To keep production moving on the plant floor, manufacturers, like you, must focus on things like quality, equipment maintenance, inventory, on-time delivery, profit, customer satisfaction and more. You don’t have time to think about how efficiently your ERP software is working or what new features you could be utilizing. Before you know it, your system is out of date and inefficient. That’s why it’s so important to leverage a cloud-based ERP solution that does all this work for you. This post discusses five challenges faced by many manufacturers trapped in ERP (revision prison) and describes a better path for success.
- Be wary of deals too good to refuse
It’s possible that your business is running sufficiently on an old software version, but what happens when the ERP software vendor no longer supports that version? You’re stuck on an island, isolated from your competition who is running on better ERP; you’re also isolated from any support you might need which results in more time and money away from your core business processes. The vendor will no doubt offer to solve this problem by upgrading you to the latest software version, but this is followed by another long-term contract that traps you into the same vicious cycle again and again. Cloud ERP breaks this cycle by ridding you of outdated software versions that drain your business, instead providing an efficient always-up-to-date system that works how you need it to.
- Plan carefully.
Planning upgrades requires quite a bit of dedicated stakeholder time from across the business in order to minimize disruption. So you have to allocate a portion of management’s time to this activity, pulling them away from core business goals and responsibilities. In addition, you’ll have to do this annually, semi-annually or sometimes even quarterly depending on the vendor. It’s exhausting, and it doesn’t allow you to run your business efficiently. Cloud-based ERP solutions do all the planning for you by providing you with features you can choose to turn on or off, depending on your needs.
- Don’t fall into the money pit.
Legacy ERP vendors often cause manufacturers to fall into an ever-expanding money pit by charging exorbitant fees as part of annual maintenance contracts. To make matters worse, these charges don’t even include the true cost of upgrading to new software versions. Planning and consultant costs, in addition to lost time on core business activities add additional costs beyond the hefty, recurring annual payment. With ERP in the cloud, maintenance fees are erased as the system is always updated in real time.
- Don’t get lost in the ERP wilderness.
Everyone loves personalized service, but having a customized ERP system with features that work for you and no one else isolates your company in a scary way. It’s a challenge to support a highly customized environment, and you can’t rely on a supportive user group to answer tough questions. The right cloud-based ERP solution is adaptable to meet your needs while also providing a robust user community that can offer advice on things you experience in your business.
- Choose an option that keeps you afloat.
If you’ve ever purchased an on-premise ERP system, you know that it’s only a matter of time before the system begins to sink in value and efficiency. You can trade in and buy a newer system, but you lose money that way and become stuck in the same cycle. You could add various bolt-ons to build upon features that are no longer useful, but that option quickly becomes cumbersome for your IT staff. Choosing a cloud-based ERP system eliminates the stress of trying to keep up with the latest upgrade, as the system is always up to date with no internal IT support needed.
Ready to learn more? Access the “The Appeal of SaaS ERP”, an analyst report from Mint Jutras.