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Are you implementing a new ERP system because you have no other choice? If so, you’re not alone.

Many of our clients decide to implement new software because their legacy system is outdated, no longer being supported, and/or won’t allow them to scale for the growth they are experiencing. While these are good reasons to select a new ERP system, they shouldn’t be the only reasons. Rather than just replacing your old system, your focus should be on viewing the initiative as a subset of a broader digital strategy and business transformation.

It is unlikely that one single system is going to address all of your transformation needs, so it is important to broaden your view of finding a new ERP system to look at how to best improve your technology landscape across the board. While ERP software is an important back office function, there are a plethora of systems that enable better use of back office systems.

For example, eCommerce, CRM, HCM, mobile and a variety of other technologies can help you get more value out of your ERP system and address benefit opportunities that are outside the scope of ERP. While ERP vendors may think their systems can handle all of those needs, they typically can’t.

Technology is changing so quickly that it is difficult for one vendor to provide all of the software needs that your organization requires to fully embrace digital transformation. It simply isn’t possible for a system to be everything to everyone in all industries, functions and technologies. This is why it is important to step back and consider all of the options available to you, even if it means looking at multiple types of software vendors.

The other advantage of viewing your ERP initiative as a subset of a broader digital or business transformation is that it ensures that you don’t back yourself into a corner with decisions you make in a vacuum.

For example, we had a recent client that decided not to look at their entire digital and ERP strategy because of budgetary constraints. Instead, they opted to evaluate potential CRM systems to focus on that area. Their original intent was to narrow their evaluation to only look at CRM systems – that is, until we advised that they should look at their entire IT and digital roadmap before making a decision.

In this case, the client still purchased a new CRM system. However, they now understand how that system fits in the context of their overall, long-term digital strategy. They also know that when the time comes to start implementing other systems to augment their CRM software, the various systems will be well-aligned and integrated.

To summarize, it is imperative that you consider your entire operational and technological landscape before moving forward with an evaluation and selection of software. Start by evaluating your current processes and systems, identifying potential cost-benefits and phasing your various selection and implementation initiatives within the context of that overarching, longer-term plan.

 

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