25 Signs That You Need to Update Your ERP

by brooke

25 Signs That You Need to Update Your ERP

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is critical to successful business operations, but only if it is performing optimally as a user-friendly, single source of truth for the entire organization. When your ERP doesn’t work the way it should, it can cause crippling problems across your organization such as incorrect financial data, missing inventory, late deliverables, loss of income, customer dissatisfaction, and more.

An ERP that works:

  • Helps manage daily activity across the business
  • Gives a clear overhead view of the entire organization as well as in-depth views of each area
  • Provides true data to aid in critical decision making
  • Is integrated with other systems being used
  • Can be scaled as the organization grows
  • Is not cumbersome to use
  • Works in real time

If you’re asking yourself, “Is my ERP out of date?” the answer is probably yes. Here are 25 sure signs and manufacturing scenarios that demonstrate it’s time to start researching new ERP options:

  1. Information is not updated in real time.
  2. The system is not scalable – it can’t accommodate additional business growth or new users.
  3. The cost of the system is expensive compared to the benefits it provides: hefty licensing fees, costly maintenance, hardware, firewall and other equipment fees.
  4. Over time, maintenance requires more time and people, and could even be pulling your internal IT team away from more strategic business activities.
  5. Your customers can’t access the information they need (regarding order or shipping statuses, for example) and must contact your team to obtain it.
  6. Processing times are so long that they are counter-productive.
  7. There is limited or no integration with other systems being used, leading to disparate data across the organization. For example, we’ve seen businesses where Quality, Maintenance, Program Management, Sales, Shipping, Tooling Management, and others are all separate systems that don’t communicate with one another.
  8. Your original ERP vendor no longer supports your system, meaning no resources are being spent on security patches and other updates, making your critical business operations software vulnerable to slowness, inoperability, or even malicious attacks.
  9. Your business is unable to keep pace with the competition because of outdated technology. (In fact, if customers walk through your facilities and see antiquated or non-existent systems, this can be prohibitive to bringing in new business.)
  10. Your employees avoid using the system because it’s cumbersome and/or inaccurate, which leads to critical areas of the business being monitored in silos.
  11. An absence of accurate inventory visibility has your employees constantly cycle counting to understand what inventory exists and what needs to be purchased.
  12. You don’t have the ability to submit orders to your suppliers electronically, making it impossible for you to meet the requirements of OEM customers you supply directly. Again, this is not good for keeping or earning new business.
  13. Your electronic data interchange (EDI) is not fully integrated, meaning several steps are required to send advanced ship notices (ASNs) to your customers. This can result in late deliveries and/or your supplier rating taking a hit because your business in providing incorrect data to customers.
  14. Your current system lacks the ability to support modern mobile functionalities on the shop floor.
  15. You want real time information from your machines and programmable logic controllers (PLCs), but it would be too costly to integrate (or even figure out how to integrate) them with your current ERP.
  16. Your operators can’t clock in or out to a centralized time tracking system. They must manually log their time and submit it to someone who then manually enters the data into a spreadsheet or separate time tracking system.
  17. Quality concerns are difficult to contain in a timely manner. For example, it takes longer than five to ten minutes to locate suspect inventory, flag it, and move it to a quarantine.
  18. Your team must spend hours compiling quality documentation to submit a package to a customer for a production part approval process (PPAP) or submission of product quality.
  19. The use of barcoding is limited to your shipping department and doesn’t provide any way to monitor inventory, quality, or costs through your facility.
  20. Creating reports is a big problem, and they can’t be used to drive the business. Data is difficult to obtain, the reports are generated outside of the ERP system, and they are reactionary at best.
  21. The customer service team does not have easy access to shipping information, meaning they spend too much time tracking down orders and are unable to respond in a timely manner to customer inquiries about order statuses.
  22. You don’t know if the production costs you see in the ERP are accurate.
  23. E-commerce functionality, which has great benefits in the manufacturing industry, is not possible in your current ERP system without significant cost and custom development.
  24. Product tractability is a manual effort. Many employees record information by hand during the production process and maintain manual records that may not even be accurate to begin with.
  25. You have quality systems in place, but are not 100% confident that checks occur in an accurate and timely manner.

If any of these scenarios hit close to home. It’s probably time to do some preliminary research and make some ERP comparisons to learn what will best serve the needs of your organization.

ERP selection and implementation are major business undertakings. To help ensure the right choice for your business, hire a consultant who will take the time to visit you on site and conduct a thorough analysis of all areas of your organization, from the top down to the shop floor to develop the best ERP solution for your business. You will find it is time well spent.

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