ICYMI: Love Your Legacy ERP, or List it?

By: | Category: ERP

Forrester analyst Duncan Jones published a research paper in February 2022 titled “On-Premises ERP: Should You Love It Or List It?” The title was taken from a popular reality television show that focuses on homes that people love but require maintenance. Should you continue to invest in them and renovate, or should you put them up for sale and purchase a new home?

A similar conundrum exists in today’s ERP world. There are many options for Next Generation ERP platforms – what Forrester refers to as Digital Operations Platforms or DOP – that enable organizations to compete in today’s business climate with its uncertainty and blistering pace of change. But many organizations have made large investments into their current ERP technology and may not be ready for change.

The User Perspective

Wire machine manufacturer Schleuniger is one such organization. During the Net at Work-hosted webinar, “Love Your Legacy ERP, Or List It?,” Jones served as a guest speaker alongside a panel of ERP users, including Lia St. Armand, MIS Administrator at Schleuniger. St. Armand shared her experience with a legacy, on-premise ERP solution running on an Access database.

“We’ve been with our ERP system for a long time. All of our users are familiar with it, they know the tables, they know the fields…[and] we have a lot of customized customer relations that we do. Our biggest thing is that we want to provide exemplary customer service, not just good or great customer service, we want to go above and beyond. So we have a lot of tie-ins to our ERP that will allow us to automate a lot of processes that would be manual.”

While the IT department at Schleuniger is able to support the customizations of its ERP system, another ERP user panelist, ACD Distribution, didn’t have such extensive staff support. The Middleton, WI-based company is a distributor of toys, hobby gaming, board games and game-related merchandise. CFO Marilyn Maher reported that they had been using an unsupported ERP system and, after having a history of working with unsupported ERP and knowing the challenges associated with it, didn’t want to relive the experience.

“We made a decision very early on…and we decided to just go ahead and move…because of its support and the feature enhancements we would get from it. And it has served us very well.”

“At Net at Work, we do not believe that there is any one right answer. There is only the best answer for your organization and what you are going through at this moment.”
-Doug Mow, CMO at Net at Work

Know When to Go

The panelists connected on a common goal, however. Both stressed the importance of properly serving the customer. Jones explained that ERP or DOP solutions should stand to meet the needs of customers through operational effectiveness, speed of service and customer experience. He also cautioned against the “temporary fix where really you need to change the underlying solution.”

St. Armand echoed this sentiment. “If we were going to make a change, then it would need to be something that did more, that did it better. Not something that would take away from the customer service that we already provide,” she said.

If you find that your current system isn’t helping you fulfill your customer promise, that’s when options like a Business Health Assessment or other analysis may be needed to help you map out your technology strategy to overcome existing shortcomings.

“At Net at Work,” explained Doug Mow, Chief Marketing Officer with the company, “We do not believe that there is any one right answer. There is only the best answer for your organization and what you are going through at this moment…we just urge you to make that decision well informed and commit to it.”

To learn how your organization can benefit from a strategic partnership with one of the leading technology consulting firms in the United States, contact Net at Work today.