Blog Inventory 9 signs you need to break up with your ERP
18 June, 2024

9 signs you need to break up with your ERP

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software like NetSuite and Acumatica can save time and streamline necessary tasks, like payroll and human resources (HR) management, but not every business needs an ERP solution. From cost to complexity, there are many tell-tale signs that your ERP software isn’t the right fit for your business. 

We’ve drawn up a list of these common signs that ERP software isn’t for you, including a high price and all-too-common ERP implementation challenges. We’ll also point out where inventory management software like Cin7 can provide the scalability, data visibility, and efficiency you need without the ERP price tag. 

Signs you need to ditch your ERP software

If the challenges of your ERP software are making you doubt its value, keep an eye out for these signs that it’s time to make a change:

1. It’s too expensive for what it does

ERP systems are often priced for enterprise businesses, meaning they’re beyond the budget and needs of small and medium businesses (SMBs).

Depending on the ERP vendor you choose, you might even have to pay a consultant to help with setup and basic tasks, like pulling reports. And don’t forget maintenance costs for tasks like system updates and data backups, which can be around 20% of the initial price of an ERP system

With these potential cost overruns, it’s no surprise that savvy product businesses are switching to inventory management solutions with advanced ERP functionalities, like Cin7. 

Cin7 Core and Omni provide all the major benefits of ERPs at a competitive price, including the ability to pull your own customizable reports quickly. By choosing a feature-rich inventory management solution instead of pricey ERP software, you’ll free up funds for growing your product business.

2. You pay for (but don’t use) key features

With all-in-one ERP solutions, you’ll get a laundry list of features that might help one business but don’t provide value to another.  

If you have a small business, you might not need human resources (HR), project management, or customer relationship management (CRM) functionality just yet. But with an all-in-one ERP, you’ll pay for these features anyway.

To reduce the complexity of your software stack, you should choose a solution that’s specifically designed for product businesses. Cin7 offers all the features you need to stay profitable, like accounting integrations, reporting, and cross-channel sales management. You’ll find value in our software capabilities whether you’re a manufacturer, product seller, or both.

3. It isn’t user-friendly

Many ERP systems claim to be user-friendly, but that’s not always the case. Even with a long onboarding process, your employees might complain that they can’t find, use, or customize certain features that are supposed to make their job easier. 

There’s also the risk of feature overkill with some ERPs — if your team members mainly use your ERP for inventory management, they might get overwhelmed with all the clunky options for features they don’t need. Not to mention that the technical complexity of some ERP systems can make them slow, frustrating users even more.    

In some cases, your ERP will provide generic onboarding with minimal support, which can leave your staff with more questions than answers. To get full onboarding assistance, you might need to pay for an ERP consultant, who you’ll need to call on long after traditional onboarding is finished.

If you’re thinking of sticking with your ERP in the hope that your key stakeholders will finally get used to the intricacies of your new system, remember that easier options are available.  

When it comes to user-friendliness, Cin7 delivers an intuitive interface and easy-to-learn features. Don’t just take our word for it — users consistently rank Cin7 high for ease of use on Capterra and G2.

4. It’s not Cloud-based

According to data from Bloomberg, ERPs are lagging behind in terms of Cloud migration, with 48% still on-premises

When you store an ERP on local machines, its usability and availability are limited. If there’s a power disruption or malfunction on a local system, work will be interrupted for your entire organization. Unfortunately, even a short period of downtime can affect your profitability.  

To overcome this challenge, look for Cloud ERP alternatives, like Cin7. With Cloud-powered availability, we provide much more flexibility for globally distributed project teams and people on the move.

5. The integrations are challenging and limited

If your business uses different types of software, like accounting, manufacturing, and sales solutions, application integration is crucial. 

Some ERP software has limited integrations or doesn’t often update its list of integrations. You might even need another piece of third-party software to connect your ERP to your tech stack. If integrations aren’t your ERP’s strong suit, it might be time to look elsewhere. 

Cin7 integrates with 700+ tools that range from accounting to third-party logistics and marketing, and we frequently add new integrations to ensure customers have what they need.

6. You were promised scalability but feel short-changed

As your business grows, your tech stack often becomes more complicated. You expect your ERP provider to help you untangle your web of applications, but what if it fails to deliver?

Say you increase your product lines, sales channels, and deliveries, and need to start using electronic data interchange (EDI) with retail customers and suppliers. Your ERP system will need to integrate well with your EDI software or you’ll get stuck with another unconnected piece of your inventory puzzle.  

In many cases, ERP providers won’t help with EDI integrations — instead, you’ll have to pay a third-party provider to set up integrations and ensure your orders and stock levels are in sync. 

Cin7 has a full-service built-in EDI, which streamlines your data interchange without the need to purchase connecting software. With our EDI solution, you can seamlessly connect your data with companies in your supply chain, like distributors and major retailers.

7. You don’t trust your ERP data

Since ERPs are billed as the solution for integrating all your business workflows, you expect them to give you flawless data from everything in your tech stack. 

However, since ERPs are pulling from multiple data sources, they aren’t immune to issues. You might start to see duplicate entries, missing values, and inconsistencies between ERP data and data from other software systems.     

If you’re skeptical about data migration from your applications to your ERP system, then you won’t have much faith in the reports generated. What’s the use of all this information if you can’t trust it to inform decision-making on key business operations?

And should you just keep paying for an expensive software system because you’ve accepted that the data you get is “good enough”? If you run a product business, the answer is a resounding “No.” 

Through Connected Inventory Performance and advanced data integration, Cin7 gives you full confidence in your sales and inventory data and provides the means to put it to work.

8. The ERP implementation process is challenging, and the support options are lacking

For a new ERP system to be a success, you’ll need careful planning and a lot of patience. According to some estimates, ERP implementation can even take a year or longer.   

You and your team need to overcome the challenges of ERP implementation, such as resistance to change, technical complexities, and limited resources. 

Even with effective change management from your side, new end-users can face many issues while learning to navigate ERP systems, which can affect their buy-in and make their work more time-consuming.   

If you can’t find the answers you need in your new software’s documentation, help should be only a few clicks away. And you shouldn’t encounter an outdated knowledge base for a previous software version or support options that prioritize high spenders.  

At Cin7, we provide an up-to-date knowledge base, insightful industry-specific blog articles, a Cin7 Academy with courses on basic and advanced features, and easy-to-access support. We’ll also have you up and running in a month, whereas a traditional ERP will take several months.

9. The reporting and forecasting options are limited

Even after a successful ERP implementation, some users still have difficulty creating the reports they want. 

If this happens, your employees might go back to using spreadsheets for inventory and sales reports, leaving you wondering why you’re back to where you started. 

Wouldn’t it be better to get all the reports you want without having to get your ERP provider to walk you through the process?  

Cin7’s reporting and forecasting feature gives you customizable, real-time reports on everything a product business needs, from historical sales reports to the cost of goods sold

Additionally, you can automate these reports and many other tasks, such as invoice approval and payment, helping you streamline business processes and focus on growing.

The alternative: Inventory management with Cin7

Instead of dealing with a costly and challenging ERP implementation project, you can leverage an inventory management solution to do a better job at a fraction of the price. 

Through Connected Inventory Performance, Cin7 gives you everything your business truly needs, with a competitive price, 700+ integrations, and unmatched features for SMB product sellers. 

ERP systems are usually associated with scalability, but inventory management software helps with that, too. 

Cin7 gives you the space and the tools you need to grow your stock-keeping unit (SKU) lists, expand your warehousing operations, and sell in new channels and markets.  

Schedule a demo today to find out why over 8,000 customers choose us as their inventory management solution.

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