Upgrading or replacing an ERP system can be a big undertaking. Here's how you’ll know it’s time.
Whether you are a manufacturing company or in the biotechnology space, small business, or mid-sized, one thing is universal: you rely on your ERP software to support the needs of your business. From purchasing, to supply chain strategy, if your ERP software is not performing as well as it should, your operations suffer, efficiency falls, and decision-making abilities are impacted.
Maybe your company is struggling with a legacy ERP system. Or perhaps your existing solution is just not meeting your needs. Whichever the case, when is the right time to replace your existing ERP system? An ERP system replacement is a big decision as it takes a lot of time and resources but despite it being a daunting project, it is often necessary if you want to remain competitive.
So, what are some signs that you should consider replacing your ERP system?
Signs Your ERP System is Outdated or Isn’t Right for Your Business
While every company is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, your company could consider replacing your ERP system if you experience the following:
You find that there is a severe lack of support for your ERP software or that your vendor no longer supports your existing software.
It is difficult to find qualified business systems and technical talent to support your legacy solution.
Your operating costs are extremely high – and there are still a lot of challenges your system cannot solve.
Your ERP system has a lot of performance or stability issues.
Your current ERP system is too complex for users. You find your employees regularly using workarounds to accomplish tasks or hiring programmers to write new capabilities into your software.
Your system cannot support growth and changes in your business.
Your executives and decision-makers get very little insight or business intelligence from the system due to a lack of functionality – or it’s just very difficult to use.
There is a lack of real-time data and staff wastes a lot of time generating reports. You also don't have access to data, on any device, at any time.
Your current ERP system is not integration friendly.
Despite having an ERP system in place, you find that you are still performing manual processes that should have been easily automated.
You find yourself using multiple software to get work done – even though the main benefit of having an ERP system in the first place is minimizing duplicate data and creating efficiencies!
Your legacy ERP system is not compliant, and you can’t get updates.
Should You Replace or Upgrade Your ERP System?
Say your company has come to terms with the fact that you have outgrown your current ERP system or that there are too many gaps in functionality. Now you are faced with another decision – should your company upgrade its existing system or replace it altogether? While there are no hard-and-fast rules, here are some high-level factors to keep in mind.
When You Should Upgrade:
If your existing legacy ERP system has an up-to-date version, upgrading could help your address basic process changes and is likely to be cheaper than a complete system replacement in most cases. For example, if your company is currently running on a legacy system like Microsoft GP or Navision, the next logical upgrade would be Dynamics 365 Business Central. Consider upgrading your legacy software if it meets the following criteria:
The upgraded system has functionality that meets your business needs today and in the future.
You have a great relationship with your current vendor and service partner and are satisfied with the level of support.
End users are satisfied with the current system for the most part.
The new version can help you scale in the future and keep up with technological advancements.
The total cost of ownership is significantly lower than replacing your ERP system.
If the upgraded version can provide the missing capabilities, you require with lower risk.
When upgrading, you should also keep Cloud ERP as an option. Besides reduced IT and hardware costs, cloud ERP has numerous benefits that allow you to scale easily, get instant access to data from anywhere, on any device, and it also lowers your total cost of ownership significantly in comparison to on-premises systems.
When You Should Replace:
If your current ERP is extremely old and doesn’t meet the needs of your business, it might be time for a re-haul. If you find after stages of research that an upgrade will still not deliver the capabilities you require, it might make more sense to replace your ERP system with a new one. Often legacy ERPs are built on outdated infrastructure which can’t support an upgrade anyways. Here’s when you should consider replacing your ERP system:
An upgrade takes as much time and resources as a replacement system and requires a full implementation.
The newer version does not have the functionality you need.
You have been dissatisfied with your existing vendor, software, and level of support is poor.
There is a lack of connectivity with other systems.
You find that the modern version of your system isn’t modernized.
A replacement system is better able to scale and future-proof your business.
Whether you decide to upgrade or replace your ERP system, it is important you have experts who can guide your company through the entire process, from planning to deployment to successful user adoption. Ultimately, your new ERP system should align with your company goals and provide ROI.
Get in touch with Kwixand Solutions for any questions you may have, or if you are looking to adopt or upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central from Microsoft GP, Navision, or another on-premises solution.