Why You Should Upgrade Your ERP, Instead Of Replacing It.

Replacing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems is no small feat. The risks and changeover costs associated with replacing old systems that aren’t performing can be substantial. According to Brian Sommer at Diginomica, “There is an explosion of new capabilities and opportunities possible with ERP today and many of the most innovative are coming from non-ERP vendors.” Companies that face challenges with their ERP systems are increasingly turning to vendors that offer tools to integrate with and update their existing systems without needing to replace them, entirely.

The most popular ERP systems now provide “entire business process integration” with modules that reach every department in the company. Many businesses are not initially equipped to face the challenges of changing ERP systems, and have to consider detailed levels of project planning, data migration, increased costs, retraining employees, and change management.

Making big changes can be difficult, especially for large organizations who are running on outdated and complicated systems that struggle to keep up with the demands of the company and have yet to be optimized for their specific workflows.

One benefit of ERP upgrades is having the ability to redefine processes that were once static into dynamic workflows that evolve with the company’s needs, clearing the path for seamless process improvements and optimized operations.

For example, Datch offers a tool that enhances ERP capability while integrating directly with existing systems of record, without needing to train employees or replace current ERP systems. No-code or low-code upgrades like Datch are a great way to empower workers to innovate and excel within their roles.

Equipped with this powerful new upgrade, teams can now begin refining data, simplifying processes, and continuously evolving once-static processes, into dynamic workflows that make their work much smoother.

Image: The Datch Builder, building a custom form.
“When we consider ERP, we have to consider the user. The core of the ERP is accounting, and then modules get added one-by-one, as needed. The best ERP systems focus on users first, instead of accounting-first.” - Matthew Taylor, Head of Customer Operations @ Datch

Consider these important features when upgrading your ERP system:

1. Machine Learning and AI

ERP databases hold mountains of data, and not all of it is actually used. It can be difficult to seek understanding from a database when there is too much for a data scientist to parse. This is where machine learning is valuable. Machine learning is a branch of AI built on systems that learn from data patterns. ML uses a data analysis method that automates analytical model building to make informed decisions with minimal human intervention.

Applied machine learning can equip finance & operations teams with the ability to forecast future data based on past patterns. By analyzing the data from internal systems, organizations can easily forecast things like demand, revenue, equipment downtime, and anomalies. These forecasted insights allow companies to operate in a lean manner, sparing operating costs and increasing bottom line. More importantly, it allows companies to better understand their processes and outcomes, affording them the opportunity to further optimize for future savings.

2. Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a branch of technology that builds, deploys, and manages human-like software robots that interact with digital systems. Low-code modules can be added to existing systems, allowing teams to automate high-volume, and often low-value/repetitive tasks - like logging users into systems, copying and inputting data into multiple databases, or completing routine reports.

Use cases become homogeneous when advanced machine learning models are applied, allowing for the understanding of unstructured data and complex decisions. This can help with streamlining workflows, operational efficiency, increasing organizational profits, expanding capacity, and a much faster responsive time.

3. Easy to Use Speech Systems and Natural Language Processing (NLP)

A powerful building block of effective software is a speech system that can convert text-to-speech and speech-to-text. These speech systems provide the critical human-to-machine interfaces that enable speech from all languages and dialects to be turned into the text that becomes the instructions executed on machines.

NLP systems can understand unstructured human language and manage the interaction between machines and people. These systems perform a wide range of operations on linguistic information. NLP engines extract, classify, translate, respond, and generate text in real-time. NLP provides the interfaces that make it possible for people to “talk” to their technology. Translation tools that allow people to hold a conversation in any languages is a prime example of NLP in action.


The process of upgrading existing ERP systems with vendor tools is similar to the process of replacing the existing system, but with a tighter focus, less impact across departments, and greater benefits to operations without slowing them down. ERP add-on tools offer new ways to approach old tasks. For ever-evolving company needs, there are new tools available to meet them. Finance, HR, and operational teams now have access to tools that can allow workers to refocus on the task at hand, decrease low-value work, and greatly shorten the time of processes. Many of these tools come equipped with dashboards that make continuous improvements accessible to all and integration support for a smooth transition to an optimized and upgraded ERP system.

Want to upgrade your ERP system to meet your company’s needs? Get started with us, today.

Written by

More from Datch