3 Main Gripes about ERP Systems as Identified by Users
Let’s be honest: all ERP solutions are not created equal. At the end of the day there is no one-size-fits-all ERP system.
But that doesn’t meant there aren’t some universal issues you’ll want to avoid when picking an ERP tool for you business. Here we look at the three main gripes associated with ERP software according to users, and how you can avoid suffering the same fate.
1. The Sales Pitch Was Great - but the System Failed to Integrate with My Business
Modern ERP software can save time and dramatically improve accuracy compared to older solutions – enabling real-time updates, replacing manual processes, providing live stock profiling and more.
But for your solution to truly deliver results, the software needs to fully integrate with your existing company hardware, specific business requirements and functions unique to your manufacturing or distribution business. Make sure your ERP vendor offers you detailed information on how their system can integrate with your wholesale or distribution business functions.
Make a checklist of the areas you need the system to integrate with – and make sure you ask the key people within your business what they really need.
As a wholesaler or distributor, here are some suggestions as to what your ERP vendor checklist could include:
Pricing administration – managing complex pricing orders and total order value discounts
Customer relationship management – being able to give your retailers real time information about stock levels and product traceability
Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) – better forecasting of purchase requirements based on manufacturing activities, material availability and delivery schedules
EDI solutions – processing of orders, invoices, shipping notices, from basic rekey and print to full automation
Business Intelligence Tools – reporting and analytics from any stored data
eCommerce & mobile ERP capabilities – enable ordering, document processing and stock tracing wherever you are
2. Purchasing Multiple Add-Ons Add up to One Big Expense
A 2004 report from Gartner revealed that ERP software upgrades are considered to be too expensive by users. Multiple small upgrades and add-ons across a variety of providers also proved quite costly. A recent study by Oracle revealed a lack of visibility from businesses on ERP upgrade costs: 47% of businesses did not know the total cost of ERP software upgrades, with 23% expecting it to cost more than £625,000.
You’ve asked the questions within your business, now you need to ask your vendor the right questions.
Check their policy on software upgrades and training – will they provide ongoing support to your team and free software updates?
You’ll also want to ask if business processes and workflows will be designed into an integrated ERP solution, rather than working alongside existing systems as clunky ‘add-ons’.
A single bespoke ERP software solution is the best way to help boost growth, reducing the need for add-ons in the future and reducing upgrade frequency.
3. Information Overload
The final gripe is around being bombarded with information and promises and endless bullet point lists provided by dozens of software suppliers.
Be discerning when shortlisting suppliers and make a list of issues that you’ve had in the past as well as core requirements.
You’ll know if a supplier is going to be too big or small for your business. If your distribution or wholesale business is better suited to an on-premise platform, there’s no point talking to a provider who seems to trumpet their mobile and Cloud ERP offerings above anything else.
The gripes are easy to avoid now you know exactly what to ask of both your business and potential suppliers. A bespoke modern ERP system gives you absolute control over sales analytics, stock management and batch tracing. New ERP software that suits the needs of your business can help solve a number of critical industry challenges across your business.
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