Keep Your ERP Software Up To Date With These ERP Maintenance Tips
Once you have spent the significant amount of money required to purchase and implement an ERP system, it’s necessary to also maintain the system properly. ERP maintenance, just like changing the oil in your car and keeping up on factory recalls and inspections ensure safe and productive travel.
Threats to Avoid by Using ERP Maintenance
Your ERP system is a computer system and has many challenges. This is why ERP maintenance is essential. They include external hackers trying to break in to utilize your information, or even hold it hostage until you pay them handsomely to get your data back.
Internal challenges include the never-ending chore of ensuring accurate data is entered so that proper information can be utilized. In addition to the old ‘garbage in garbage out’ adage, a modern ERP controls the separation of duties for ensuring proper accounting controls, and various custom rules for compliance with Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) and other national and international requirements. The ERP system becomes the intelligent ‘master system’ that makes your company work independently of human staff – a key requirement in today’s tumultuous and unreliable labor environment.
ERP Operation and Maintenance
So, once this complex ERP system is built – it needs some key areas of ERP maintenance to ensure it functions properly:
- Security – this is the most challenging area for modern systems. Anti-virus software is updated daily or more often, and threats come from many places. Vigilance and discipline are required to keep a system functioning despite these external threats.
- Training & documentation – as staff turns over, those who implemented the system may not be available, and their legacy needs to be ineffective training aids and documentation. ERP systems like Epicor have integrated Learning Management Systems (LMS) on board, which can be modified and amended for specific functionality that has been intentionally set up for good reason.
- Risk Management – an effective procedure is to conduct periodic ‘fire drills’ to simulate virus attacks, and evaluate the ability and efficacy of restoring from backup systems.
- Insurance – your insurance carrier can provide coverage to help with the unusual expense of cyberattacks, but this coverage is relatively new and complex. Ensuring that your underwriting is done properly is likely a task to be done twice per year or more often in more complex environments.
- Audits – your ERP system should have periodic audits to determine the status of various procedures and to provide feedback to management regarding the efficacy of the system.
- System updates – It’s always a ‘best practice’ to keep your system up to the current revision level. This doesn’t have to be done all the time, but you should be within 6 months or at most a year out of the current update. Many system updates will be security-related or speak to the integrity of the system, so this is another way of ensuring you have a reliable system.
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written by Jeffrey W. Glaze, President