One of the first questions we always ask when on a fact-finding visit to a prospective client is “Why do you want to replace your current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution?”
The answers sometimes surprise us. Here are some of the most common reasons NOT to replace your current solution, along with some ideas and questions to consider before purchasing a whole new system.
We do not like our Business Partner.
Why not? Is the problem one that could be resolved with a frank conversation? Have you contacted the software publisher for a list of authorized business partners in your area? The software publisher may also offer direct support.
There is no one around from the original implementation, and we are not sure of the current ERP solution’s capabilities.
Training is usually less expensive than a new solution. Contact the software publisher directly, a business partner, or a company who specializes in training for that software to help you use your software to its full capabilities.
We need to replace our out-of-date hardware and thought we should see what new software is available.
Is your current solution meeting your present and anticipated future needs? If so, you may end up spending more of your personnel’s time on the implementation than what the software upgrade costs.
We have not kept current with maintenance, and the cost to come current is so expensive we might as well switch software.
Some software publishers charge steep reinstatement fees. If the software meets your needs and your people are trained in its use, it may still be less expensive to re-purchase the software rather than switching software, once you take into consideration the time and expense of training and potential lost productivity.
Our business has changed, and the current software does not meet our needs.
Have you discussed your current needs with your ERP software’s Business Partner? It may be easier and less expensive to re-implement your current software rather than buying new software. Don’t forget about the potential lost productivity when personnel have to learn a new system; this is a hidden cost of switching software.
That said, even if your business has not changed, we recommend that you review your software’s implementation every five years to optimize performance.
The major cost of implementing a new solution is not the cost of the software, training, and implementation consulting costs, but the soft costs for your personnel’s time and the disruption a software implementation can cause.
Questions about whether it’s time for a change in your current ERP system? Drop us a line; we’d be happy to discuss the best solution for your needs!
Keith Sherwin, CPA, is President of Parallel Solutions - an ERP solutions provider based in Cleveland, OH serving small to medium sized Distribution and Manufacturers throughout North America. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Jo O'Neill