Is ERP software still up to date?
4 october

Is ERP software still up to date?

The concept of an integrated ERP software has been established for decades. From a certain company size, it is simply unimaginable that it would work without an ERP system. At the same time, a young generation of companies and people is growing up who did not get to know software as a large monolith. As you are used to from your smartphone, you can expect quickly accessible usability concentrated apps. Can modern ERP software meet such expectations?

Does it come in beautiful?

Does it come in beautiful? Was already the question of one of our customers who saw SAP Business One for the first time. Nevertheless, the question was not surprising, given that it was a company that dealt with interface design. Despite this, the customer opted for the solution for medium-sized companies from SAP. That was over 10 years ago now.

At a presentation I recently had the privilege of giving, a participant in the auditorium pointed out (and almost rightly so) that there is software like would exist. Unlike the "ERP thick ships", this is lean, with an attractive interface and almost self-explanatory.
Admittedly, it is not easy for me to respond to such accusations. However, this is not the case because I feel lost. I am simply perplexed on such an occasion because of the misunderstanding.

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Modern software is often developed in cooperation with its users. Following the lean idea, the user is confronted with the application very early on. He should feel comfortable and find his way around without the need for extensive explanations. Functionally, these solutions mostly concentrate on a section or a company area. This is how sophisticated, sometimes highly specialized tools are created and created. An important if not the most important part is the user interface (UI). After all, it is the specialized users who should be picked up according to their specialization in order to decide on the software.
A lot of good, innovative software comes onto the market in this way. This is of course perfectly tailored to the respective target audience.

ERP systems want everything

"..Often a user group has to back down, even suffer ..if it serves the whole .."

The essential two ideas behind one ERP system is the standardization and integration of business processes. Based on the idea that it tested and optimized processes in companies, these processes should be applicable in the ERP software of many different companies. best practices is the magic word. The processes that one has in mind here have been nicely outlined by the German Society for Quality (DGQ): ?Entirety of activities that are mutually dependent or influence each other and convert inputs into results using resources.?
It cannot be the aim to depict specialties in a highly specific way. The truth is that a user group often has to give up, even suffer .. if it serves the good of the whole.

"..An ERP system may no longer be technically up to date, but functionally quite suitable..."

It depends on maturity

The pool of exemplary processes does not come from just anywhere and is not ad hoc. In order to become best practice, they first have to be applied over a sufficiently long period of time with a sufficiently high degree of variance. Long story short: It takes time and the necessary experience. Under certain circumstances, an ERP system may no longer be technically up-to-date, but functionally quite suitable. And vice versa, it fails if it lacks functional depth. Many new trends can follow.

The software is only half the battle

“.. The ERP consultant does not only have to be a specialist in “his” ERP system. He must understand the business processes of his customer...."

Along with modern software offers, there is often the promise that its functions are practically self-explanatory. If it doesn't, modern media are available. They then provide the explanation, for example.
If you introduce ERP software in a company, you can't do without it Advisor and a more or less complex project. Why aren't there YouTube videos and online help to guide you?
If you keep in mind that such an ERP software likes to have several tens of thousands of tables "under the hood" and someone needs to know what is in which of these tables or should be stored, you might get an idea of how the answer to this question is reads.
Not only that. The ERP consultant does not only have to be a specialist in “his” ERP system. He must understand the business processes of his customers. These ingredients then become the total work of art ERP.

The software is only part of the cost

If we go to the website of various software providers today, there is a prominent link to the price model. Here we usually find two to four “plans”. These plans deliver the most monthly cost per user. You can quickly calculate what the use of the software package costs.
you ask them Cost of an ERP software on, so reputable providers usually give too buttoned. Not only the licensing models are complicated. the license costs are often the smaller part. The introductory project generates some costs for consultant days. There is still the own effort for the collaboration in the ERP project. One shouldn't underestimate him.

There are interfaces

“..Without data integration, the essential basis of digitization is inaccessible..”

As already mentioned, there is a lot of good special software. This often reflects the special requirements of individual company departments in the best possible way. So it would be obvious to simply combine these special packages with each other. And yes, the interface technology is getting smarter. However, it is not about the simple transfer of data. The processes must be made consistent. Trying to realize this not only creates a lot of effort. After implementation, the fragile structure is usually only seen through by a few developers involved. The “easy to use” software suddenly becomes an error-prone risk. However, without data exchange, companies not only lose the benefits of automation. Without data integration, the essential basis is the digitalization inaccessible.

Digitization demands and promotes ERP systems

Exactly on topic data integration the ERP manufacturers invest a lot of effort and money. This is particularly relevant for medium-sized companies. The basis of digitization is the networking of all areas. In the company but also to everyone else useful data sources. Data is the gold of the 21st century. A well-integrated ERP system is the basis for becoming a goldmine as a data hub and networking platform.

The backbone for digital transformation

Some hype topics like AI (Artificial Intelligence) are still in their infancy. Other developments have already arrived. This includes the need to integrate customers, customers, partners and suppliers into internal processes.
The constant and extensive analysis of data should provide companies with new indicators. In this way, they can evaluate and use developments, opportunities and risks at an early stage.
A fully integrated ERP system is the backbone of this ever-growing organism. For all these tasks, it has to manage data from all areas of the company. In addition, it processes these internal data from with external ones from the outside. It automates as much as possible. In this way, the existing resources can be used optimally for added value.

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