Key Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your ERP System

John WaldronArticle, Blog

Time to Upgrade your ERP System

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Accounting. Supply chain management. Human resource planning. Project management. Inventory management. Customer relationship management. Procurement. Marketing. Sales. Modern ERP systems like metasfresh handle them all, bringing together the key facets of your business under one all-seeing and all-powerful system so you can manage business processes and streamline operations. Many older ERPs, however, don’t necessarily support such a wide range of functionality — and may be stunting growth and competitiveness, rather than facilitating them.

Tell-tale signs your ERP is out of date:

  • Lack of modern features, such as automation
  • You’re failing to meet your customers‘ data or technology needs
  • You’re caught in „data traps“, preventing you from gaining a full unified view of company data
  • Poor or limited integration capabilities with other applications

Productivity. Performance. Efficiency. These are the things that your ERP investment is supposed to improve — and keep improving long into the future. However, while it’s only natural to want to wring as much value out of your current ERP investment for as long as possible, the truth is that with the rapid pace of technological advancements over the past decade, like any technology, older ERP systems are quickly becoming outdated and inefficient — slowing you down and holding you back.

Imagine trying to run your 2020 office using Windows 95… It simply wouldn’t be possible. It’s the same with ERP systems. Unfortunately, unlike a fine wine or whisky, they don’t get better with age.

But how do you know when your current ERP system is starting to become a bane rather than a boon to your business? It didn’t come with an expiration date stamped on the box, after all. Fortunately, there are a number of clear and unequivocal signs that your current ERP is out-of-date and the time has come to start looking for a fresher and more powerful upgrade to a modern system like metasfresh ERP.

Lack of Features

As the years tick by, software and technology just get better and better. What was once the latest and greatest feature of your ERP system when you first implemented it — something that was not essential, but a luxury — is now likely to be standard across modern systems. Whether it’s analytics, automation, or a functionality that is specific to your industry, technology doesn’t wait for you, and if your organisation isn’t by now utilising these advanced functionalities as standard, then you will soon be offering an inferior service to your competitors.

The 2019 ERP Trends report from Accenture — Unleashing Exponential Evolution — notes how companies struggling to keep pace with the digital revolution with enterprise technologies that are inflexible and increasingly obsolete are meeting this challenge head-on by upgrading to intelligent ERP systems to fuel their digital transformation. „Today’s systems of record are fast being replaced by new systems of intelligence,“ says Accenture. „These new systems of intelligence retain the core ‘systems of record’ capabilities while layering in new automation and predictive intelligence capabilities.“

Accenture - Unleashing Exponential Evolutions Report - Q15.

Fig. 1 —Image Source:

One of the key benefits of implementing a modern ERP like metasfresh is that developers are constantly updating the system, incorporating functionality improvements and new features to enable organisations to get the very latest and greatest out of their software investments. metasfresh ERP is designed and continuously being refined to drive efficiencies throughout your organisation, with automation playing a key role. The system employs unique time-saving tools such as Auto Data Loading, which is built to expedite data recording and improve its consistency, and the Autocomplete feature, which allows you to locate key data fast. The system streamlines all your key workflows, from sales to shipment, invoicing, incoming and outgoing payments, procurement, incoming goods, and much more besides. It is also fully customisable to meet your business’s precise needs, helping you meet not only today’s targets, but those of the future too.

You’re Failing to Meet Customer Expectations

Make no mistake — your customers are going through their own digital transformations just as much as you are. No matter how great your products might be or how much they need them, your customers still expect top-of-the-line services and support that match the quality of your products. As such, not only do you need to have instant access to accurate and up-to-date data on every aspect of your customers’ accounts, orders, shipping, invoicing, and other information, your customers expect easy access to that data as well so they can track and analyse it in their own modern systems. In other words, they’re looking to work with suppliers who can keep up and are capable of meeting their requirements — and trying to do that with a legacy ERP system may be impossible.

If you’re finding that your ERP system is struggling to meet your customers’ data or technology needs — and especially if you’re already losing deals because of it — the time has most certainly come to modernise to a new solution like metasfresh that uses agile and flexible business solutions to support your digital transformation.

You’re Caught in „Data Traps“

One of the greatest benefits of modern ERP systems like metasfresh is that they provide instant access to complete sets of actionable, real-time data from across the organisation — data that can be instantly converged to provide the true bird’s-eye-view of the business and fuel data-driven decision-making.

Older ERP systems often don’t provide this unified data view, meaning that in order to get it, time-consuming manual effort is required. A recent study from Accenture found that 92% of current ERP systems require manual or programmatic intervention to release key information from “data traps” — i.e. when the data an enterprise holds is either “dark” (unstructured and not readily usable), disparate (hard to combine), of poor quality, or incomplete. If you’re finding that your internal teams are spending too much time manually extracting ERP data, having to build custom APIs to get at it, or — even worse — your business is going without the insights it needs because it’s too hard, slow, or expensive to find and process the right data, it’s time to upgrade your system.

Accenture - Unleashing Exponential Evolutions Report - Q19.

Fig. 2 —Image Source:

Poor Integration

Traditional ERP systems were built primarily to help large industrialists manage their inventories and raw material requirements for manufacturing, purchasing and delivery. Over the years, however, ERP solutions have expanded their capabilities to support business functions as diverse as finance, accounting, sales and marketing, and business intelligence.
However, while such functionality is of course paramount to running a successful, modern business, today, many companies prefer to use custom-built, best-of-breed applications from multiple vendors for particular business functions, rather than relying on the one-size-fits-all solutions that get bundled in with monolithic ERPs. This is known as a postmodern ERP strategy and provides greater flexibility, customisation and control.

ERP Integration: Strategy, Challenges, Benefits, and Key Types

Fig. 3: Benefits of ERP Integration —Image Source:

In order to execute such a strategy, your ERP system needs to be integration-friendly. With older systems, it’s often a case of what you see is what you get — organisations are limited to the applications provided as part of the pre-packaged solution, or can only integrate with vendor-specific third-party applications.

If you’re relying on a system that is not integration-friendly and, as such, is preventing you from taking advantage of new technologies or converging data from different sources, you should consider upgrading to a modern ERP like metasfresh, which allows you to integrate whichever applications you wish with the system — along with all the data they generate.

Final Thoughts

Data traps. Outdated features. Customer dissatisfaction. A lack of integration capabilities. They’re all slowing your business down, denying you insights, and giving your competitors an advantage. Your ERP system is foundational to your entire organisation, and it needs to be fit for purpose to compete in the modern business environment. The answer is simple — upgrade to a modern ERP solution that meets the demands of today.

Talk to us here at metasfresh. Since 2006, we have been developing our metasfresh ERP software non-stop with open source components and under the open source licenses GPLv2 and GPLv3. Our mission is to enable each and every company to access a powerful ERP system with the aim of fuelling corporate growth. Get in touch today for more information and insights.

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