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While enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has proven to be invaluable for all types of businesses, you cannot always be certain the ERP system you are using is without gaps. Fortunately, performing a GAP analysis can help you determine what functions and/or services your ERP software may be lacking, whether accidentally, deliberately or because it still needs to be developed.

In addition to being without certain features and functions, there are several other gaps you should watch out for with your ERP software. Here’s a quick look at the five most common gaps:

1. Your ERP system is missing features, functions or services that could benefit your business.

Yes, this is stated above but it is important enough to mention again. There are three crucial components your ERP software should have. Although sales and marketing are apparent, service is not. However, it is essential for tracking complaints, warranty claims and service issues that require the assistance of your ERP system vendor to help your customer. Performing a GAP analysis can suggest changes and additions that would offer plenty of

2. There may be areas of redundancy.

This is a common problem that many businesses fail to recognize. It involves identifying data that must repeatedly be entered, which is a waste of both time and money. GAP analysis can also be used to point out areas of redundancy, allowing you to make the changes necessary to ensure the ERP software you are using is as efficient as possible.

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3. The system does not offer the flexibility you need.

Companies will need to be able to make changes to their ERP software at some point in time. Therefore choosing a software package that offers flexibility and adaptability is important. If your current ERP software is not flexible, it may not be a problem now, but it could create significant pain points in the future.

4. The ERP system has challenges that create a gap as your business evolves.

After a business has experienced a significant change or undergone restructuring, there may be gaps. GAP analysis will identify them. For example, if your company underwent a change to combine positions, your ERP system may not be designed to take advantage of this organizational efficiency. Check out “An Expert’s Guide to Organization Change Management” to get some help with this process.

5. Your software vendor does not provide preventative maintenance, or you are not taking advantage of this service.

Not all ERP systems are equipped with the ability to perform preventative maintenance. Without a maintenance plan in place for your ERP system, you run the risk of unexpected downtime which can take a considerable toll on your business. It also puts you at a higher risk of a security breach, especially if the system you are using is outdated. If you do have a maintenance plan, it is vital that you keep up with when maintenance is due. You may want to read “Three Reasons Not to Cancel Your ERP Software Maintenance.” This will allow you to schedule it at a time that will create the least inconvenience.

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