Even before the pandemic, the fast-paced, rapidly-changing dynamics of our business world was enough to make us feel like Olympic runners, sprinting at high speeds simply to maintain our competitive edge. But add a mandated quarantine, a complete shift to WFH, and many of us have, as runners would describe it, “hit a wall.” Some of us have also lost our bearing, not even recognizing the track anymore. If we could stop to assess our situation, we would reach one realization we must accept: the landscape of our work lives has altered completely, perhaps forever, and discovering innovative software to chart a new course for our business has become our top priority.

Adapting to a Changing World
In less than six months, customer interaction has shifted from predictable to nearly incalculable, at least from a human’s perspective. But that is the beauty of good software; it can turn what is inexplicable to us into predictable, actionable data. We as humans can remain disoriented; our manufacturing software can’t. The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new world, and you must decide now if your software can adapt to it. If not, it’s time to pick up your pace by modernizing your software, beginning with your legacy system.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Big Question
Legacy systems, often described as old software, vary according to the business or industry that uses them. Companies with dysfunctional legacy systems often attempt to retrofit them by writing customized code or by incorporating additional software applications, sometimes one piece at a time, to cover gaps in capabilities and business processes. Sometimes these retrofits work for a while but lead to long-term issues, such as maintenance and upgrade problems, which ushers in the need to invest in even more support and more customizations. Now more than ever, you need to ask the big question, “Is my legacy system moving my company forward or holding it back?” If the answer is the latter, you have an important decision to make.

I Answered “The Latter”: What Now?
Time to modernize. Business leaders know, to continue growing in a digitally hungry world, they need innovation and new technologies. They actively seek modernization, upgrading their legacy systems to more current versions. Modern cloud ERP solutions include industry-specific capabilities and deliver the ability to adopt industry 4.0 modernizations, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics, innovations that drive maximum speed and efficiency in operations.

Modernization isn’t always easy on the front end. Some ERP updates moving from legacy ERP to modern ERP can require a significant amount of time and capital up front, which is why many manufacturers with legacy systems often have a hard time getting off the starting block. But the adage “you have to spend money to make money” bears weight when discussing high-performing ERP systems, and now is the right time to move from a legacy ERP system to a modern cloud solution. Reason? Those manufacturers who have are the ones who’ve pushed past “the wall,” and are now leading the race.

How Do I Know Modernization Will Make My Company More Competitive?
Are you really racing for an Olympic gold medal? No. But you are racing all of your competitors to be the best at meeting customer expectations. You’re racing to send quality products with innovative features faster to market. You’re racing to be the company that everyone would like to work for. And ultimately, you’re trying to do all of that without sacrificing profitability and efficiency. Now, add the current need to accommodate more WFH employees, to maintain production efficiency with fewer employees on the shop floor, and to answer an increase in e-commerce demand, and just like a severe wind drag, your slow, clunky legacy system will begin to hold you back.

You’ll know it’s time to leave your legacy system behind when you have answered “no” to three important questions.

  1. Can your current IT infrastructure and legacy ERP system provide the same level of security as modern ERP delivered in the cloud?
  2. Can your employees easily access updated information and services from anywhere in the world and at any time?
  3. Can your system adapt to any future?

Changing the three “no’s” to “yes’s” won’t necessarily be quick and inexpensive. Companies that sink their capital into a new system know they won’t immediately benefit monetarily. What they do reap immediately are fewer headaches with IT, better and more varied solutions to issues, and more user-friendly applications, all leading to a more satisfying work atmosphere. And in due course, they know the growth and profitability will come.

Who Can Help Me Decide?
Maybe you answered a couple of “yes’s,” and that’s important to note, too. Perhaps you have a legacy system that will accommodate your growth and future plans without breaking down. Ultimately, pulling in an expert will bring you to the right choice and give you confidence in your decision. If you wish to examine a modernization solution to your current ERP system, contact Copley at sales@copleycg.com or 855.884.5305, and together we can figure out the right choices to move your business to the front of the pack.

Learn More

ERP in 2020: A Guide to ERP Trends Happening in 2020
In this eBook, we discuss the cautious outlook many manufacturing companies are taking and why so many manufacturers are focusing energies on how to optimize operations to remain nimble in the year ahead. Learn what tools and approaches many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are taking to keep on top of the ERP trends for 2020.