ERP is often misinterpreted as a system only suited for large, multinational corporations that have been established for hundreds of years and turn over tens of millions of pounds. It is often assumed that only larger companies will reap the benefits, but the truth is quite different. ERP solutions can be just as beneficial for smaller companies, if not more so. Some questions we often get asked are;

When is a company ready for an ERP system?

This is something that can only be assessed internally and will vary from company to company. A few triggers that often make people consider ERP are;

  • An increase in late deliveries
  • Internal mistakes (purchases not being made on time, materials being missed etc)
  • Inaccurately produced quotes
  • A requirement from a potential customer (some companies will want to know they are dealing with someone who has a sophisticated IT infrastructure)
  • A referral (another company has shown the benefits they have received from ERP)
  • Time wasted carrying out unnecessary tasks (creating reports/ graphs in Excel, rectifying human error and double entry etc.)
  • Spreadsheets getting out of control with no backups.
  • Companies seeking ISO accreditation.

Do we have to turnover a certain amount per year and do we have to employ someone to run it?

In a sense there is no definitive answer for either of the above questions as there are so many factors to take into account. One major factor is the software vendor you are considering. Some packages offered by certain vendors can be very expensive and complex. In turn, these often naturally suit companies that turnover large sums of money and also those who have a dedicated internal IT department.

On the contrary, there are less expensive and more simplistic solutions out there that suit medium sized and even small sized companies. Manufacturers with even the smallest of turnovers and man power can benefit from these types of ERP. However, this isn’t to say that these types of systems would not suit a larger company.

Do I need to spend serious amounts of money on hardware infrastructure to support the software?

Nowadays most software solutions are designed on platforms that are fairly light on resources. The most common platforms are Oracle and Microsoft SQL. There is no avoiding the increase in required performance as the number of concurrent users goes up but our advice would be to speak to your potential ERP provider before forking out thousands on a brand new, top of the range server as the one you currently have may be adequate.

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