Five Warning Signs You Need a New ERP

Most manufacturers like you are looking for new ways to boost their teams’ overall performance. You probably look to your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to help you outperform your competition. Makes total sense.

All ERP systems promise they can streamline and simplify business processes to help companies gain a competitive edge. But instead of delivering on their guarantees of reduced costs, increased agility and performance enhancements, many ERP systems provide the complete opposite. Over time they can become a complex beast that keeps you working against your own best efforts due to their lack of quality. They can hinder production, and worse, provide no ability to adapt to the future of your business. Ever-changing system, process and data requirements can make it nearly impossible for out-of-date ERP systems to keep up.

It’s critically important to keep an eye out for any system failures your business may be experiencing. Here are 5 warning signs that your current ERP system may actually be hurting your business.


1. Lack of Real-Time Data

When your competitive advantage depends on speed-to-market and crucial decision-making during the production process, every second counts. Time is money and plowing through data can be tiresome and time-consuming. Employees on the floor or in the front office can’t be sitting around for hours waiting for reports to be produced to make their next moves. Modern manufacturing ERPs should give users access to the reports they need at the click of a mouse, from their own dashboards. Cloud access and mobility features are also important for those in the field, whether for your sales team, remote employees, or technicians serving clients. Having modern business intelligence about inventory levels, sales orders, where things are in the production cycle and access to a knowledge base is critical.

Your ERP system should allow access at the touch of a button and on any mobile device to these and other types of information that help you make better decisions, capture more sales and satisfy your customers.

2. Lack of Support

As legacy systems age, they often require more calls to the software vendor’s customer support center or help desk. To resolve issues, technicians may need to perform upgrades and maintenance. Eventually, the computing power of older systems simply can’t keep up with the amount of data generated in today’s business environment. This can lead to slower performance, increased downtime and susceptibility to breaches or cyberattacks.

If your ERP application has become obsolete or is no longer supported, it’s important to make sure your new ERP has people who’ll be there to stand behind it. Choosing the right ERP vendor can be just as important as choosing the right ERP software. The right partner can help you through each phase of the process—discovery, selection, implementation, customization, user training and ongoing support. If you’ve determined that it’s time to look at new ERP options for your manufacturing company, be sure to look for a consultant who specializes in understanding the unique needs that your business challenges present.

3. Dependence on Legacy Systems

Many businesses can become overly focused on maintaining old, legacy ERP systems. If you’re regularly paying additional costs for extended support from your ERP vendor, it may be a warning sign that your system is getting stuck in ancient times. By continuing to use a legacy ERP system, you may also be exposing your company to increased cybersecurity risks. When starting to evaluate new ERP solutions, be sure to focus on the future. Find an ERP that will keep up to date with your always-changing business needs and strategies.

4. Your Team is Not Up to Speed

Today’s ERP systems are being used by more than just end users. Ongoing training of your employees and staff members on how to use and maintain your ERP system is critically important for the growth of your business. This means scheduling regular training sessions if the system has undergone changes or updates. For optimal success, you will likely document your organization’s ERP processes and best practices. You want to be sure every user feels comfortable navigating the ERP system on their own and to the best of their ability.

5. Confusion About the ERP Project Requirements

Being very clear about project expectations is a critical step if you want any implementation to succeed. Since ERP projects require a lot of thought and planning, the fundamental phase of putting an ERP system into play is one you definitely want to get right. With the wrong ERP solution, you may be experiencing day-to-day Issues such as errors in data and syncing, technical malfunctions, the inability to display relevant insights or poor alignment with company goals and objectives. A well thought out and detailed plan is an absolute necessity for any ERP project to be successful. The first step is creating a clear destination for success. On your next ERP implementation, work to define important business processes, financial benefits and deadlines you plan on executing.

At Realtrac, our high-performance ERP is used by thousands of businesses just like yours. We work to understand where you’re coming from and where you want to go. Our company was founded in the heart and soul of a machine shop and has been serving the manufacturing industry for over three decades. The Realtrac Shop Management Software is easy to learn and use, and with our quickstart implementation, you’re up and running in just a few days—not weeks or months. It’s built on a real-time platform that allows you to stay on top of jobs, labor, vendors and customers, helping you make smarter business decisions and maximize your return on investment.

To find out how your business would benefit from a new ERP solution, take our short Manufacturer’s Health Check Survey. In just 2–3 minutes, we’ll help you assess whether your existing technology Is delivering ROI or if it’s time for an upgrade.