ERP software must adapt or die as an estimated 143,200 UK businesses - 60% of those using the systems - are less than satisfied with it, demanding extra mobility, device freedom and social collaboration for competitive advantage; these are the findings of new global research from Redshift and Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations.
80% of the 1,500 business professionals surveyed globally say their ERP system is critical to business performance and 60% have invested in the software in the past two years. However, over half rate their current ERP as just “adequate” or “basic”, with the number in the UK dissatisfied with ERP nearly 10% higher than the average.
The UK also shows the lowest incidences of 'current ERP investment' at just 5% of organisations, compared to a global average of 11% and investment peaks four times more frequent than the UK in China, and three times more in Sweden and Germany.
However, not all ERP software functions are viewed the same. In the UK, financial accounting, maintenance and HR were the functions most commonly thought of as 'basic', while operational planning and business intelligence were those most frequently considered 'state of the art.'
ERP mobility is essential, especially for responding more quickly to customer questions and enquiries, but the UK is currently one of the most mobile of ERP users:
- 70% of UK employees can access ERP on the move compared to an average of 58% globally and lows of 36% in Finland and 45% in Germany.
- The UK also has the top need for 'ERP home working' with 64% specifically wanting home based access compared to lows of 43% in Sweden and 48% in Germany - perhaps indicating the nation's attitude to the new flexible working rights.
- So, it is surprising that only 61% of UK users rate accessing ERP information out of the office as important, compared to a high of 89% in China.
Device and infrastructure choice is critical with smart phones and tablets being desired forms of ERP access most likely to increase in the future, while the requirement for office and paper based access is declining:
- Despite this today as many as 75% of respondents worldwide do not access ERP from their smart phone or personal device.
- To support these expanding mobility and device requirements most future ERP systems are likely to be app focused, cloud based or vendor hosted, with only 1 in 5 being purely on-premises in the future.
Social collaboration is also vital to future ERP performance:
- 91% of UK respondents see it as “helpful” and 52% view it as “important” to future business performance.
- Users would like ERP to include social media tools for a variety of reasons but the most common of these is to improve communication with customers, for 49%.
- But only 15% of organisations surveyed globally and 13% in the UK thought that inter-departmental collaboration was “very effective.”
“It's concerning that while the vast majority of organisations place high importance on ERP many are underwhelmed by the performance of their current systems,” said Steve Winder, regional vice president for Epicor in the UK and Ireland. “ERP has been a vital strategic business platform that has helped thousands of organisations to adapt and respond to changing business demands for nearly 25 years, but its seems now is the time for ERP to adapt to survive as users demand greater performance from the system or risk being outflanked by their competitors.”
The Epicor Global ERP Research by Redshift involved over 1,500 interviews with senior business professionals across 10 countries during summer 2014, including over 200 in the UK. Respondents to the survey may or may not be using Epicor ERP solutions. Nearly half of respondents worked in the manufacturing industry, approximately one-third worked in distribution or logistics companies, and under one-third in retail companies. The remaining 20 percent of respondents worked in service sector companies. Twenty-two percent percent were SME organisations with up to 250 employees, 39% had between 251 and 999 employees and 39% had between 1,000 employees or more.
To access an eBook with more details on the research please visit the Epicor website: www.epicor.com/whatsnext
 Sources: ONS Statistical Bulletin - UK Business Activity, Size and Location - 2013 (states 2.17 million enterprises registered for VAT and/or PAYE in March 2013); ONS E-commerce and ICT activity 2012 (states 11% of UK businesses are using ERP software)
About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering inspired business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. With over 40 years of experience serving small, midmarket and larger enterprises, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail management software, supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional and global businesses demand. The Company's headquarters are located in Austin, Texas, with offices and affiliates worldwide. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.
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Duncan Gurney/Rob Skinner
The PR Network
(On behalf of Epicor UK)
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