How Do You Determine ERP Scalability?
When you take the time to implement ERP software, you want the solution to last. But in some cases, the system will reach its limits much sooner than you expected, prompting you to invest more into beefing up your technology or take a step back on your growth opportunities. This is what happens when your ERP isn’t scalable.
Scalability refers to your software’s capacity to adapt to changing workloads and business growth. Though scalability is only briefly touched upon in most ERP descriptions and guides, it’s one of the most crucial elements of your enterprise software. After all, how much value will your platform contribute if it can’t support new users, an increasing customer base and other changes? Throughout ERP selection, you’ll want to investigate how well different systems accommodate growth. To help you out, we’ve described some of the key attributes of a scalable ERP solution.
One reason businesses begin to consider ERP is because they’ve hit a wall with their current application. QuickBooks and other accounting programs have a hard limit on data storage, meaning that once you’ve reached a certain number of data entries, you can’t add server space or do anything else to process more information in your system. Furthermore, these platforms have limited functionality that can’t accommodate your wide array of business needs. Simply put, QuickBooks severely restricts your enterprise growth.
ERP software provides the flexibility to take on growing datasets and changing demands. ERP offers considerably greater data storage space and can continue rapidly processing data as it increases. Additionally, modern solutions consist of multiple modules that cover a wide range of requirements, such as accounting, production planning, supply chain management and more. Whenever your business adds a new revenue channel or takes on more opportunities, you can simply add another module to manage these changes. This allows you to control operations in one solution.
Epicor® ERP adds even greater flexibility with its customization engine. Customization projects are known for their complexity and risk. Epicor®’s built-in customization engine simplifies the process by allowing you to modify settings without touching the base code. This will help you easily make changes to your software to meet growing business needs.
A critical decision you must make in your ERP selection is whether to host your software on-premises or in the cloud. For an on-premises solution, once you’ve maxed out your server resources, your ERP performance will suffer and possibly crash. Though you can scale on-premises software, it does require a significant investment in more hardware and server space. With the cloud, your provider runs the hardware, so you don’t have to worry about implementing and managing it. The cloud allows you to change your subscription on demand, adding or removing more space and resources depending on your requirements. This prevents you from paying for more than what you need.
Some cloud providers also provide an auto-scaling option to further simplify ERP scalability. Microsoft Azure’s auto-scaling feature will automatically scale the number of computer resources that are allocated to your application based on its needs at any time. In addition, Azure offers 99.95% SLA, giving you full coverage and minimal downtime. That makes your ERP reliable, scalable and cost-effective no matter how your business changes.
Not all ERP vendors designed their solutions to support global operations out of the box. For organizations that currently conduct business around the world or foresee future international opportunities, this is a serious shortcoming. Increasingly, global expansion is a major aspect of a manufacturer or distributor’s growth strategy, making international management a critical component of a scalable ERP solution.
Epicor® ERP is uniquely equipped with out-of-the-box features for global management. Country Specific Functionality (CSF) helps businesses maintain global, regional and local accounting and reporting measures. Its multicurrency management tools automate buying and selling in unlimited foreign currencies and track exchange rates. Epicor® also allows multiple locations to operate in different languages without requiring customizations. With the scalability of Epicor® ERP, there are no limits to your international enterprise.
If your ERP can’t scale up or down to meet your evolving business needs, then it isn’t worth the investment. Your software should have the architecture and functionality to grow with your business, not get in your way.
At Datix, all of our scalable solutions and services are designed to support your long-term business needs. Our certified consultants provide implementations, integrations, customizations, cloud hosting and more to serve as a one-stop shop for all your software requirements.
Ready to grow your business with ERP? Learn more about ERP by getting in touch with one of our experts today!