When most companies look at implementing an ERP system, there is a justification done based on an ROI analysis for a few easy-to-see direct benefits – everything from things like inventory awareness to eliminating costs of maintaining outdated and poorly functioning hardware and software. Many justifications will also attempt to put a value on improved support of the platform resulting in higher efficiency in the plant or warehouse.
Many businesses can start to see when there is a growing need to implement a new system like an ERP, or replace an existing, outdated system. When doing research, it's sometimes difficult to weed through the things that are fact and those that are opinion based. That is why it's important when doing this research to speak with experts who have worked with businesses like yours in implementing software like this on a similar scale to your own business.
There are a lot of questions, and there are some myths when it comes to ERP systems. We have put together some of the things we've seen based on our experience as system integrators. Let's help you debunk these 5 ERP myths:
MYTH 1: "It's way too expensive and takes too much time to implement an ERP."
One of the most common statements we hear is that an ERP is too expensive and takes too long to implement. People often think it takes over 18 months and more than one million dollars to get an ERP system up and running. While that used to be the case for on-premise, enterprise ERP solutions, that is not the case for mid-market companies looking for a cloud-based solution.
Now, don't get me wrong--an ERP implementation is not something that is always easy nor is it necessarily dirt cheap either. Keep in mind that an ERP system touches nearly all of the most important parts of the business and needs to be implemented with care. That doesn't mean that it can't be done in a short timeframe and in a cost-effective manner! Here are some suggestions on how to avoid paying a fortune and how to get up and running in a short period of time:
- Pick an ERP solution that matches you needs. In particular, find a system that has a reputation for working well in your industry--whether it is retail, commerce, manufacturing, distribution, consumer packaged goods or other industries such as construction and real estate.
- Pick something that works for you in terms of technology. You should no longer need to support a full technical infrastructure in your data center. Find something that is cloud-based, such as Acumatica. This makes it easy to set up, easy to upgrade and easy to update.
- Find a Partner that is certified and competent in standing up your solution - It's important to find a partner that not only knows the system being implemented, but is also an expert in your industry.
MYTH 2: "My spreadsheet works just fine for Inventory Management."
First, see if you can answer all of the following questions with complete certainty:
- Do I know my inventory costs?
- Do I know exactly much inventory I am holding for each product?
- Do I know exactly which products are low or out of stock and require replenishing?
- Am I able to avoid selling on back-order?
- Do I know which products are overstocked?
- Do I have a mechanism to avoid inventory sitting too long in the warehouse, thereby costing me money?
- Do I have a visual dashboard that can quickly answer all of the above questions?
If the answer is YES to all of the above questions, then you are in good shape. However, if the answer is NO to any or all of the above questions, then you need to look closer at how much your system is really working for you.
Inventory is constantly moving and changing and would take a person way too much time out of their day to manage inside of a spreadsheet. Inventory management requires close to real time updates and just cannot happen inside of a spreadsheet.
MYTH 3: "An ERP system is too difficult to setup and manage."
Here's the thing, you are not the first company to do this, and you won't be the last. What does this mean? Software like Acumatica not only has a well-developed implementation process, but part of that implementation process is also having a certified partner helping you throughout your implementation and beyond. Companies like Fortuitas have trained and certified staff that take you through the implementation as well as training your staff how to use the system. Beyond that, the Acumatica Academy takes you through your first few months of using the software to get your staff familiar with their role in making this a successful implementation.
MYTH 4: "Once I get the ERP, I'm on my own."
Even when you look at best-in-class systems like Acumatica, there will always be a need for some level of support. It's important that when you need that support that someone is there in a timely manner to resolve those issues for you. That is why an Acumatica partner such as Fortuitas works side by side with you as a multi-layered support system for your business. This support system provides you with a first line of defense that includes the following:
- Error Corrections - Resolving any issues you encounter.
- Severity Response times - Responding in a timely manner based on service level agreements.
- Ticketing System for Issue tracking - A convenient web-based tool to report and track any issues.
MYTH 5: "What if I need more? I will have to develop it in house."
So, you are growing and have a need to unlock more features, modules or need some customizations. The best part of using a system like Acumatica is that you are not locked into a disjointed system. The problem with many other systems is how difficult they are to add new features. With cloud-based software like Acumatica, not only is the software itself modular--featuring several different industry specific components, but the API gives the software the modern flexibility needed it to tie it to third party systems such as your eCommerce website, point of sale system, CRM system etc., or to build customizations if necessary.
Final Thoughts about ERP
Implementing an ERP is a big decision, but it doesn't have to be hard or cost your business a fortune. The most important question to ask yourself is, "What's the cost of doing nothing?"
If you are curious about to how to get started, feel free to schedule an initial consultation. We'd be more than happy to help out.