The ultimate goal of every ERP software implementation is to boost operational efficiency, governance, and some independence. After investing the time, resources, and funds into planning, setup, development, testing, and training, you want to be able to use and handle the ERP system on your own and start seeing the fruits of your labor. From better operational visibility to accelerated revenue growth, you’re ready to take advantage of all the benefits of ERP and hopefully move forward without constant hand-holding from your partner.
The reality is that most ERP system rollouts don’t necessarily go that smoothly. When you consider everything required to integrate and adopt ERP, it has many moving parts with, unfortunately, a lot of room for error. A lot of ERP projects experience delays, extra costs, and misaligned communications from the very beginning. But the problems really start when these minor issues escalate into bigger problems post-implementation, like production miscalculations and lost sales.
There are several reasons why some ERP systems work and others fail. As seasoned ERP implementation and rescue veterans, one of the reasons that we see time and time again is fit. If you don’t put your business needs before features and functionality, you end up selecting an ERP system or solution provider that doesn’t fit your business. You can learn more about this concept here.
When it comes to ERP systems, there is a massive pool of solutions and available partners to choose from. It can be difficult and daunting to decide what will work best for your people and business, and there is always a risk.
- ERP software is meant to reduce costs and increase process efficiencies, but if it’s not set up or optimized to suit your operations, it doesn’t.
- Solution providers are meant to act as experienced guides throughout ERP ownership, but sometimes they take advantage where they shouldn’t or have a different idea of quality standards.
At the end of the day, ERP software is not a short-term commitment. It’s a long-term investment that needs to regularly be optimized to meet your changing needs and to experience the software’s true potential. Most of all, you need a solution partner you can trust that is willing to help you achieve this.
Is it You, Me, or the ERP?
If you’re reading this, then there is likely something going on with your ERP system and/or partner relationship that you can’t quite pinpoint. You may be fresh off an ERP go-live and noticing functional problems, or you could be going on 5 years with an existing ERP system and not happy with its performance, usability, or your partner’s lack of attention.
Whether you’re evaluating a new ERP solution or trying to make use of the one you have, incompatibility with your technology or partner contributes to a disproportionate amount of operational failures. But what is the true issue you are facing? From outdated or incompatible technology to user training to partner support, persistent frustrations are usually just minor symptoms of a larger issue in an ERP system and technology partner fit.
Based on our collective experience, here are 4 of the most evident signs that you need to take a closer look at your ERP system and solution partner:
- You are constantly looking for solutions and workarounds.
If you are frequently on the internet Googling ways to make your ERP solution “do this,” “automate that,” “get you xyz report,” or even sniffing around at alternatives, then flat out—the system, and its supporting players (i.e., your technology partner) aren’t doing their job for your business.
Efficient and effective modern ERP solutions are built to work with your business and your needs. A good partner comes in to fine-tune around your processes so you can go about your daily life and almost forget the ERP solution is there to support your business objectives constantly and seamlessly.
- Your expectations aren’t met.
Bottom line, if your ERP system and its supporting infrastructure isn’t working for you or your budget, that’s all you need to know. Unmet expectations generally tie back to miscommunication, misalignment of the ERP project, and mismanagement of the solution’s application – most of which fall squarely on your implementing partner’s back.
You need a supporting partner that listens to your goals and then addresses them in the simplest, most straightforward manner.
- You don’t feel like a priority.
Support and service requests go unanswered for days, maybe longer, and timelines estimated for even small projects or fixes are unsettling long. Sometimes, instinct speaks volumes louder than your screams at the system screen.
If you are feeling de-prioritized, you probably are. Chances are, you’re paying the same as everyone else, so you should be treated with priority and importance. Always.
- There is pressure to spend more money and overcomplicate your system.
Whether it’s based on evolving business needs or stems from your partner pushing solutions and customizations you don’t need or may not be ready to consume, the pressure to constantly spend more money, extend the project, and customize your new system further than originally planned is a red flag.
Is it Time for a New ERP? Get a Second Look Today.
It’s recommended you get a second opinion on everything from healthcare to car repair before making an important decision. The purpose is to get advice from another professional in the field, and ERP software is no different. When something isn’t working or broken, you need to get a second look.
Sometimes this simple second opinion from a relevant expert is all you need to save your business from a failed implementation or incompatible partner relationship. And that’s what we’re hoping to provide. At Clients First, we believe the first step in fixing your ERP problems is to get to the bottom of what your actual challenges are – not addressing what else you should buy. We have a dedicated team of senior experts who specialize in a variety of ERP solutions, including Acumatica, SAP Business One, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Finance, and Supply Chain.
If you have started experiencing any of the 4 signs above, we suggest you take the time to re-evaluate your current ERP system. Sign up for a personalized ERP system assessment with our seasoned and certified infrastructure, cloud, and business application specialists to get an expert recommendation on the shortest path to ERP success for your business.