Siri for ERP? This and 10 Other Reasons You Should Consider Upgrading Your ERP System

Remember when Siri was introduced for the iPhones? Suddenly users had the ability to command their phones to set reminders, execute searches, and check the weather all without the use of their hands. IFS (a leading Enterprise Resource Planning system designer) has recently developed and is in-process of testing innovative voice-control for their ERP applications1. This is one of the many innovations happening in the modern ERP system landscape.

While cutting edge voice-control technology is not necessary for every business, it may be time for an ERP system renovation. Here are 10 reasons why your business should consider upgrading or replacing its ERP system:

PROCESS AND SYSTEM STANDARDIZATION

1. Integrate business functions – Companies operating without an ERP system or on an outdated ERP system are most likely using multiple systems to support the different functions, which may increase costs and lead to unnecessary duplication of effort.

2. Improve decision making – Business processes in outdated systems often consist of manual decision making for simple tasks such as when to ship orders or when to initiate production. Updated ERP systems can automate these tedious business decisions and enable decision makers to make informed, fact based, operational choices when manual input is required.

3. Handle increased transaction volume – If a business is experiencing rapid growth, transaction volume in the ERP system could cause system performance issues. An influx of sales orders or a new acquisition may tax the existing ERP system’s processing capabilities.

DATA MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS

4. Improve data visibility – Visibility into key operating data can often times be limited in a company due to rogue and manual processes. When stakeholders and customers are requesting information, an upgraded ERP system allows for quick and easy access to in-demand data.

5. Create one version of the truth – Disjointed processes and systems can create multiple versions of the same data, which may lead to data inaccuracy. This could potentially cause a customer order that needs to be on the east coast tomorrow to be shipped to the west coast instead.

COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION

6. Improve external communications – External communications often are inefficient and prone to human error with outdated systems and manual processes. New ERP systems can help automate some external communications with suppliers and customers including sending purchase orders to suppliers, order confirmations and invoices to customers.

7. Synchronize internal communications – Maintaining seamless internal communication can be difficult if a company spans several locations or has more than a few dozen employees. Modern ERP systems allow for communication about critical business decisions to occur without leaving the system. This reduces the time it takes to investigate a quality issue or determine why an order is late.

OUTDATED OR DYSFUNCTIONAL EXISTING SYSTEMS

8. Reduce the risk of unsupported systems – Unsupported ERP systems may present security risks to businesses with sensitive customer or employee information. Additionally, it is becoming more difficult to find resources that can support these dated systems.

9. Replace mismatched legacy systems – As the result of a carve-out or divestiture, a business may be operating on an ERP system that no longer aligns with the needs of the business. A business may be paying too much or may be utilizing an ERP system with missing or unneeded functionality. ERP systems should enable the business, not limit it.

10. Reduce reliance on Excel – While Excel is an excellent business analysis tool, key processes and reports should not be run using Excel due to data integrity, security, and repeatability issues. Modern ERP applications can perform all Excel functionality.

If you are seeking assistance in creating the right ERP solution for your business, please reach out to Ryan or Christiana to learn how West Monroe Partners can help.

1 http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=145764

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