When is the right time to buy ERP Software?

Mark Canes

With the New Year upon us, many companies will be reviewing their businesses to determine if anything needs to be changed in the coming year to improve the organization.

Areas typically considered would include:

  • Can we improve the company efficiency?
  • Is there a way we can increase revenue?
  • Are our customers happy with our service?
  • Are we losing money in any areas of the business and why?
  • Do we need more staff to help with growth over the coming year?
  • Is the staff being overworked?

These can actually be boiled down to one common question: “Is the company running efficiently and effectively?”

If the answer is "no" or "not as much as it should be", then it's time to decide how to address the deficiencies. We frequently hear from companies around this time of the year asking, “Should I be considering new ERP Software”?

The quick response to that question is normally: “The right time to consider new ERP software is when (or preferably before) your business can no longer efficiently or effectively manage your daily operations.”

Symptoms include:

  • inability to process new sales orders in a timely manner
  • increasing sales or shipping errors
  • more back orders because of inventory issues
  • not knowing the daily cash flow
  • manual processes too time-consuming to manage
  • staff not being able to complete their daily tasks without overtime

This could result in:

  • inability to grow
  • strained relationships with customers
  • risk of losing customers
  • risk of losing revenue
  • increased errors in sales orders, shipping, etc.
  • poor morale within the organization
  • inability to manage the business cash flow

If you believe that new ERP Software might be required to help your company, do your homework. Because there are so many ERP Software solutions on the market today, with varying levels of functionality and price points, it's important to know what your specific needs and requirements are, coupled with a realistic budget. Search for a solution that will help achieve what you need, and adjust your budget accordingly. There is no sense in acquiring a tier one solution if your needs can be achieved with a tier 2 solution at a lower cost, or looking at software that does not have Lot Tracking if you are in a food or medical industry.

Furthermore, in our experience many companies who are looking for new ERP Software for the first time are not adequately prepared to have initial discussions with ERP software vendors such as Blue Link.

Before you start speaking with software vendors, answer these questions internally:

  • What do I need the software to do to solve my problem(s)?
  • Do I have any "Special" software requirements that will need to be developed?
  • Is the company committed to a change?
  • Do we have a realistic budget?
  • Is the "Decision Maker" on board?
  • What is the process we will use to evaluate, decide and implement new ERP Software?

When the time is right, look for a software vendor that is willing to spend time with you to work through your requirements.