Sage Advice: Are You Ready to Get Wise About Your ERP Software?
In this digital age of business, selecting the right software can make or break your company. Your finances are the foundation of your venture, and should be treated as such. That’s why we’ve spent the last six “Sage” Advice blogs providing nuggets of knowledge about Sage Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to help businesses make better choices when it comes to their financial applications. We’ve covered virtually every aspect of this software to educate and assist you so you can make the most of your ERP. If you currently use Sage ERP, you need to know the basic pros and cons discussed throughout this series. Of course, all of this information ultimately boils down to a single question: should you switch from Sage to a different, and perhaps superior, ERP?
In the following blog, we endeavor to assist you in answering that question once and for all. After weeks of statistics and scenarios, we thought we’d turn the tables and quiz you on Sage ERP. Once you’ve read through the rest of our “Sage” Advice series, take the following “true or false” test to see how much you’ve learned about your ERP. Read the statement, make your choice, and in each paragraph below, we’ll explain the correct answer.
True or False: Sage Offers Other Business Applications
False. As we explained in our second “Sage” Advice installment, this software is a standalone ERP, meaning that it provides only specific, limited functions, such as accounting, payroll, and inventory. Unlike many of its competitors, Sage does not offer comprehensive suites of integrated business management software. This means that, if you need to run another application, like Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Professional Services Automation (PSA), or eCommerce, you’ll have to purchase it separately. You’ll also probably need to enter the same data into each program and brace yourself for the various bugs that come with attempting to synthesize separate software systems.
True or False: Sage ERP Reports are Often Outdated and Unused
True. One of ERP’s main functions is generating useful analyses of your company’s inventory, payroll, orders, and other financial figures so that you can optimize your operations. Unfortunately, Sage ERP’s reports tend to be inaccurate, due to the fact that it is a standalone software with a variety of glitches, and, therefore, unused. Chances are, if you rely on Sage for ERP, you aren’t getting what you need from your reports and are making important business decisions virtually blind. NetSuite’s recent report on the ERP quoted a former user on his or her experience with Sage’s reporting functionality (or lack there of): “We really struggled to produce any accurate and relevant business analysis information, and in many cases we stopped bothering to ask for it.”
True or False: Sage ERP Requires Frequent Updates
True. Software updates serve as band-aids for glitches, fixing problems with a given application so that it remains safe and functional. Unfortunately, they can be quite inconvenient to install, popping up at your busiest moments, plagued with their own errors, and sometimes even so complex they require professional assistance to download. Sage software must be updated quite often—for example, the Sage 100 program currently has ten available. As a result of irritating updates, many Sage users simply ignore them, leaving their ERP months or even years behind standard industry practices. This can be financially, legally, and functionally detrimental for your business.
True or False: Sage ERP Minimizes Manual Data Entry
False. ERP software promises to make financial operations more efficient with automation, but Sage software might not. Since it isn’t integrated with other business management programs, Sage users typically end up spending far too much time typing (and re-typing) the same data into multiple programs. This is a drain on your team’s time and effort, plus it increases the risk for costly typographical errors. While manual data entry might seem to be a minor annoyance, NetSuite’s report on Sage ERP demonstrated that it could have a serious effect on your business. For example, former Sage client 2Pure UK Ltd. “estimated that the staff won 25 percent more time to focus on sales after dropping Sage and the need to manually transfer data from application to application.”
True or False: Sage ERP Works Seamlessly Across Devices and Users
False. Even beyond the issue of standalone software and integration issues, Sage’s configuration usually confines it to a single user or device. This means that everyone in your company has to rely on an individual computer or person to reach the relevant data they need to do their jobs. If you purchase additional licenses or are able to make use of Sage ERPs limited cloud functionality, you may be able to technically run multi-user ERP, but even then, you’ll likely be dealing with glitches and outdated information. This makes the application very difficult (if not impossible) to use effectively companywide. It’s also a significant barrier to increasingly popular work from home options and business travel.
True or False: Sage ERP No Longer Works for Your Business
This question is up to you, but if you got any of the above five questions correct, we’re guessing it’s probably true. Sage ERP may have served you incredibly well in past decades, when your technological needs were simpler and your business was smaller. However, given this software’s segmented setup, it just can’t expand with your company like comprehensive cloud-based business management tools. As NetSuite’s report points out, “the culprit for most of these problems [with Sage ERP] is growth. The ad-hoc, finger-on-the-pulse kind of reporting that worked when Sage was installed no longer works in a rapidly growing firm.” If you’ve been struggling with Sage, this is actually a positive sign for your business, indicating it’s time for you to move on to more extensive, state-of-the-art ERP options. For example, NetSuite’s cloud-based software suite resolves all of the above issues, as well as providing numerous other perks.
Our Tips for Switching from Sage
If you scored well on this quiz, chances are, you already know what you need to do. However, we understand that transitioning from a formerly trusted ERP to another business management system can seem like a formidable feat. To help ease the change, we recommend that you:
- Do your research. It’s important that you know the pertinent information about both Sage and your alternatives before you jump into a new software system. Understanding what doesn’t work for you about Sage can help you select new software that will. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re already well on your way! If you haven’t yet, we also urge you to check out the earlier installments of our “Sage” Advice series.
- Prepare your staff. Switching from Sage is something that will affect virtually every person in your office, so it’s a good idea to keep your team in the loop about the transition. We suggest that you explain why you’re making this change and describe the various ways a new ERP application will benefit your employees (better reporting, faster access, more work from home options, and other advantages).
- Keep your clients posted. Remember that, to whatever degree, this is also a transition for your clients. Similarly to the conversation with your employees, clarify with your customers the many ways better order management, inventory, and other financial functions will benefit them (speedier service, more availability of products, and, with increased efficiency, perhaps even lower prices).
- Clean up your data. In anticipation of transferring your information from one system to another, it’s a good idea to ensure your spreadsheets are as orderly and up-to-date as possible. This will eliminate unnecessary work switching over old, irrelevant information or inaccurate reports (which may be particularly prevalent in Sage ERP).
- Seek specialized assistance. This is where the SCS Cloud specialists come into the ERP equation! We’ll be there with you every step of the way as you move from Sage to NetSuite or another cloud-based business software. We’ll start with personalized consulting to help you determine what you want from your new ERP, then move on to custom developing your software to your specifications as needed. When you’re ready to flip the switch, our experts will help you implement your new software, as well as offer training to your employees and continuing support to make sure your new applications continue to run beautifully.