Most big companies rolled out their first ERP systems more than a decade ago. Now it is estimated that one in four businesses plans to upgrade or roll out a new ERP system, as their old systems reach the end of their useful life. Driven in part by the race to beat the Y2K deadline, many systems implemented in 1999 had been designed for a time when mainframes and minicomputers were the norm. Since then, many software companies have abandoned the architecture these systems were built on. Worse, many organizations find that their original ERP vendor has been swallowed by a competitor, and support for its legacy product has come to an end. Most computer programs need to be upgraded or replaced every seven years. However with the sad state of the economy for the last 3 years, many of these upgrades or replacements were put on the back burner.
Now ERP is experiencing a mini-boom born of necessity– and not just for big enterprises looking to refresh legacy systems. Roughly one out of four SMBs and enterprises plans to either upgrade their existing ERP solutions or implement a new one over the next 12 months. Many of these are companies that have been getting by for years with QuickBooks or Peachtree but now need to take managing their businesses to the next level. Their businesses are becoming more complex, they may be growing very fast or have operations in more than one country, and they need to bring more discipline to their business processes.
So how do businesses know where to go from here? The best way to start is by understanding what you want enterprise resource planning (ERP) to do for your business? As more businesses come into the enterprise orbit, ERP applications are being investigated and demonstrations of the software are on the increase. There is of course an application module for just about any business task you can think of. The enterprise software system reaches into every industry and its applications platform can be as robust as you want it to be. The placing of application modules will depend to a great extent, on the type of business you are in. There are ERP systems for businesses as diverse as accounting, manufacturing, architecture, construction, sales, marketing, distribution, professional services, government, utilities and more. So, what’s your need?
Once you have an idea of what your needs are, you can work with an enterprise software business partner to develop a platform for the appropriate application modules you need. Your working platform will be integrated as well as automated, so that you not only have consolidation, but speed as well when processing business tasks. That is one of the major differences with the enterprise software system – an integrated platform that allows communication between all application modules – and the ability to swiftly process business tasks. What’s more, you also get clear, real time visibility into operations, so that you can see what’s going on and where it is taking place within the enterprise. There are also modules for connections to suppliers, partners and customers.
All of your application modules and tools are stored in just one repository or communications hub. You will also have a set of diagnostic tools included for making reports, preparing analysis and business intelligence to help management in the decision making process. The applications are accessible to all staff or, all designated staff. The information and data provided will be easily accessible to all, in real time.
ERP applications will help you to work smarter, while at the same time increasing productivity. If your organization is the one of four that plans to make a change this year, start by watching A Big Step Forward, No Steps Back!
The Secrets to Mid-size Business ERP Success – a pre-recorded webinar. Then contact Axis Global Partners to start your big step forward.