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Dispelling Common ERP Myths and How the Right System Can Benefit Your Business
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Dispelling Common ERP Myths and How the Right System Can Benefit Your Business
13 Sept 2022John McCurdy
The word “myth” may call to mind images of Hercules slaying the Hydra or Thor swinging his mighty hammer, but the fact of the matter is that fabrications like these exist in the business world as well—though they are of a less fanciful nature. They frequently emerge around new concepts and technologies, but they can persist even after the novelty has worn off and widespread acceptance has been achieved.
One prime example exists in the software space, and that’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology and the misconceptions associated with it. While many companies (and even entire industries) have come to rely on these systems for the host of benefits they offer and purpose-built tools they provide, there remain some false assumptions about their utility and applications.
Before we dive in to discuss and hopefully expose these misunderstandings for what they are, we should explain exactly what ERP is and the general structure of the solutions that power it. As a practice, ERP is the management of day-to-day business activities, including finance, manufacturing, inventory management, supply chain visibility and more.
ERP solutions aid in those efforts by acting as a single source of truth for the entire organization, facilitating better decision-making and tying together disparate departments and disciplines. As all-in-one platforms, they tend to be packed with tools that increase your employees’ effectiveness and efficiency while also serving as a fully integrated, real-time digital database.
Now, with us all on the same proverbial page, we’re ready to explore three of the most common ERP myths and dispel them with the truth behind this powerful technology. We’ll also highlight how your business stands to gain from implementing an ERP platform tailored to your market.
Myth 1: ERP Software Takes Too Long to Learn
The idea that ERP systems "require extensive training that isn’t worth the effort in the end" are based on the false impression that they are overly complex and don’t facilitate improvement fast enough to be worth investing in. Thankfully, this is not the reality—in fact, leading solutions like Aptean’s ERPs have user-friendly interfaces and can make an impact as soon as they’re rolled out.
If your business is considering the deployment of an ERP platform and your personnel are wary of the complications it may bring and what it will take to learn to use it, your management team should communicate clearly that the new system will make everyone’s jobs easier. Of course, some training will be necessary, but if you choose software that is optimized for your circumstances, it should not require an undue amount of time.
That’s in part because most modern ERPs employ interactive dashboards that make key information highly visible while also facilitating navigation and process execution with simple point-and-click or drag-and-drop functionality. Once they’ve learned how to complete their tasks via the interface and practiced a few times, it will come naturally and instinctually, allowing your team to be more productive and efficient.
Aptean has set itself apart from the pack thanks to our dedicated teams’ in-depth knowledge of best practices that facilitate training for our clients and help users get up to speed quickly. We’ve also built our systems for streamlined interaction, lowering the bar to entry and helping everyone learn ERP software and feel comfortable carrying out their responsibilities.
Myth 2: Companies Should Invest in ERP Solely for Functionality
While it’s true that the robust, specialized features of ERP systems are a major selling point, that should not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the functionalities of the software are the only consideration when it comes to investing in this technology. In reality, a good ERP will have what it takes to improve your operations at a holistic level and serve as a foundation for a complete digital transformation.
Working with a provider that can demonstrate extensive experience in your industry and a long track record of successful implementations can have considerable positive effects on your business outcomes. After all, you need someone who “speaks your language” and understands the unique challenges that companies like yours face so that you can work together to realize the benefits of ERP and solve your toughest challenges.
Here at Aptean, we’re proud to act as a partner to our clients, addressing all questions during the exploratory phase, hosting live demos for interested stakeholders to see our solutions in action and then working with clients to help them learn ERP implementation and sketch out a full roadmap complete with phases and milestones. We’re with you every step of the way, and that includes beyond your go-live date as you begin to explore the deployment of additional features or options.
We also know the nuances of our target markets well and understand that change is a constant and business priorities can shift. Fortunately, our product portfolio includes more than just ERP software—should your company have specific goals tied to efficiency, performance, distribution or data analytics, we offer additional supporting solutions for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE); enterprise asset maintenance (EAM); routing and scheduling optimization; business intelligence; and much more.
Myth 3: One ERP Solution Is as Good as Any Other
Just a single quick online search will reveal that there are a multitude of options for businesses looking to invest in an ERP system. While many providers will claim that their software is broadly applicable to all varieties of operations, this “one size fits all” approach is based on the fallacy that all businesses’ needs are the same.
The adage that a “jack of all trades is a master of none” applies here, as most generic solutions that are built to appeal to as wide an audience as possible will likely prove unsatisfactory for the kinds of highly specialized companies that need ERP solutions the most. Much better are industry-specific ERP platforms designed with the processes and priorities of the target sector as the driving factors behind the set of features they offer.
For example, food and beverage businesses require not only the standard functionalities of supply chain management, inventory control and quality assurance, but also dedicated tools for segregating allergens and ensuring food safety and regulatory compliance. Meanwhile, other kinds of manufacturers and distributors have their own distinct challenges that make carefully crafted tools designed for those specific purposes necessary.
What’s more, not every organization is the same size, and the goals of a small- to medium-sized business will be quite different from those of an international enterprise. Therefore, the ideal ERP is fully scalable, expanding in capacity and capabilities as the business grows and offering flexible configurations to fit the many use cases that are possible.
At Aptean, we know these realities well, and that’s why we have unique, purpose-built ERP solutions for the food and beverage; process manufacturing; industrial manufacturing; importing, distribution and retail; fashion and apparel; and equipment dealer industries. Each is outfitted with a complete suite of features that cater to these unique markets’ needs.
Experience the Aptean Advantage
We hope this post has helped to shine some light on the truth behind these ERP myths. In reality, it’s no Olympian feat to learn to use ERP systems, but investing in the technology solely for functionality or making the assumption that all ERPs were created equal can really open up a Pandora’s Box of problems for your business down the road.
If you’re currently researching and trying to compare ERP systems to decide which is best for your company, we believe that our systems should be at the top of your list of options to consider. We’ve enumerated several reasons for this above, including our reputation for ERP implementation best practices and industry-specific solutions, but there’s even more to love.
For instance, our software ecosystem also extends to product lifecycle management (PLM) for accelerated go-to-market times and electronic data interchange (EDI) for streamlined and automated data transfers. Both of these are critically important in many market segments and can work in tandem with one of our best-in-class ERPs to boost your results dramatically.
We also offer interactive tools that can help you gauge the current state of your operations, including our digital transformation assessment, which can help you assess your needs and determine how to best approach a modernization initiative. Additionally, the Insights section of our website has a wealth of articles covering different topics related for your further exploration, plus customer success stories that demonstrate the power of our software.
Finally, there’s our future-focused mindset, echoed by our motto—Ready for What’s Next, Now®. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of the markets we serve and are always seeking ways to improve our platforms and empower our customers with the technology they need to rise above their competitors and keep pace with a fast-moving, ever-evolving business landscape.
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