Are Baby Boomers a Risk to ERP Systems?

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Over 4 million baby boomers will turn 50 in 2015. Every day for the next 17 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. How will baby boomers reaching retirement age affect your business?

Especially in the database management and ERP system world, there can be problems when key employees retire. Here are 5 issues that are exacerbated by experienced baby boomers reaching retirement age:

  1. Relying on your in-house knowledge repository. Who are the “go-to” experts in your company? When they leave the company, will all of their knowledge go with them?
  2. Doing a manual task because you don’t know how to do it through the system. Often, it takes too long to figure out how to adopt new efficiencies via functionality through the system. Usually, because it is not up-to-date with the latest release or maintained properly. If ample support is not in place, it is likely that users will revert back to manual processes which decreases ROI.
  3. No procedure manuals. No one reads the manual until the one with the knowledge leaves! Companies that DO document business processes tend to do it when the ERP system is adopted. Years later those manuals are incomplete, out of date and do not contain info on upgrades or changes.
  4. Lack of succession planning. Many companies intend to identify and develop potential future leaders, but day-to-day emergencies somehow take precedence. When companies DO manage to have succession plans in place, the employees in the plan often have their own ideas. Opportunities present themselves elsewhere, unforeseen circumstances arise – there are lots of reasons why the best-laid plans don’t materialize.
  5. Too much customization. ERP systems can be modified to suit your needs, of course, but some customizations originally intended to save time can actually waste time when changes are undocumented and the employees that made the changes leave the organization. Over 96% of ERP users make changes to their ERP system. The time to start preparing to gather that knowledge is yesterday!

Some other interesting information:

  • 91% of spreadsheets contain errors
  • About 50% of companies use spreadsheets for cash flow forecasting
  • 9 out of 10 businesses use spreadsheets for budgeting
  • Only 28% of medium sized businesses have any form of succession planning

Research shows that 6 out of 10 businesses aren’t ready for the changes coming as babyboomers leave the workplace.

This may be the perfect time to adopt a vendor to become your back-up plan to unforeseen changes and insurance that you have the coverage you need. Some advantages are:

  • Expert consultants with extensive knowledge of your ERP system
  • 24/7 availability
  • Typically less expensive than replacing the employee

For more information on how Dimension Systems, Inc. can support your ERP system, contact: Send email to learn more.


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