As ERP systems continue to develop and modernise, today's businesses have become un-recognisable from those of twenty or thirty years ago. Paperless offices are commonplace, fully integrated systems are a prerequisite and access to real-time data is a necessity.
While traditional ERP applications have served us well, their built-in limitations, aging capabilities and difficulties linking to 3rd party applications have often seen them unable to evolve with changing business requirements.
So what can you expect from the latest ERP systems?
A high degree of customisation for starters!
The way you run your business is often what makes you stand out from the crowd or gain a competitive edge. It is not unreasonable therefore to assume your ERP system should enable you to maintain (and even enhance) your competitive advantage.
Unfortunately over the years many companies found their systems too rigid to do what they wanted them to do and instead were forced to mould their business to fit the software. I wouldn't go as far as to say this made them lose their competitive edge but think it is safe to say it often involved a timely and expensive 'work around' or independent solution to achieve their strategic objectives.
Rest assured this is a thing of the past.
Modern-day ERP software is built using the latest technologies and bring a level of flexibility and continuity never seen before. It is now much easier and more cost-effective to get your software tailored to suit your business. As no two businesses operate the same this offers the freedom to customise your software to suit your exact and ever-changing requirements; giving you the ability to improve your competitive edge.
If you have ever required additional fields, new screens, customised screen layouts or specific menus for users you’ll know that quite often this involved both costly and time-consuming development work or was just not possible. Today it is possible not only to tailor individual end user screens but cater for even the most complex of business processes without involving expensive developers.
So with today’s ERP systems, you don’t have to ‘make do’ with restrictive software that forces you into their way of doing things (a common complaint we hear).
It is important you know that you have options.
Before you commit to upgrading your ERP system be sure you choose the right software for your business even if it involves some in-depth analysis, thinking outside the box or moving away from the big guys in the market place.
Do your research, discover which system will meet both current and future needs and above all, do a site visit. There is nothing more reassuring than seeing a system fully operational in another business.