Upgrade or replace current ERP solution

This is a question faced my many businesses;  it’s also a familiar question for me in my role as an external advisor.  And as with all of these situations there is no definitive answer.  It depends.

Read an excellent piece of AMR research written by Jim Shepherd on the same subject (September 2009).

This reminded me of a number of the core questions:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • Have you a plan for the business?
  • Have you an understanding of where the current application cannot meet current of future business needs?
  • Are you using the power of the current application/ application suite?
  • Are you having issues in terms of support and/or enhancements?
  • Does the application vendor have a roadmap (and the resources to deliver on the roadmap)?
  • What is the user forum telling you?
  • Have you the budget and the internal capabilities to take on a new ERP project?
  • Is the current application(and associated support costs) a fit for the size of your business e.g. in the context of any significant downsizing?

Given that ERP implementation represents open heart surgery for most businesses the decision to change is not to be taken lightly.  As against this must avoid good money after bad money.

Often there will be vested interests within an enterprise – those with a status quo agenda, those seeking other changes, perhaps off the back of an ERP implementation.   It is a key decision for any business – and needs to be made in a structured, unbiased way.

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