About 50% of ERP users say the performance of their current system is no more than ‘adequate’ or ‘basic’. This was arguably the most eye-catching statistic in a recent global survey by Epicor, which collected the views of more than 1,500 business professionals using ERP across ten countries.
ERP improvement is high on the agenda. The study discovered that while 80% of respondents agree that an ERP platform is vital to their business activities, many users remain underwhelmed by the performance of their systems. Those findings prompted Epicor’s executive vice president John Hiraoka to remark that “organisations need greater performance from their ERP systems, or risk getting outflanked by competitors”.
Clearly there is a major disconnect between the critical function now performed by ERP for process manufacturing, distribution, retail and services businesses, and the level of performance many of these organisations actually receive from their systems.
Improving ERP effectiveness
Here at CBO, we can’t say we’re surprised by the discovery – we’re frequently approached by customers who want to improve the performance of their ERP software. What is encouraging, however, is that such a large number of users recognise that they could be getting much more from the ERP they’ve deployed. In our view, that’s the first step to using an existing ERP system to drive both improved product quality and profitability.
So what exactly do users mean by improved performance? The Epicor survey found that many people feel extracting the information they need from their ERP system takes too much time and effort, while the desire for systems to be “simpler to use for everyone in the organisation” was another common theme. 48% of respondents said they’d like their ERP to make it easier for them to access the information they want, when they want it.
Speed, efficiency, responsiveness and ease of use are clearly issues that continue to affect ERP deployments and damage the performance of systems. Configuring an ERP solution the whole company can use with confidence is a common request, even something of a holy grail to many organisations, and achieving it is not as difficult as many frustrated users may believe.
At CBO, we’re pleased to offer years of experience and expertise to ensure businesses get the best possible performance from their ERP systems. However, we also understand that it’s not about improving performance for the sake of it – it’s the outcomes and the impact on your business that really matter. For that reason, we always start by making sure that we’re familiar with your business processes and understand how they work.