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ERP Systems: Advantages, Disadvantages, and Opportunities

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Your organization uses many different software tools and platforms to handle your day-to-day needs. These systems allow you to complete work more efficiently with the data and tools that support workflows specific to your business.

Enterprise Resource Planning systems (or ERPs) like SAP, Oracle NetSuite, or Microsoft Dynamics (and many others) tie together a multitude of business processes and enable the flow of data between them. ERPs are one of the most proven and long-living forms of business automation for organizations today. While powerful, ERP systems are also ripe for automation - which can help your organization claim even more value from your investment.

Whether you’re considering onboarding an ERP system, where it may fit among existing software tools, or how to find the most value from your existing systems - here are some key advantages and disadvantages with an Enterprise Resource Planning system to jog your brain as you’re assessing the business automation market:

Advantages of a fine-tuned ERP system:

  1. Business processes are optimized according to your specific needs with a successful implementation.

  2. Accurate and timely access to reliable information is just a few clicks away for users.

  3. The ability to share key information across and between all components of the organization is improved.

  4. Unnecessary operations and data are eliminated - reducing overhead and improving efficiency.

  5. Employees are freed up to focus on more higher-value, strategic work.

  6. Integrated systems means redundancy and duplicate records are avoided.

  7. All teams or departments utilizing the system realize increase data flow and process efficiencies.

  8. Data-backed decisions and insights can enable better planning for future long-term savings.

  9. Response times to customer or department inquiries is significantly improved.

  10. An ERP system makes your organization more competitive and better able to handle business faster.

Tip: Many of these advantages can be realized through other, often “lighter” automation technologies, like document management tools, intelligent data extraction, or robotic process automation.

Disadvantages of an ERP, given its cost (spoiler: $$$ and time):

  1. The installation, configuration, and onboarding of an EPR system is costly. ERP consultants alone can consume 70% of an implementation budget.

  2. The success and adoption of the ERP depends on skills, experience, and education of the workforce.

  3. Employee resistance to new software or new inter-department processes can be a challenge to overcome.

  4. ERP systems are often complex.

  5. Onboarding new staff is costly and time-consuming, and may require additional trainings.

  6. An ERP system does not guarantee success of the entire company. Culture, training, and user feedback are critically important for adoption.

  7. An ERP’s effectiveness may be diminished if all employees are not “on board” and functioning cohesively within the system.

  8. There may be a longer ROI with an ERP implementation, which are often costly.

  9. Justification for an ERP system usually requires buy-in from multiple departments, and can require a lengthy discovery process.

  10. ERP systems need a dedicated administrator (or team) to ensure proper data integrity and operation.

These points are not likely to persuade or dissuade you from purchasing an ERP system, but they do highlight an important point - it’s difficult (maybe impossible) for one system to meet every single one of your organization’s needs. And if it can - it’s gonna cost!

At Shamrock, we work with customers from every industry to assess, augment, and enhance existing software systems with Intelligent Automation - including ERP systems. Today’s technology solutions can drastically augment - or in some cases, outright replace - existing, large-scale enterprise systems. Whether it’s making data more accessible, removing paper from your process, automating mundane data-entry in seconds, or gaining valuable insights into your process performance - intelligent automation can improve the way you get your work done (within, or without an ERP system :) ).

We’ve been with our customers through their ERP onboarding, offboarding, enhancing, and more, and our team of experts is here to help you assess your automation needs on your journey to digital transformation. Learn more and talk to us today!



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