring a unique outside perspective to ERP maintenance. What problems have the experienced with their system? Are these cracks beginning to form in your software also?

Keep Your ERP System up to Date with Upgrades and Revisions Your ERP vendor issues upgrades of all kinds on a regular basis. Some are bug fixes. Some they consider to be major improvements in their offering. Generally there is no requirement to install the upgrades unless they fix a bug that affects you. But, take the time to stay up to date. The upgrades probably need to be installed sequentially. If you get too far behind, your vendor might stop supporting you. Be sure to upgrade any bolt-on improvements you are using too.

ERP maintenance should be your whetstone - keep it handy and your ERP system will stay sharp and give you the results you need.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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