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Maintaining your ERP system

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If you’ve got an ERP system in place but are unsure of the steps you should be taking to maintain it, we’ve put together a list of the aspects you should be most aware of when it comes to the upkeep of your system; if we simplify this, ERP system maintenance is a lot like car maintenance. There are steps you can take to ensure that things are running smoothly, and periodically there may be issues that should be brought to the attention of a professional. Ultimately, if something goes wrong, it’s best to address it quickly so as to avoid the problem escalating further down the line.

We know that the performance of an ERP system can heavily impact aspects such as cyber security, financial security, and job security within an organisation – and that’s why it’s essential that businesses know how to properly care for their ERP software.

Get to grips with your ERP software

The more educated you are about the ERP system that your business uses, the better you’ll understand where the ERP fits in the marketplace, and how well it meets the needs of your business. By reading the manuals provided, knowing which software house developed it and doing your research on the business who implemented it for you, and knowing which other organisations use the system within your industry, you’ll be better equipped should anything go wrong.

It’s also a good way for you to learn about any limitations your ERP system might have, and to understand the full spectrum of technologies available to you.

Weigh up the financial options

One of the most important steps a business can take is to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of an ERP vendor maintenance plan, and ensuring that it fits in to the organisation’s general technology strategy.

Generally speaking, your maintenance plan should mirror your technology plan – the financial decisions should stay in line with the pace implemented by your IT department, and it should support system-wide changes. It’s crucial that you don’t overestimate the speed at which your business is ready to move, and also that you don’t saddle your IT department with more than they can handle.

Plan your ERP life cycle

Planning the usability of your ERP software is essential when it comes to reducing business costs. It’s usually best to re-evaluate the life cycle every five years, so that maintenance purchases can reflect the cycle that you’re currently on.

Once you’ve decided how long you plan to go without upgrades, and have established the intended life cycle of the platform, you can weigh up the short-term and long-term costs of maintenance to decide whether it’s best to upgrade, or whether you should consider switching to a new platform entirely.

Review your systems

It’s crucial that you maintain proper security measures by performing regular backups and system restorations – but when in doubt, check with the professionals.

System reviews should be done periodically to check the ‘health’ of ERP systems, and they will be able to assess the functionality of the system and address any potential issues. Once updates or upgrades have been evaluated, your organisations should then have a clearer understanding of any opportunities for improvement, as well as the budget that may be required.

Following these guidelines is a good way to keep your system functioning healthily, and should give all employees a clear roadmap for managing the organisation’s resources for years to come.

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