Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has become a much-needed tool for efficient business management in the manufacturing environment. An ERP system blends accounting, finance, supply chain management, production, and other systems into one comprehensive system. Newer, cloud-based ERP systems enable you to access your company’s data from wherever you’re working whether it is in the factory or from a client’s location.
Many manufacturers are just squeaking by with older, legacy systems. Some continue to use outdated software, manually outputting data to spreadsheets and crossing their fingers that it’s accurate. Some are still stuck with a hodgepodge of separate systems that take days (and a lot of work hours) to retrieve data and develop reports.
If you find yourself nodding at this description, it may be time to bring aboard an ERP consultant. An ERP consultant can help you select the right enterprise resource planning software for your needs and create a roadmap to smooth implementation.
Is the time right to start work with an ERP consultant? Let’s look at the clues. Here’s why—and when—you should work with an ERP consultant.
Software So Old It’s Antique
If your current ERP software should be in a museum, it’s time to find an ERP consultant to help you replace it.
How old is too old? The software may be ‘too old’ to get the job done when it’s no longer supported by the company who produced it. If the software provider announces they will no longer create upgrades or continue to offer help desk support, it’s a sign that the software is being phased out because newer, better software has made it obsolete.
Another symptom of aging software is its inability to work on newer computers. Older software may display poorly on newer, faster computers. It may be incompatible with mobile devices and require costly custom programming to work on different systems.
Resistance to Change
Something extraordinary happens within companies that continue to user older software systems. Someone on staff becomes the software expert. That person is the go-to for any questions, problems, or knowledge pertaining to the system. It might not be their job to be the answer person for Software XYZ, but now it’s part of their unofficial job description.
Others within the company may be so used to a clunky system that change seems...scary. It’s easier to make do with what you have than to embrace a new system that requires a change in thinking. The old expression, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know” comes to mind in such a situation.
This is where an ERP consultant can really be a big help. Because consultants facilitate change from without, they can prod and pull reluctant employees into embracing the new software. They don’t have a vested interest in the existing software and can help you choose the right solution for your business needs.
Retiring Legacy Systems
It can be difficult for some employees to let go of legacy systems, cumbersome though they might be. They’re used to working with what they have and may not want to learn a new system. It’s easier to keep going with what they have than to learn something new.
If you encounter these situations at your company, that’s a great time to bring in an ERP system consultant. We can help your team understand the need for the ERP system and the benefits they’ll derive from it. Once they understand the reasons and benefits, many of their fears at losing the old system will be laid to rest.
Training on Existing Systems
Now let’s consider another scenario. Perhaps you did your homework and embraced a new ERP system. It’s working great except for one thing: people say they can’t get what they want from it.
You know that it can provide reports on production, supply chain management, accounting, finance...and some team members say they are downloading the reports that they need. But others complain they can’t find specific information, don’t understand how to use it, or just don’t like it.
This situation is all-too-common among those who purchased ERP systems without working with a good consulting firm. Some companies sell software and pre-recorded training systems that may work for some but may not offer robust enough training for others. Adults learn best when they can practice skills frequently, and if they learn new skills using recorded training, they may not retain what they learn.
Working with an ERP consultant can bridge the gap between your existing software and the training needs of your team. An ERP consultant can evaluate the learning needs of your organization and propose training that helps people use the system to its fullest capacity.
Expert ERP Consultants: Positive Vision
PositiveVision provides consulting and services to manufacturing and distribution companies. We can help your operations run more efficiently and provide you with the right tools to gather accurate and timely data. With the right data, you can better manage your business. Learn more on our website or contact us today.