7 Emerging ERP Trends
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has become an integral part of the business landscape, and ERP vendors are continuously coming up with less complex and more inexpensive options. An awareness of what’s trending could help organizations extract the maximum mileage out of their ERP solutions.
1. User Experience
One of the leading causes of ERP user resistance is bad user experience. Unsuitable user experience wields the power to slow down work process. Because of user resistance, training employees to use complex ERP systems takes longer. Slow response time is yet another aspect that affects consumer experience. Response time, however, depends on the speed of your hardware and not the ERP. Some of the user-friendly aspects to look for in your ERP software are customizability, assistive and conversational interface; how information is displayed (a simple, clear and intuitive screen); and an innate command sequence.
2. Cloud ERP
Until recently, the complexity of ERP applications has made vendors wary of adapting to rapidly evolving technologies. However, the steady advancement and reliability of cloud vendors dominating the playing field have encouraged them to cash in on the advantages of the cloud and to deliver more flexible Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions.
The chief benefits of cloud ERP are better access to real-time data, reduced costs, improved business agility and improved collaboration and business relationships. True web interface solutions offer more advantages than hosted versions of legacy ERP.
With the increased use of cloud-based solutions, security breaches are a major concern. The more the volume of data stored, the more sophisticated the breaches. The ideal ERP system will have a multi-level security set up with one of the layers based on predictive analysis of user behavior. It will also have sound encryption and role-based, user-level security capabilities.
Changes in the business environment are faster than ever before. With these changes in environment, business requirements change as well. In order to maintain its competitive edge, any ERP system an organization uses should be flexible enough to quickly adapt and accommodate these changes. Some of the aspects to consider are scalability, interoperability and the effects of upgrading and updating.
5. Mobile ERP
Mobility is fast becoming a mainstream technology. Because of this, employees, especially those in sales, can access and take advantage of their organization’s ERP solutions from anywhere. ERP vendors are now building add-ons and extensions that would bring mobility to the forefront as opposed to mobility being a secondary option. To be fully functional, mobile ERP solutions should support the use of multiple devices. Also, web-based solutions are more advantageous to native, device-specific solutions.
6. Business Intelligence
ERP solutions facilitate more efficient operations based on the data they provide. But most of the data is not put to any practical use. More and more businesses are beginning to combine ERP solutions with business intelligence (BI) tools in order to make all that data work for them. A BI-enabled ERP solution with dynamic reporting tools that provide the right information at the right time will be a veritable asset to any business.
7. Social ERP
Collaboration has a positive impact on staff engagement and productivity. ERP software with add-ons that emulate the functionality of social networking tools is becoming increasingly popular. Features like chat and message boards can facilitate better collaboration. Check communication tools for asynchronous features and e-mail integration.
In conclusion, to stay ahead of the competition, both ERP vendors and customers need to adapt to these evolving trends. Vendors need to understand how they can integrate new technologies with their current ERP systems. Customers must have a clear idea of what they hope to get out of ERP solutions. Return on investment (ROI) will no longer be the only aspect businesses will have to consider in terms of ERP solutions.
5 ERP Red Flags: Is Your Enterprise System Keeping its Promises?
Got ERP red flags? Manufacturers who took advantage of enterprise resource planning systems from previous decades now face aging legacy systems nearing or at the end of their productive lifecycle. Your enterprise might have met the limits of your legacy system and surpassed them. At their deployment, these now outdated solutions promised increased productivity, reduced waste and improved output quality.
Is your ERP system still keeping its promises?
The manufacturing landscape is awash in legacy, unimproved enterprise resource systems with none of the advantages of today’s versions featuring cloud-based technology and faster, more efficient processes, greater power, and more intuitive interfaces.
How do you know if you can squeeze out one or two more years from your solution or if it is costing you scarce resources with its inefficiencies? Can you afford to migrate to a new solution? How does a new ERP fit with company priorities and demanding projects?
ERP Red Flags to Watch
To get your organization position on the right path, be aware of these red flags associated with your current ERP solution. While not an exhaustive list, these five points can signal that you need you to move in the right direction and begin the journey of ERP selection.
Your current software vendor can’t easily provide adequate support, upgrades and maintenance.
If you’ve used the same business software system for many years, chances are you’ve received notice that your software vendor is going out of business or has been acquired and no longer supports the system. If that is the case, it’s definitely time to change.
It hast been more than four years since you’ve upgraded your current ERP solution.
According to researchers at Forrester, approximately half of companies using ERP systems are currently on releases that are two versions behind the current release. We’ve seen other research that shows that more than half of the 40,000 mid-market manufacturing companies operate with outdated ERP systems. Relying on an ERP system that is outdated, or one that has only been upgraded every four or five years at best, makes it difficult to manage change and maintain competitiveness in an uncertain and volatile market.
Your current software system can’t scale to support your company’s growth plan.
Most legacy systems do not offer the functionality that allows you to scale your business. For example, you might require a system that supports multiple languages and currencies because of you international expansion. Other functionality such as multi-plant, bar coding, CRM or WMS capability can also help you meet today’s business demands. Similarly, new Business Intelligence features are critical for organizations to compete and operate efficiently. BI provides the right information, to the right people, at the right time for effective decision-making. Mobile access for a variety of devices is also now a strategic requirement. Most legacy systems fall behind in all of these areas.
Team members are forced to use “work-arounds” outside the current ERP software system.
This is a big problem. If the team performs tasks outside the ERP system, such as double entry work, cutting and pasting reports, walking blocks between plants or warehouses to record/deliver shop floor information, then it is most assuredly time for a new ERP system. These manual and redundant efforts result in major inefficiencies, waste and cost.
Only a few IT people know the current system.
Who within your organization is familiar with the legacy system? Whether it’s custom code or a heavily modified software package, there might be only one or two people who really know the “nuts and bolts.” That brain trust will be hard to replace. You’re vulnerable when those folks decide to leave or retire and there is nobody to internally support the out-of-date information system.
After assessing your situation and performing a business process review, it’s possible to come to a conclusion about your current and future needs, timing and how to take the next step.
The search for a new ERP system requires careful planning, research and discussions with management, the various ERP vendors and ERP consultants.
By addressing the ERP red flags above, performing the required research on new ERP technologies available and motivating the team for change, you can look forward to success with your ERP initiative.
An ERP selection project is a major undertaking and one that deserves serious analysis of the value and risks associated with it. Manufacturers are wise to partner with an expert ERP consultant to streamline the selection and implementation process.
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(Source: ULTRA CONSULTANTS)