How to Evaluate Your Existing ERP for COVID-19

May 6, 2020 | ERP Systems
Factory engineer inspecting manufacturing plant

The effects of COVID-19 will have ripple effects worldwide. While the full impact will be all but impossible to predict, one thing is sure: the resulting supply chain shockwaves could affect your bottom line, lead times, and relationships with your customers and other partners. 

Now and following COVID-19, there will be more pressure on your organization and the workers who help to run it. Maintaining the success and strength of your company will now be a priority in the face of these new challenges.

The major impediment for manufacturers right now is a destabilized supply chain. Managers are not only pushing to procure supplies now, but they are getting a taste of the long-term ramifications of the pandemic. 

Some researchers are predicting that the supply chain challenges of COVID-19 will prompt manufacturers to invest in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, either as new purchases or upgrades to their existing systems. 

Here are the key ERP features you need to evaluate for your current ERP or consider as you introduce an ERP into your existing environment. 

Inventory management and accurate forecasting

When your production has been disrupted, your customers will undoubtedly feel the effects. You’ll need to know what inventory you have on hand, so you can inform them and set up revised schedules, along with providing them with a reliable solution to the issues.

Without the benefit of an ERP solution, tracking your inventory is extremely cumbersome, and accurate forecasting is almost impossible. If your information is not always wholly current, any new schedules you create will not be accurate. Your ERP system also retains data, allowing you to access it for future help in dealing with the next production slowdown.

Evaluating partnerships

At some point in any crisis, it may become necessary to establish new partnerships. Although an ERP system can’t find new suppliers for you, it can help you simplify the process of setting up each new vendor. 

Once you have recorded the information into the software, it becomes a repository for keeping track of orders, shipments, invoices, and all of the relevant data you’ll require. You’ve captured this supplier data permanently, and you can access and update it in real-time. At any time, you can run reports to support future decision-making. You can also compare manufacturers, prices, routes, and schedules.

Supply chain clarity

As you attempt to determine how your company can absorb these unexpected stresses and expenses, you must have visibility into your supply chain. This insight will help you to decide if and how you should modify your schedules. With the help of an ERP solution, you can also make informed decisions about the cost and feasibility of a new supplier and how they would affect your delivery timelines. An excellent ERP system will allow you to make rapid adjustments if needed after sudden and unanticipated disruptions to your business.

Financial assessments

Since all your financial data can fully integrate into your ERP solution, it becomes easier to make intelligent financial decisions, especially during turmoil and uncertainty. You have real-time visibility into which orders could be affected by the disruptions, which of them might be delayed or canceled, and what it will do to your bottom line. You’ll see immediately if you’ll be able to meet the demand on your own or if you’ll need to partner with another vendor to make up the shortfall.

Scalability for the good times and in times of uncertainty

As you evaluate your ERP system during COVID-19, look at its scalability. Having the opportunity to grow or reduce operations quickly is essential. During times of success, you should be able to expand and stretch easily, while during times like the pandemic, you need the option to become as lean as necessary. This kind of flexibility will serve you well when business is brisk or when it slows down. 

Evaluating, upgrading, or choosing your ERP system requires expert insights, especially now. The entire team at Decision Resources, Inc. has the expertise and experience to ensure your ERP has what it takes to fulfill your company needs and customer expectations during this time. Please get in touch through our online contact form, call 412-562-9660, or email us at

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