We’ve been struggling with our ERP system for several years now. It’s one of the more popular, cloud-based COTS that is “designed” for businesses of our size and scope
So what’s the problem?
There are several.
- It’s very difficult to get useful, management-oriented information. We’ve spent countless hours building a data warehouse and developing dashboards just so we can see basic metrics such as our sales trends and the status of our key customers. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars yet to spend to get to what we really need here. Ouch!
- Our firm’s business model is in transition as we position ourselves in the cloud. As a result, our operations need to become more sophisticated and, dare I say, flexible. We are dragging our ERP system kicking and screaming to the party, and it is definitely not helping us succeed. And, no, we don’t know of a system that would make the cut because it’s our unique business model that gives us competitive advantage. No system-for-purchase would be just right.
- Over the 7 years we have used our ERP system, the cost has escalated. Oddly, the more poorly it matches our business needs, the more costly it becomes.
- We just learned that Oracle has acquired the firm that provides our core system. Now, I think Oracle is a fine company, but our ERP system’s team just got a demotion. They will have to fight with other divisions of Oracle for resources and attention to progress the way their customers might want them to. And we were just one voice on the customer side. How long will we have to wait to get the features and functions that are most important to us?
We’re a practical, mid-sized company, so our IT team has always leaned toward “buy.” But Gartner is now saying that 75 percent of application purchases to support “digital business,” as in our evolving cloud-based business model, will be “build.” No wonder.
Well, we know how to do that. We have a decades-long track record of building industrial strength, mission-critical applications for our customers. I believe it’s time to drink some of our own champagne.