P21 ERP is a large, complex software system. Any system with that level of complexity is going to experience issues. It is unavoidable. In my experience, anyone who advertises that their system is flawless, is probably not being completely honest. ERP systems are designed to appeal to as many customers as possible. This means each company adopting a new system will experience a certain number of challenges unique to their business. Listed below are common issues we have experienced and observed when working with P21 ERP.
Improper Configuration of P21 ERP
There are literally hundreds of system settings in P21 ERP. During implementation, sometimes the system is left in a sort of generic configuration. It often takes time to understand what some of the more critical settings are and how they affect your business in a practical sense. We recommend a periodic review of system settings. Your business is always evolving and many times you can easily make Prophet 21 evolve with it via system setting changes.
Quality Training is Not Accessible
Training is critical. What’s more critical is quality training that users can understand and retain. In our experience this is difficult. Using lengthy training before implementation tends to act like information overload. Additionally, users often have a difficult time training with data that is not native to the company. If you spend the effort to overcome these obstacles up front, you can save a lot of problems down the road.
Under-utilizing Available P21 ERP Features
P21 ERP has a lot of flexibility built into it. There are tools to build custom reports, change the user interface, and add custom fields. Additionally there are add-on features like business rules that allow you to change how the system functions to a pretty wide extent. Customers who are not taking advantage of these features will often find that they are frustrated.
P21 ERP is computer resource intensive. You should not be skimping on the hardware and infrastructure if you want to get the most out of it. The database server and client servers need to meet a minimum set of requirements as recommended by Epicor if you want the system to perform. Additionally, there is some nuance in configuring your infrastructure to get the most out of it. Doing these things well will help you get more productivity out of the system.
Lack of Testing
It is often difficult to commit the resources to doing comprehensive testing before implementation or upgrade. The process is time consuming, and there are almost always other pressing issues to attend to. However, testing Prophet 21 is a very important part of making sure your software will work as expected. This gives you a chance to identify bugs and get them resolved before they are in production. You will almost never trap 100% of the problems, but if you eliminate 70-90% before going live, that reduces the amount of problems you have to contend with when you do go into production.
Resolving System Bugs
Prophet 21 can be a little buggy when a release first comes out. Again, it is a complex system with a lot of moving parts. Big software packages are often susceptible this phenomenon. The key is to identify the bug, figure out how to replicate it, and then communicate the issue to Epicor in a way that they will be able to help you get it resolved. In my experience, when given good information, Epicor does a good job of getting issues resolved.
Closing Thoughts on P21 ERP
No system is perfect, and P21 ERP is not an exception to this rule. While there are issues that stem from problems in the system, there are also many problems that are self-inflicted. Focusing on getting the important things right when deploying Prophet 21 is a big key to having a successful implementation.
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