The Cost of Waiting to Make a Decision about your ERP

Every business reaches a point when they’ve outgrown spreadsheets and need to implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, or they’ve outgrown their existing solution and need to evaluate next steps. Deciding whether to invest in a new ERP, maybe add complimentary solutions to the current solution for new functionality, or upgrade the current systems to try to make it work better for you can be challenging and daunting though.

When you ask businesses what’s holding them back from implementing an ERP or updating their systems it almost always comes down to the time and cost involved. Also, given the time it takes to evaluate options in order to decide what to do next, we know no one really jumps at the discussion. That’s why so many businesses put off the decision for months, or sometimes even years, but how does it impact your business when you put it off? Well one thing’s clear: avoidance doesn’t make your problems disappear.

What happens if you don’t act?

Part of the reason it’s so easy for businesses to put off upgrading or implementing an ERP is that they simply don’t realize the extent to which their current solution (or perhaps lack-there-of) is holding them back. Modern ERPs empower your business with features like mobile access and advanced integration, allowing data to flow freely through multiple systems. Businesses using modern ERPs on the latest version were anywhere from a 17% to 36% more likely to have access to modern technology (such as access to ERP from mobile devices or integration with social business capabilities like activity steams) than those businesses using outdated systems, and access to the new features that are offered in modern ERPs has the potential to transform how your business runs.

On the flip side, evidence shows that when you delay implementing an ERP or upgrading an out-of-date system it reduces your organization’s ability to run effectively and gain adequate insight into your data, which makes it difficult to make informed decisions, which in turn impacts your bottom line. Aberdeen found that even just a few of the challenges businesses without an ERP faced included redundant data (35%), inaccurate data (23%), and systems that can’t interact with each other (33%).

The long and the short of it is that the longer you wait, the more complex and expensive it’s going to get to bring your systems up-to-date. How do you know when it’s time to implement or update your ERP?