Twice a year preventative maintenance is carried out on my mountain bike. Everything is checked and adjusted if necessary, from brake cables and brake pads to the cassette and the chain. If more expensive parts are due for replacement, I will be contacted. The same goes for my car. Every few months I bring it to the dealer for periodic maintenance. And to the customers I am in contact with every day, periodic maintenance is a familiar concept as well. The machines and equipment they deal in need maintenance after a certain period of time or number of operating hours. Our software solution tells the customer when it is time for a small or major maintenance job, a calibration or an inspection. With all the above periodic maintenance you prevent defects and failures and you guarantee the safety and the functioning of the equipment.
What about my ERP software?
Where periodic maintenance on a bicycle, car or machine is generally accepted, this is different for many ERP systems. It is only when problems occur and their consequences have a considerable impact when actions are taken. And that can be prevented by periodic maintenance together with your software partner. Run through the system together, discuss specific processes, see how your people use the software and determine where things are not going smoothly.
Respond to change
Besides the timely identification of problems and responding adequately to that, there is another aspect. The moment you go live with new software, the system should meet your most important requirements and wishes. But that is only a snapshot, because changes follow each other quickly today. Your company may have evolved, new markets have been entered or you may have plans to do so. Developments in the software continue as well, partly driven by changes in your industry. Same goes for the technological developments, these follow each other quickly as well. In short, your requirements and wishes regarding your ERP system may change over time.
By performing periodic maintenance you will easily be able to respond to all these developments and changes. Therefore, discuss with your software partner:
- Which processes do not run smoothly because of certain changes.
- What functionalities have been added to the standard product in the course of time and whether or not you should therefore go for an upgrade.
- What your new business plans are and what their impact is with regard to the use of the software.
- Which developments occur in your industry and how you would like to deal with these.
Set up an action plan
Then you determine together which actions are required to keep up with the changes. Perhaps you need to change processes, you need new modules or add-ons, or an upgrade to the latest version might be wise. Or maybe everything is running smoothly. Define which actions are needed when you want to keep on working optimally with your ERP system.
Your business software is too important to not maintain. So, just like you go to the garage for the periodic check-up of your car, go to your software partner for periodic maintenance on your ERP software.
Peter Gerhardt is Senior Lead Consultant Logistics at Dysel and helps customers achieve maximum results with business software.