How to Understand and Conquer ERP System Challenges

How to Understand and Conquer ERP System Challenges

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have been around for quite some time, and as a result, have accumulated a large number of features and functions to support ever-growing business demands. Unfortunately, intricate systems such as ERP’s do not assist ongoing vendor innovation and new technologies. Even newer ERP systems, designed on new and updated technologies, cannot avoid the already existing complexity that is built within many ERP systems to support complicated business needs. As a result, ERP systems face some ongoing challenges.

Some of the more substantial ones include:

  • Hard to use design
  • Recurrent complexities
  • User experience

The root of these issues lie within both vendors and end users. Over time, vendors have tried to develop some comprehensive solutions by themselves or through mergers or acquisitions that didn’t always offer the best user experience.

Design

Years ago, ERP systems included vigorous capabilities and did not always respond to the needs of large enterprises. This is why software vendors began to offer customized services to customers who could afford to pay for any custom-made features they wished to add. Consequently, customization led to technical issues because of custom coding and system upgrades.

ERP systems were originally built upon a material requirements planning platform (MRP), which vendors added functionality for finance, sales and purchasing to. As employee and customer management became more important to companies, vendors then included basic human resources (HR) and customer relationships management (CRM) capabilities.  However, ERP vendors quickly realized that it would be more efficient to acquire existing “top notch” software products in order to complement their newly specific offerings.

Recurrent Complexities

Cloud computing eventually made way for new development in the ERP evolution. The software as a service (SaaS) delivery model was a cutting edge feature in enterprise software, as systems usually relied on configurability. SaaS also offered the ability to extend upgrades to all users of a system simultaneously, streamlining the process for both vendors and users. The cloud led to a new wave of ERP solutions such as NetSuite and Acumatica.

The obvious benefits of the cloud (convenience and accessibility) and the excitement created by the potential of an “ERP awakening” made many companies overlook any long-term challenges of this new delivery system. In fact, a few years later some companies that had been using cloud ERP found out that the total cost wasn’t significantly lower than the on-premise delivery model, even though the initial cost looked better.

The new vendors went out of their way to distance themselves from the original “legacy” ERP systems, such as Workday. Workday markets their products as “an alternative to ERP” when in fact, the structure of the solution is similar to an ERP. Despite the fact that some systems use cloud technologies, vendors are essentially following the same old development model (adding multiple modules to their core ERP product).

User Experience

No one expects users to fully understand the technical details of a ERP system. They do need to understand how each person’s use of an ERP solution can impact others using it though. The promotion of user understanding relies on finding a balance between business complexity and the embracement of technologies that simplify user interaction, as well as company culture and employee engagement.

When choosing an ERP system, one should keep in mind how ERP has changed and developed over time. Understanding why and how it evolved in this way may shed some light on how to approach these challenges.


Looking for more? Download our ERP buyers guide for free and compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide includes four key capabilities to look for in an ERP solution, plus five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask the software provider before purchasing. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking for the right ERP for their business/organization.

And don’t forget to follow us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn for all the latest in the ERP space!

Follow Liz

Elizabeth Quirk

Liz is a leading enterprise technology writer covering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Business Process Management (BPM) and Talent Management Suites (TMS) at Solutions Review. She writes to bridge the gap between consumer and technical expert to help readers understand what they're looking for. Liz attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and Communications. You can reach her at equirk@solutionsreview.com
Elizabeth Quirk
Follow Liz

2 thoughts on “How to Understand and Conquer ERP System Challenges”

  1. Jason says:

    I’ve bedn browsing onliine moire tha 3 houhrs today, butt I byy nno meqns discovgered anyy fasciknating
    article like yours. It’s lovely valuue sufficikent forr me.
    Personally, iif alll webmassters and bloggers made gopod conttent
    ass yoou probabpy did, tthe intenet might bee uch more useful thzn efer before.
    I amm surre this post hass touhhed aall thhe interneet visitors, itts
    really really pleaant postt on building uup nnew website.
    I’ve bewn browsing online mode tan 3 hours today, yett I nevdr found
    anyy inteeresting article lime yours. It’s pretty worth enouth foor me.
    In myy view, iff alll webmjasters and bloggers
    made gopod content ass youu did, tthe web wilpl bbe mucch more useful thawn ever
    before. https://www.cspan.net

  2. I got what you mean, saved to bookmarks, excellent site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *