The pace of technological innovation is relentless, and what’s new in the morning could become obsolete by lunchtime. Like any other type of software, ERP platforms are constantly being improved and modernized.

However, just because a vendor is innovating its offerings, doesn’t mean your organization is automatically receiving those updates. While this might be true with SaaS ERP software, it’s often not the case with on-premise ERP.

If your current platform has ceased to offer all the benefits it once provided, you might be wondering about your options. Should you upgrade your system? Should you re-implement ERP on the latest version? Is there a third option you haven’t considered that might be cheaper, quicker, and easier?

The answer isn’t cut and dry, so today, we’re sharing the benefits of each route, as well as what to consider as you plan your path forward.

Selection & Implementation Case Study

We assisted this client with the selection process, while ensuring it obtained maximum discounts and favorable terms. We were then contracted to assist with implementation.

How ERP Disenchantment Begins (and What You can do About it)

Even the best-laid ERP implementations can eventually fall short of their goals. In many cases, the project starts out well. User adoption is strong, and the system is delivering the efficiencies that business leaders projected. 

However, it’s common for these initial victories to give way to disgruntlement. Over time, team members may find that the solution is misaligned with business needs. In response, they find themselves at a crossroads: either install the latest upgrade or re-implement the platform and set the database up as an entirely new system. 

While these are two viable options, they aren’t your only choices. In fact, there are steps you can take to salvage your current investment before (or instead of) making major changes to it.

Do You Even Need to Change Your Software? [4 Ways to Know for Sure]

1. Revisit Your Requirements

There’s a strong chance that your ERP isn’t working because it wasn’t fully aligned with your business requirements from the start. Take a second look at those, and then conduct a gap analysis that reveals any holes and the costs to fix them. 

Are the total costs less than a new ERP system? If so, then it’s smarter to configure your system and/or update your processes than upgrade or re-implement ERP. 

2. Clean Up Your Data

It’s also possible that your ERP software is falling behind because it was built on bad or unclean data. Before scrapping it, check to see if this is the case. 

While dynamic data is transactional in nature, static data rarely changes. Review these inputs to understand where an issue might originate. You might find that cleaning up your data solves most of your pain points. 

3. Focus on Change Management

Did you prioritize organizational change management during your initial ERP implementation? If you focused on technology over people, then you might have missed the mark.

It’s critical to prepare employees for change through clear communication, customized training, and executive sponsorship. 

If you fell short on this success factor, then it’s no wonder your ERP system is causing headaches. Instead of blaming the system, we recommend addressing change resistance and finding ways to increase adoption.

4. Consider More End-User Training

Could it be that your system is ineffective because your employees don’t fully understand how to use it? Unless your workforce received sufficient training before your go-live date, they could be following incorrect workflows that are adding to their frustration. 

Some companies find that remedial training helps bridge this knowledge gap, empowering team members to embrace the ERP systems as they were intended. 

What if You do Need to Re-Implement or Upgrade?

You’ve tried everything on the list above, and you’ve determined that it’s time to make a major change to your existing ERP solution while sticking with the same vendor. Here are the factors to consider as you weigh whether you should re-implement or upgrade your platform. 

When Upgrading is the Best Choice

Here are a few signs that point in this direction:

  • You want to preserve legacy data
  • You aren’t limited by time constraints
  • You have few customizations and plan to convert all of them 

Often, an upgrade is quicker and cheaper than a full re-implementation. If your current data is organized and there aren’t many customizations to maneuver, then this can be a good alternative. 

When Re-Implementing is the Best Choice

Re-implementing ERP can be a labor-intensive effort. However, there are certain circumstances in which it’s the best option. 

Chiefly, this is a smart move if you plan to move from a legacy ERP system to a cloud-based one. Usually, these two platforms will have very different database structures and development environments.

Other issues that could warrant a re-implementation include:

  • Your existing ERP database is highly customized and requires a full rewrite
  • You want to migrate to a SaaS ERP model
  • You want to remove existing customizations that are no longer required
  • Your new system will be preconfigured with industry best practices so it will require extensive business process reengineering 

With a re-implementation, you can remove or replace outdated or unnecessary customizations, making your system run faster and smoother. 

Wondering How to Upgrade or Re-Implement ERP?

While staying with your current ERP vendor may sound easier than going through the ERP selection process again, an upgrade or re-implementation is still a daunting task. Our ERP consultants can help you develop a project plan that includes all the essential activities. Contact us below for a free consultation

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