Why You’re Stuck with a Legacy ERP System
At some point, you might find yourself noticing how old your ERP looks, realizing how slow it functions, and wishing you had more up-to-date features that made work easier. Whether you’re in IT, operations, or a different department altogether, you realize its time for an upgrade. You do the research, and it quickly becomes apparent why you’re still stuck with your current ERP: there’s virtually no commonality between your current ERP and newer options. Upgrading your existing ERP from one version to another can be a massive undertaking, so that’s out of the picture.
Switching from your current ERP will mean starting the implementation over from scratch. There’s no migration or data transfer option. Virtually every piece of data (as well as the ways that data gets into the ERP) will have to be reconsidered, redeveloped, retested, redeployed, and re-explained to employees. Customizations will need to be rebuilt, and even third-party software that supports the ERP may need to be upgraded as well. Often, this process can take anywhere from one to two years to complete.
That’s a lot of redoing. Too much, as it turns out — per your leadership team, there simply isn’t a strong enough business case to justify the work needed to make the switch. So, despite your hopes for a new system, it looks like you’ll be stuck with a legacy ERP for now. This is just one example of the many reasons why companies decide to keep a legacy ERP system around rather than updating or switching. Others include:
Functionality — the internal processes you’ve developed over the years would be rendered useless from one ERP to another
Imbalance — Development and support for different ERPs led to even more incompatibilities, with efforts to resolve them only slowing systems down and increasing support fees
Cost — Replacing an ERP isn’t always cost-effective — for legacy systems that were acquired, the new solution wasn’t necessarily attractive
Solutions for Modernizing A Legacy ERP System
As a result of these challenges, more and more manufacturers and distributors are going into the marketplace to find solutions that can bring their legacy ERP systems into currency. This is where enterprise mobility comes into play. There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, field employees, as well as production shop and warehouse workers, need greater access to enterprise data anyway. More than 50 percent of manufacturers are still using paper-based processes to manage enterprise data. And those who have left paper behind are using on-premise or cloud-based ERP systems and databases that don’t seamlessly put data where it truly needs to be: in employees’ hands.
Second, mobility is the future of manufacturing and distribution. And that future is already here. For those with legacy ERP systems, this can be extremely difficult. If your ERP is already categorized as “legacy,” it’s unlikely that an app would exist for it — at least not one that delivers any business value to your field teams and shop floor workers. Developing a custom mobile solution would either require expensive outsourcing (with no guarantee of ongoing support), or hiring internal resources with the appropriate skill set (also expensive and time-consuming due to onboarding and training).
To solve the legacy ERP system–mobility dilemma, what is needed is a solution that a) can be integrated on top of an existing system and b) be set up with minimal cost and development. At Bezlio, we created that solution — not just for legacy ERP systems but for all major mid-market ERPs like Epicor, Prophet 21, and Infor VISUAL.
Benefits of Using Bezlio for Your Legacy ERP System
Our mobile solution for manufacturing and distribution companies tasked with modernizing existing legacy ERP systems is a layer of applications that make use of the data already available — without requiring extensive development, significant investment, or even costly enterprise mobility equipment. Here are just some of the reasons why it makes sense to go this route.
It eliminates the need to hire developers or outsource development. As a ready-to-deploy mobile app, Bezlio works with virtually any mobile device and OS — allowing field and shop floor employees to use their own devices for everything from managing job details and inventories to updating customer data and generating custom reports. And it can all be set up and rolled out faster than any other mobile solution.
With paper-based processes and even on-premise and cloud-based ERPs, employees who don’t work at their desks or with a laptop have to record — or try to remember — important information like customer orders, questions, inventory amounts, job details, and other critical business data needed for tracking time and materials used. This information is also critical for costing purposes. With Bezlio, all this data can be captured right when it’s needed or happening and is seamlessly transferred into your ERP thanks to a unique and highly secure data transfer process.
No two manufacturing and distribution companies are truly the same. So why should their mobility tools be the same, too? Off-the-shelf solutions don’t feature the customization that companies need to match their unique processes and preferences. Thanks to low code development, Bezlio can be configured and adjusted to suit your business goals — and it can be set up faster than custom development thanks to simple drag-and-drop functionality.
This is what turns an otherwise advanced cloud-based ERP into a limited-benefit tool. Without the ability to access, edit, update, and save enterprise data due to connection issues, field and shop floor employees cannot perform their functions accurately or productively — and any data the employee might have captured is at risk of being lost, forgotten, stolen, or mismanaged. With an offline node, employees can still access the data they need and update it. All data is safely stored locally until the employee is back in coverage, at which point it’s synced and removed from the device’s local storage.
Long-Term Benefits to Your Company
Your team will be up and running with the data you already have without losing time in a lengthy migration. Low costs, rapid deployment, and ongoing support mean you see a greater ROI sooner than if a custom solution had been developed.
Service and Saturation Can Increase
Even if you’ve already maintained high service levels, mobilization of your legacy ERP system means work gets done faster, data is accessed faster, and more service jobs can be completed and billed.
Revenue Can Grow
Field sales professionals will have the data they need when meeting customers to rapidly produce reports, replenish orders, etc. They no longer have to wait to manage these important revenue-generation activities until they’re on site or otherwise connected to the legacy ERP system.
Use Bezlio to Update Your Legacy ERP
Bezlio is the first and best solution for manufacturers and distributors looking to modernize a legacy ERP system. To learn how our service applications can help your business and to get a demo, complete the brief form below.
ADAM ELLIS, CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Adam Ellis is the Chief Executive Officer of Bezlio and one of four co-founders. Adam is a lifelong entrepreneur and has extensive ERP and mobile software knowledge through his consulting and management experience. He has a passion for exploring innovative ideas and how they can change the status quo. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn to learn more about his involvement in the ERP space.