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Better the devil you know; building a case for ERP

Kylie Minogue’s lyrics, perhaps accidentally, right true as an insight into the subject of business management software. It’s probably fair to say ERP was not the inspiration behind the Australian pop sensation’s hit “Better the devil you know”. But she inadvertently struck gold on describing what many business owners think about when it comes to upgrading their software. Even when they are well aware of their system’s shortcomings, it can feel safer and easier to stick to a solution that you’re used to and know well. And yes, change is always risky. But here’s the thing – using a system that isn’t working effectively is an awful lot riskier in the long run!

The issues caused by outdated software

The issue isn’t that business owners don’t realise they need to upgrade their software. Instead, the issue lies in the fact that they are so used to operating in a certain way, so they would rather plod along with an ageing, restrictive system instead of spending money on a new solution that could improve the business. When it comes to the growth and success of your business, don’t let your systems hold you back. Upgrading your current software can be a daunting task, but ask yourself, “What will happen if we do nothing and stick with the same software?”

If you continue working with outdated software, it could result in:

  • Missed opportunities for growth and development into new markets and regions
  • Increased workloads due to duplication
  • Inefficient order processing which reduce order values
  • Lack of compatibility with new technologies, such as mobile devices and AI
  • Greater security risk to the business
  • Workforce frustrated by inefficient software
  • Existing software becoming obsolete
  • Loss of information due to crashing applications

Why a software update is important

Start looking at new ERP system options for a as soon as possible to ensure the success of your company. The best way to convince your Managing Director of the business need for a software update is by presenting them with concrete facts and figures which outline the clear benefits, measurable results and a profitable returns of the upgrade. This is far more likely to get buy-in from Senior Management compared to talk of a hypothetical problem on the horizon. Here are some steps you should consider when building a business case for ERP that shows ‘the powers that be’ why they should invest in new software:

Understand and define the business challenges you want to solve

What’s the main reason you are considering a review? Your processes, your people or the effect that your limited technology is having on the business? There are a number of things to consider when it’s time to upgrade, but some of the most common drivers are desire to grow, need to reduce costs, inefficient processes, and outdated systems.

The key ERP system advantages for your business

The right ERP system will benefit your business in a number of ways, including:

  • Improving opportunities for growth
  • Making information sharing more seamless
  • Providing better visibility of future trends
  • Boosting efficiency through easy integration
  • Streamlining processes
  • Reducing costs
  • Eliminating duplication
  • Enabling faster and better decision making

ERP system costs

Implementing an ERP system can be expensive but if you understand the total cost of the project from the outset, you won’t face any unexpected charges. When budgeting, include software and development costs, licences, implementation, compatibility and customisation spend, as well as training. You should also account for the potential costs of extending the solution, ongoing maintenance and support, and the cost of annual software relicensing.

Recognise the risks involved in a software upgrade

Knowing what the risks are from the outset means you can address them long before they come up. Potential dangers include lack of buy-in from users, an inability to adapt and use the system, and a long implementation process becoming a drain on your resources. Once you’ve addressed all of the above issues, you have a strong business case you can present to your Manager which will convince them to ditch the devil they know and invest in a more angelic ERP solution. All that’s left to do is find the best software and partner for your business requirements.

Luckily, we can help with that, so give us a call.

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