Blogs and tech websites often tend to paint a rosy picture of ERP software, especially when they are sponsored by ERP vendors. This is to be expected, but the reality is that problems can arise. The best way to avoid them is to be aware of potential issues in advance so they don’t happen to you. The following are ten of the most common problems ERP software customers can face.
1. Expensive upgrades can sneak up on a company. What at first seemed like an inexpensive ERP solution can become very expensive when it comes time to upgrade. Action: stay active with your maintenance plan and make upgrades regularly instead of all at once.
2. The high cost of maintenance: Software does not take care of itself, especially when the customer is required to maintain both it and the hardware that runs it. Action: Consider eliminating this expense with a hosted or cloud deployment.
3. Lack of flexibility and adaptability: Many companies need the ability to make changes to their software, and some ERP packages are too rigid. Action: Choose a solution that is easily customizable such as Microsoft Dynamics GP.
4. The high cost of third-party support: When vendor support is limited, third-party support is required, but some of them can be very expensive. Action: evaluate the rates of local partners that provide support.
5. Multiple systems for each department: Some ERP systems do not have integrated databases that link each department, requiring multiple instances and separate maintenance for each one. Action: Choose a system that includes complete functionality (such as Microsoft Dynamics GP).
6. Some information is inaccessible: It does a company no good to have information in a system that does not offer reporting and analytics for everything it stores. Action: We can say it again, choose a system with strong reporting such as Microsoft Dynamics GP.
7. The business conforms to the software, rather than the software conforming to the business. Action: Discuss your processes with the ERP vendor in advance and see a demo of how they can be mapped to the system.
8. No “big picture”: This is related to inaccessibility. Software that is not flexible enough can “trap” data, making it difficult to view in the format a user needs. Moreover, some software provides no way to view a comprehensive view of all data: the big picture. Action: Work with an ERP partner you can trust.
9. Expensive add-ons: Add-ons almost always cost money, but some vendors make a killing selling them, especially when those add-ons plug gaping holes left by inadequate software. Action: Research how many add ones are installed on average and why.
10. Inaccurate information:It is hard to believe this one would even make the list, but past complaints of certain ERP systems have revealed that they sometimes do not produce accurate output even when the data inputted was correct. This can be deadly for a business. Action: Don’t buy a system like this. Read reviews, ask for referrals.
No ERP software is bullet proof, but the above problems are major and not issues your business should have to confront. Good ERP software should make your business process easier, not more difficult.
By Express Information Systems, Microsoft Dynamics partner serving businesses throughout Texas.