ERP System Scalability—A Tale of Two Companies

This blog post is part three of a five-part series, entitled ‘A Tale of Two Companies’. In this series, we explore the different hypothetical experiences of two fictitious companies as they upgrade/change to new ERP systems.

  • View the introduction to ‘A Tale of Two Companies’, here
  • View previous blog posts in this series: part one | part two

Over the last five years, Company A invested thoroughly in scalable systems throughout its operation. From RFID tagging to automatic pallet wrappers, and now, after a thorough evaluation, selection, and implementation process, it has a truly scalable ERP system. A system which will deliver economies of scale and support the business at each stage of its growth journey.

“Good planning is driven by the right technology, and adopting the right technology is a result of good planning,” said Company A’s operations director.

“During the evaluation process, we were aware of the necessity to be able to pivot and adapt to the unknown and unexpected. Therefore, while it was imperative that our selected system was a good fit for our current and projected requirements, it was also important that we had confidence in the software vendor’s commitment to innovation and continuous improvement,” he added.

Company A recognised that trying to compete in the modern marketplace with anything less than best practice technology will make growth extremely challenging.

“We could not afford the disruption, risk and complexity that comes with a myriad of cobbled together systems. We needed one single system which provides real-time reporting, mobility solutions and the ability to add or remove users on demand.”

Given the seasonality in Company A’s business, it opted for a cloud deployment as it avoided the need to adjust hardware requirements to deliver optimal performance in periods of operational fluctuation. However, it was also important for Company A that it retained the capacity to revert to an on-premises deployment in the future.

“We never want to be in a position where we are constrained. Our continued success is derived from agility, and we intend to keep it that way”.

Meanwhile, Company Z is soon facing a barrier to growth

At the same time its competitor, Company Z, has had to face the fact that its new ERP system will not only fail to be an enablement tool to help drive growth, but it will soon be a barrier to growth.

“We were determined to move away from a suite of disparate systems when we selected this ERP system, so we could drive efficiency, timely insights, and consistency in processes and data. However, much like my exhausting commute to work, I will now be using the software equivalent of a car, a train, and a taxi to patch together a means of merely maintaining the status quo.” 

In the meantime, Company Z’s sales staff have been instructed to focus on selling existing inventory and limit the number of make to order projects until the company is confident it can once again meet its customer’s expectations. Given they are only 14 months post-implementation of their new ERP system, the board of directors are not impressed.

Whether you are looking for your first ERP system or upgrading from an existing system, choosing a scalable solution which contains best-practice tools, an intuitive user interface, and cross-platform capabilities is essential.

Selecting an ERP system which will be fit for purpose today and in the future, requires a considered, methodical process. To help you make the right choices, we have an eBook outlining how to know if your solution is compatible with your growth plans. Download your copy here.

Continuing reading - A Tale of Two Companies Part 4: Freedom of Deployment Choice—Cloud or On-premises.

If you'll like to be on the Epicor mailing list, please subscribe here

Epicor Software Corporation Regional Vice President, Asia