When it comes to ERP implementation, your software must communicate with one another to bridge the data divide between siloed systems and a single system. Some companies struggle to implement new ERP systems because so much of their information is tangled up in older, legacy systems that find it difficult to communicate with newer ERP systems.
Many businesses add software to address specific challenges without addressing the big picture. As the company grows, they tack on an accounting program, a CRM system, and other databases. The resulting “frankendatabase” is a conglomeration of different systems that fail to communicate with one another.
Companies in this position have many choices. Some continue to use different systems. They run individual reports, then hand them off to a staff member to manually key data into spreadsheets for the big-picture view. The problem with this method is that somewhere, sometime, the staff person is going to make a mistake. When that happens, your data can be skewed and provide a faulty picture.
Other companies try to upgrade, but cannot afford to upgrade all of their systems at once. The result is a continuation of the existing problem, albeit with a few new packages that please individual departments.
The Solution: ERP Systems
A simple and highly cost-effective solution is to implement an ERP system such as Sage 100. ERP systems can bring data together into one system, or with the addition of various packages, perform most, if not all, of the business tasks that you need.
Sage 100 is one such system that wraps many tasks into a customizable system. Various packages that address CRM, BI, accounting, and other separate disciplines can be added, creating a system that hums along, providing data and insights easily and quickly.
Making the Switch Less Painful
Changing many systems at once into one unified system can be daunting. Here are several tips for making the transition easier on everyone:
- Schedule the transition for a quiet time in your company’s business cycle. If you rarely have a “quiet time”, then work with your vendor to find ways to make the switch without disrupting your business.
- Include representatives from each department in the planning meetings to assess the company’s business information needs. The more people you include, the better the departments’ needs will be represented and the more you can account for different data uses.
- Create a master “wish list” of things the team wishes they could have in one system. Have them rank the wish list in the order of “must have” to “nice to have”. You can use this while shopping for a new system.
- Contact a vendor who has the experience and knowledge of switching companies from multiple systems into one. Such vendors understand the challenges involved and know the tricks to save time and money without sacrificing quality during the process.
- Incorporate several training sessions to help users become familiar with the new system. Make sure that training sessions include plenty of hands-on time with the actual system, not just presentations about what will come into the company soon. People learn best by doing, so having an actual system to try and learn on helps them remember it better.
- Select someone to become your in-house expert. After the system is implemented, you’ll have a go-to person on site for questions and additional needs.
Sage 100 offers a customizable, flexible ERP system that can accommodate multiple tasks in one system. For more information, contact us. We can help you with the transition from your frankensystem to one streamlined, new, and efficient ERP system.