ERP users call for more system flexibility

Greater flexibility and better customer service top ERP users’ wish lists, according to research.

Over a third of businesses cite greater flexibility as the top change they would make to their existing ERP arrangements. This is closely followed by higher standards of customer service from their vendors (29 percent).

The research found that 15 percent could not express confidence that their current ERP system was flexible enough to work efficiently alongside other tools and business systems. Only five percent of those surveyed would not alter any element.

ERP provider IFS commissioned Research Plus to question 368 UK middle and senior managers responsible for IT decision-making for the research into business attitudes towards ERP software.

Better training (18 percent) and improved usability (9 percent) were also required by respondents. A clearer visibility of return on investment was only cited by four percent, despite the current business focus on cost efficiency.

Alastair Sorbie, chief executive at IFS, said: “The research shows firms are waking up to the potential benefits of enterprise applications that have flexibility and agility built into their architecture.”

“The emphasis on ERP delivery is changing from cost focus to effectiveness,” added Sille Gavnholt Jygert, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “This often means that more flexibility has to be built into how ERP is delivered and used.”

Forty one percent of respondents said their ERP system was two to five years old, 36 percent said it was one to two years old, and seven percent said it was less than a year old. Around 12 percent said their system was over five years old.

Nealy seven in 1- had plans to invest in upgraded systems or additional modules for their ERP systems.

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