Five signs your ERP-system is outdated

If your organization uses an ERP system, it is important to regularly evaluate whether the system still meets your organization's needs. Don't assume that just because the system was implemented as an ‘all-encompassing solution’, it still meets your organization's current needs. Outdated software and integrations hinder employee productivity and risk the loss of valuable insights. An outdated ERP system can even hinder processes and stunt organizational growth. Here are five signs that indicate it is time to replace your ERP system.

1. Vendor stops development and support

When your ERP vendor announces a new ERP system, you can cautiously assume that the current system your organization relies on will be phased out. What was once a cutting-edge complete solution is now turning into a legacy system that is no longer being developed. Eventually, the vendor stops the support entirely. For instance, SAP ECC (including Business Suite 7) will no longer be supported by SAP as of 2027 and will reach its end of life. This development was to be expected since the introduction of SAP S4/HANA.

You can choose to continue working with an outdated ERP system, but the disadvantages escalate with time. For example, maintenance costs rise exponentially, as it becomes increasingly difficult to find experienced professionals who understand outdated programming languages and system architectures. In addition, outdated systems are susceptible to security breaches and cyber-attacks  due to the lack of vendor support and regular security updates.

2. Functionalities are insufficient

Your organization has been evolving. Turnover rates have increased, departments are expanding, and processes are being improved. It is necessary to keep up with your competitors who are also developing at a rapid pace. When your current ERP system was selected, it met all or most of your organization’s needs. However, it is now becoming increasingly clear that the system has not kept up with your growth and certain functionalities are flawed or missing altogether. Limited analysis capabilities, lack of integrated customer data, and difficulties integrating processes from new business units often lead to employees seeking solutions outside the ERP system, such as Excel spreadsheets, creating data silos.

Older ERP systems, in particular, have rigid structures that cannot be easily modified to meet specific needs. This lack of flexibility can hinder productivity and prevent your organization from adapting processes to changing market needs.

3. Internal and external integration issues

If the current ERP system has difficulty integrating with other business systems or external partners, data cannot be shared properly,  business processes can be disrupted. Internally, this can lead to the formation of data silos that obstruct the extraction of critical financial and operational insights. Integrating with external partners, such as banks or suppliers, ensures continued growth and satisfied employees. Without integrations with external partners, manual work persists, with all its consequences.

4. Low user acceptation

You find out that your colleagues prefer to use other tools to do their work instead of the ERP system. For instance, many organizations use Excel spreadsheets alongside the ERP system. However, this undermines the reason for purchasing the (likely expensive) system, which is to have a unified way of working that enables data integration and automation. Relying on non-integrated tools can lead to errors, duplicated actions, and unnecessary expenses on additional software licenses. If the ERP system is not user-friendly or lacks functionality, it is better to find a better solution than to force employees to work with it. This will lead to more resistance to the system, reduced job satisfaction, and declining performance because the necessary tools are missing to perform the work optimally.

5. Lengthy adjustment times

If your supported ERP system requires lengthy adjustment times for new features or changes, it may be a sign that the system is outdated and not flexible enough to respond to changing business needs. Most likely, the system is too rigid to move with your organization. This may not seem like a big deal when one or two features take a little longer to work, but when the defects pile up, it can cause major hindrance to business processes. You may be unable to deliver orders due to a broken link or errors may occur in your CRM system because certain fields are missing.

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If you recognize these signals and want to act before it is too late, get in touch with us. Schedule an introductory meeting here or leave your details below and we will get back to you.

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