ERP: How Should You Investigate Your Options? Part One

If your ERP is not providing the value that you need, it’s time to consider your options. All options can look attractive since, at least in the beginning, any option may appear to provide you the value you want. But ERP replacement or modernization is a path riddled with risk, so choose your options, and your steps, carefully.

Regardless of the reasons that led you to this point, you are faced with the same choices:

    1. Continue to use your system and factor inefficiencies into the cost of operations.

    2. Augment what you have: either update your current system or add point solutions.

    3. Replace your current ERP.

The steps you take to choose your path can have a significant impact for you and your company. Without some investigatory work, you won’t have an answer – unless your system is so old that you have a looming sunset date in which case option #1 will be off the table.

The focus of this article is on option #2: to either update your current system or add point solutions. In this case, you have two primary options outside of your own research:

  1. Ask your current ERP vendor to advise you on this upgrade.

  2. Ask an independent consultant for this assistance.

How do you decide which option to take?

The most obvious answer, when faced with the question of how to get the best information, may be to ask your ERP vendor for help. They know their product after all, and it stands to reason that they can get you the information you need quickly and easily. Simply upgrading what you have will sound like the simplest option on the surface. However, working with an independent consultant can be a smarter choice. Here’s why…

Gathering information.

Both your vendor and the consulting company will need to gather information about your company. Even if you have worked with them in the past, the vendor will need to assess the state of your current company environment and its needs before they can speak with any confidence about their recommendations. No matter who collects this information, it will cost you both time and money.

The next question becomes, “What should you do with that information once you have it?” We will discuss this in another post, so stay tuned.