The Hazards of Choosing the Wrong ERP for Distribution

June 2, 2017Diana Lengerson

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Less than a minute of online research will uncover dozens of articles celebrating the advantages of the right ERP. But it’s just as important to understand how risky it is to choose the wrong ERP. Everyone understands that the best of the best is celebrated for a reason. It’s easy to forget, however, that the worst of the worst has earned its reputation as well.

If you’re actively searching for ERP for distribution software, you’ve discovered that there are dozens of options on the market. A few will be great and a few more will be adequate. But the majority of the options available to you fall unquestionably into the category of “the wrong ERP.” Here are some of the hazards you should be concerned about if you choose to implement on of these products:

The Implementation Takes Forever

The right ERP is one that easily configures to your particular needs and wants. It is also backed by extensive support from the vendor throughout the implementation process. If you choose to rely on a product that falls short of these standards, the implementation can be a nightmare process of cost overruns, missed deadlines, and ongoing tech headaches. In the very worst cases, the implementation fails entirely and the ERP never becomes operational.

Some of Your Data is Lost

Moving all of your data out of our old system and into your ERP is one of your biggest priorities and largest challenges. A best-in-class application will make this process relatively simple, seamless, and reliable. A bad application, by contrast, will take a major investment on your part without ensuring that data has not been lost or overlooked. By putting the wrong ERP in place, you’ve actually compromised the value of your data.

Staff Loses Morale

ERP is an application that most of your team uses for most of its workflows on a daily basis. That is why it’s so important for an interface to be easy, intuitive, and accommodating. The more comfortable your staff feels using this new application, the more they will engage with its features and find clever ways to enhance their efforts. ERP that is confusing or cumbersome does just the opposite. Staff will resent having to use it and avoid it as much as possible. In short, your investment in new technology will have been largely wasted.

Orders and Workflows are Disrupted

The purpose of ERP for distribution is to help finely-tuned enterprises run more seamlessly than ever before. Once it’s up and running, the ERP will be the primary portal for facts, figures, schedules, quotas, and budgets. And if any of the information contained in that portal is incorrect, confusing, or unattainable, it could have a tangible impact on the business. Even small issues can have effects that ripple throughout the supply chain.

Confusion and Conflict Become Common

Since ERP is first and foremost a data management tool, it becomes instrumental to the way you understand your business. Simply stated, your ERP is the “source of truth” that all you staff relies on for information, insights, and updates. If you rely on an ERP that is underwhelming in any way, it can quickly lead to mistakes and misunderstandings that have heavy consequences. More than one enterprise has been shaken to the core simply because they bet on a bad technology. It takes a unique confluence of forces to bring about the worst possible scenarios, but it’s not an impossibility for any enterprise.

The one and only thing you should takeaway from this article is that careful ERP evaluation is essential. Every vendor will make a convincing pitch. And every application will offer appealing and exclusive features. But only one ERP will truly be the right one for you. Don’t stop evaluating and comparing until you’re confident you’ve found it.

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