The Attivo Blog

Darwinism and ERP: The Ability to Adapt is Vital to Success

08-27-2013
adaptable ERP software

Manufacturing Business Technology recently did a fascinating interview with Melissa Cook, Senior Director of Microsoft Dynamics Global Manufacturing. While the interview naturally leaned towards plugging Microsoft’s own ERP solution, the points she discussed are universal across the entire industry.

The interview explains how nearly 90% of all new patents are developed in the manufacturing industry.  It is an industry constantly poised on the cutting edge of new technology. However so many clients and prospective clients that we speak with are running legacy systems on the verge of being sunsetted or with limited support and updates on the horizon. The simple fact is that these companies are realizing that they need an ERP system poised to not only tackle current challenges, but with the flexibility to adapt to future needs and challenges.

Is Your ERP Software Agile?

For the major ERP software publishers, we are seeing more and more resources invested in “flagship” software, while older versions are having far less resources devoted to them. Products like Microsoft Dynamics GP,Sage 100 and Macola ES are getting regular updates based on customer feedback. These products are helping small to midsized manufacturers stay on top of the latest trends and technologies without having to lay out the same level of capital on ERP software as the Fortune 500 do.

More and more organizations are starting to realize that while their legacy systems get the job done, the cost of doing business with those systems is getting more and more expensive with regards to opportunity costs. The questions that these companies should be asking themselves when investigating new ERP systems is how a new software is positioned to serve them 5-10 years down the road in addition to its ability to address their immediate needs.

Questions You Need to Ask of Your ERP Software

While it can be difficult, if not impossible, to predict how your particular industry is going to change in 5-10 years, it isn’t difficult to find out the level of commitment a software publisher has with regards to a given product. There are a few questions you can ask a software publisher or reseller that they should be able to answer right away to determine if a particular ERP package is going to grow with your business.

  • How often is the software updated?
  • Are the updates cosmetic, or is there substantial improvements to functionality
  • Do 3rd party add-on software publishers(i.e. barcoding, e-commerce) follow the same update philosophy?
  • Is the software compatible with current technology trends (cloud, mobile, etc)?

Understanding the answers to those questions should make it easier to select a software solution that will continue to grow and adapts with your industries specific needs. ERP investments are long term investments, which is why it is critical to choose a system with the agility to grow and adapt as quicly as your industry does.

For more information on how to choose an ERP system you can download this e-book or call The Attivo Group at 877-428-8486.

photo credit: caribb via photopin cc

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