As your organization matures from a startup to a more prominent organization, you must assure your ERP System is reflective of this process. An ERP System gives your organization control and info over all aspects of its processes. It’s crucial to realize that countless mature organizations have needs that their current ERP system cannot manage, or the organization may not have an ERP in place at all.
Although it should seem like upgrading your small business’ ERP is a simple process, there are some complications related to doing this to a mature business. Mature businesses have managed to survive both good times and bad times, all while creating to make their systems work for them through those ups and downs. As a result, we often see inefficient procedures in effect that are labor intensive and often require manual consolidation of processes across numerous internal systems and information sources.
While an effective, integrated ERP system seems like a no brainer, mature businesses face a steeper challenge in integrating an ERP system over younger opponents. Most mature businesses achieve and maintain their success through exclusive organizational procedures allowing them to deliver superior service to their clients and have been developed over time. In selecting an ERP system, it’s critical for a mature organization to determine the new system’s capabilities to carry out those established organizational procedures in an efficient manner.
ERP systems must be selected based on their ability to process critical transactions you’re depended on for your organization to succeed. From Sales and Fulfillment to Purchasing and Acquisition to total Inventory Management and Financial Reporting, a system must be evaluated based on its functional capabilities. In addition, mature businesses must pay special attention to the inherent capability of the ERP system to be customized to meet their process-specific necessities. Aspects like the ability to process similar transactions using multiple methods, or the capability to add custom procedures to the system’s standard transaction flow should be a big consideration.
You also need to be aware of how the system achieves these customization goals. Are there built-in tools that allow your business to build or maintain the customizations? Is there available add-on products that can deliver additional capability, methodology, and controls that must be adhered to when built in tools or add-ons are not enough? Will the implemented customization or add-on be supported throughout the systems lifecycle of upgrades? While these are important questions for all businesses to encounter, mature businesses should place a special emphasis on these considerations.
So, as you consider your next steps, be sure to consider getting the advice and counsel of a system integrator or software consultant possessing experience, and maturity, to help your established and prosperous business upgrade your ERP software and procedures in a thoughtful and collaborative manner.
-Steve Ovadia, Consultant