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While off-the-shelf ERP system training may seem like a good option for your business, particularly when you consider the relatively low up-front cost and how quickly it can be implemented, it is not without risks. While some risks may seem small and insignificant, others have the potential to cause numerous problems.

To help you decide whether or not this “one size fits all” type of training is right for your business, here is a quick look at the top 5 risks of off-the-shelf (OTS) ERP software training.

1. Course content can’t be tailored to the specific needs of your business.

OTS software comes “as-is.” The truth is that when you choose off-the-shelf software, you will likely have to adapt some of your business processes to fit it, which could result in plenty of hidden costs. For example, the vernacular being used in the software may be different from how you typically communicate within your individual business or industry, which may require that you retrain your current personnel on things they already know, while also ensuring they learn the new ERP system. This is particularly true if you operate in a niche industry or have a unique business model.

2. Training on irrelevant topics waste time and effort.

Once again, OTS ERP training comes “as-is,” meaning that how it is taught, as well as what is taught and in what order, has already been decided. In most cases, deviations are either not allowed or almost impossible to make, meaning your employees will spend time learning things they will not have any need for. Not only does this take their focus off what they will be using, but it also wastes time.

3. It is almost impossible to make changes.

Depending on the industry you are in, new laws and/or regulations may be passed, requiring changes to be made to reflect them. At the same time, products may be updated with new features that will need to be incorporated. In either situation, it is almost certain that some changes will need to be made to your training course. If you have opted for OTS ERP system training, this may not be possible.

4. There is a good chance you will have to make changes later, particularly if your business grows quickly.

OTS solutions are designed to target multiple customers, which means that any enhancements will be targeted at a huge customer base. As a result, enhancements will likely come at a much slower pace than the pace your business is growing at. This will leave you attempting to balance between what your ERP system software can do and what your business needs to meet its growth and changing needs. These limitations may prevent you from adapting and/or becoming more efficient or streamlined in terms of procedures or processes. In the end, you may need to make a complete change.

5. OTS ERP training may not meet your infrastructure requirements.

Remember that off-the-shelf solutions cannot be customized, so you will have to be absolutely certain your browsers are supported. You will also need to determine whether or not it can meet any company, industry, or federal safety requirements. Don’t forget to make sure there are no restrictions in terms of operating system or programming language because they, too, cannot be changed.

Yes, it is true that there are advantages to going off-the-shelf, but that does not mean there aren’t just as many risks involved. You will have to decide what is most important to you and your business.

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