Let’s face it. No one wants to change accounting, line of business or ERP partners and software packages. No matter the size of your organization, a significant mount of company capital, both financial and human, will have to be dedicated to any such endeavor. So how does a company take advantage of the opportunities provided by advancements in technology without throwing away the time and money that they have already invested? The answer calls for a comprehensive review of your ERP partner and business landscape.
Develop a Plan with Your ERP Partner
There’s an astounding number of ERP users who complain about a lack of functionality in their system, only to find out that, had the company upgraded last year (or last decade), the “missing” capability would be built in. Many entities are leaving valuable parts of their solution unused.
Most ERP partners require an annual subscription or maintenance to be entitled to support, and offer access to the latest version of their software as an incentive. This means that while many ERP users are already paying for the new software they want, the implementation of the new application is, many times, unfortunately, deemed too expensive or inconvenient to undertake.
Nobody is saying that it is necessary, or even wise, to upgrade every time there is a new release from your Line of Business or ERP partner. It is prudent, however, to have an upgrade or refresh plan in place. The best way to develop this plan is with your ERP consultant. Your ERP partner should be able to look at the big picture of your business and your goals to determine how valuable an upgrade would be, then advise appropriately.
Communication Is Key
A good ERP consultant will recommend when to upgrade, based on your unique business structure and needs. At Velosio, the Sage practice tries to keep clients on software platforms that are less than 3 years old in order to take advantage of current technology and process development. There are times when it makes sense to upgrade more frequently in order to benefit from groundbreaking developments. Yet, there are also times when it is more beneficial to wait until the “pieces” fit. A competent, experienced, and honest ERP partner is paramount in making sure your ERP is operating as efficiently as possible.
Your ERP consultant should be a trusted business advisor. ERP users and company stakeholders should feel comfortable discussing the latest business trends, pains, and victories with your consultant. The ERP system is the nerve center of the company, and only a professional consultant can tune your application to solve problems and magnify successes.
Your ERP partner should be part of your team. If your consultant understands your business’ operation through open communication, he can help you design business processes and workflows to increase efficiency and optimize operations, using the many tools and resources at his disposal.
Need More from Your ERP? There’s an App for That!
If your processes and ERP are in order but you still need more capabilities, your consultant can recommend enhancements from a wide range of Integrated Service Partners. Examples of enhancements available to most ERP systems are applications for Fixed Asset Tracking, Manufacturing, Warehouse Management, Shipping and Receiving, Alerts and Workflows, Automation, Analytics, Document Management, Tax Reporting, and back office/front office integration.
Your ERP provider can take advantage of many diverse and practical tools, especially if you’re working with a system like Microsoft Dynamics 365. Integration capabilities are a primary selling point in these systems. Many times, your ERP can become a valued tool across nearly every aspect of your company, with applications in everything from finance to inventory.
If technological upgrades seem appropriate, but you’re unsure how to navigate them, your ERP partner should be able to point you in the right direction and get you set up with highly capable systems.
Demand Better from Your ERP Consultant
If your ERP partner can’t, given the chance, solve your business problems to your satisfaction, then demand better. Find the weak link and move on. In today’s competitive ERP environment, chances are the weakness is not in the software. When in the right hands, you will find that your ERP is more capable than you ever imagined.
Here at Velosio, we aim to create partnerships with each of our clients and do what it takes to support their business growth. Every company is different. When we implement our ERP solutions into your operations, we take your unique operating landscape into account to configure the ideal solution and offer ongoing support services to keep you moving long after implementation.
If you’re interested in new technology implementation but are unsure whether it’s the right move, our ERP consultants will use their years of experience to advise you on the best path for your business.
If you have questions about your ERP system or best practices, email or chat our ERP consultants.
Senior ERP Consultant, Velosio
Jim is a seasoned veteran of the world of Information technology and operations management. With more than 25 years’ experience developing efficient processes, applying them, and measuring results, he understands business challenges firsthand and seeks to solve them as quickly and cost effectively as possible. Jim is adept at Sage and Microsoft products and is able to adapt or develop solutions tailored to the client’s needs and environment.
Jim is a graduate of the University of Akron with a B.S. in Business Finance and a B.A. in International Business. He is also a CompTIA Certified Professional and former member and presenter for the CompTIA Services Section.
He is a people person and a proud father of three grown children. In his rare spare time, Jim enjoys fishing, hiking, working on his cars, electric trains, and anything he can do with his family.