Asking the Right ERP Questions

“How’re you doing?”

This is a question that shouldn’t only be asked socially. It’s also an important business tool for both the enquirer and the respondent. Think about it – a customer has the opportunity to voice their pressing concerns and a service provider has the chance to listen to these worries and improve their offering.

At SYSPRO USA we take this question (and many others) pretty seriously. We regularly conduct mini-surveys of our U.S. manufacturing and distribution industry customer base to gauge changing business dynamics and collect fresh opinions on a wide variety of ERP-related topics.

In our latest SNAP (SYSPRO Needs Answers Please) survey, our goal was to evaluate four areas from the viewpoint of the user community:

  • What users think are the primary reasons why companies abandon their incumbent ERP solution;
  • What percentage of companies they believe replace their ERP solution for another choice;
  • Why they think companies remain with an unsatisfactory ERP solutions; and
  • Which SYSPRO solution capabilities would make a company changing to SYSPRO happiest.

Interestingly, more than half of the survey respondents think that the primary reason why a manufacturing and/or distribution company would make a change from one ERP solution provider to another is when a company growth/change circumstance exposes shortcomings in the incumbent solution. A little over a quarter believed the primary reason was if the ERP solution either didn’t perform as promised or if customer support lagged.

In alignment with many industry statistics, the majority of respondents (44%) believed that 10-24% of all U.S. manufacturing/distribution companies replace their incumbent solution for another choice. Yet, when asked what they thought would be the primary reason why a manufacturing or distribution company would not make a change – even when dissatisfied – the overwhelming majority (74%) cited two core reasons. Ranking highest (39.1%) was the belief that companies might fear over business disruption; ranking second highest were financial concerns.

We were particularly interested in what our user community deemed as the number one source of satisfaction for companies that replaced their ERP solution with SYSPRO ERP software. Seventy-eight percent of the respondents believed that these two reasons – SYSPRO customization/usability capabilities and the positive impact of the ERP solution on their business overall – were the most satisfying aspects of the change.

There are many ways to communicate with customers, but the anonymity of survey data can sometimes give a unique and unbiased perspective. How you use this information to provide better customer service or an enhanced product is what is key here. After all, to quote Anthony Robbins: “Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential.”

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