There are a lot of myths out there. Things that we in the business (and technical) world believe to be true but which just aren’t. But we cling to those myths and make business decisions with them, and generally ignore what happens when we do.
And one of the foremost of those myths is putting too much weight on the importance of your ERP system.
Please note that I am not saying that a good ERP system is not important. Your business system is one of the main assets your company has, and a solid ERP system is critical. But you would be amazed what you can do with a crummy ERP system.
I was talking to an old client the other day. Their corporate entity, located in another country, forced them off of PRMS 9.3 about 18 months ago and onto a hybrid consisting of two PC systems with a bridge in between them. I will gloss over the fact that they still have the i and are still running some functions on it (wave goodbye to any financial savings). And how are things going? The bottom line is that everyone has to do way more manual work to get things done than they ever did with PRMS. And sometimes they can’t ship because the two systems do not agree and they can’t produce the shipping documents required. But are they going out of business? No, they are still going along, getting things out to the customers and generally doing what they need to do.
And the reason they can do this is their people. No matter how bad your ERP system is, if you have good people, who are willing to work very hard, and do a lot of things that should be taken care of by the system, you can stay in business and even thrive. In the end, the real benefit of a good ERP system is that it makes things easier for the people, not that it makes certain things possible. You get what I’m saying here? Just as in Jurassic Park where ‘nature will find a way’, so will people. They will get the task done no matter what obstacles the system puts in their way.
And what is the point? The point is, all of the companies who are searching for the perfect ERP system and are willing to pay whatever to get it, might want to relax. Certainly there is a minimum level for what your ERP system should do, but in reaching for the moon we are ignoring what is really important, what really makes the difference for us. Technology is not always the only solution, sometimes it is just a tool to help people create the solution.