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Thinking of Buying a New ERP System?

Here are our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), providing clarity on common queries you may have when considering an ERP system purchase.

What is ERP software?

ERP software, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, is a comprehensive system for managing business processes.

It's designed to integrate and streamline all functions within an organisation. By automating key business processes and centralising data, ERP software improves efficiency and simplifies operations. It covers various aspects including financial accounting, supply chain management, inventory management, and CRM, with some systems offering Material Requirement Planning (MRP) functionality.

Additionally, modern ERP systems facilitate seamless integration with third-party platforms, ensuring adaptability to future needs. By providing a single source of truth and real-time insights, ERP fosters collaboration, informed decision-making, and efficiency across all departments.

How much should I expect to spend on anew ERP system? The cost of a new ERP system varies widely. There are three main tiers: Tier 1 for large, global businesses (costing seven figures), Tier 2 for mid-sized companies (ranging from €/£30,000 to <€1m), and Tier 3 for small businesses (from €/£500 to €/£30,000). Your choice depends on your budget and needs, but remember, you get what you pay for in terms of complexity and features.
Can existing data records be migrated to my new system?

Migrating existing data records to a new ERP or business management system is a common concern for companies. While it's not guaranteed, it's essential to plan this process carefully with your consultants. Typically, historical data is retained on-premise, with limited access provided to key users. Licensing controls may apply, so discussing continued access with your previous supplier is necessary.

The migration process involves accessing, extracting, and mapping data into a format compatible with the new system, often requiring significant human intervention. It's crucial to discuss data migration options with your service provider upfront to understand the level of support provided.

Intact offers data import facilities with validation layers not standard in most packages, ensuring smoother migration.

When is the best time to implement a new ERP solution?

Determining the best time to implement a new ERP solution depends on various factors. Considerations include aligning with financial year ends for clear audits and opening balances, selecting month ends to maintain audit trails, and ensuring resources are available for data cleansing, training, and user acceptance testing.

Take into account holidays and busy seasons to ensure key personnel are available and distractions are minimised. Ultimately, the timing should support smooth implementation without disrupting critical business operations.

How involved will my team be during the implementation phase?

During the implementation phase of your new ERP system, your team's involvement will vary depending on your goals and approach. You'll need to decide whether the system will drive process changes, and efficiencies, or simply replace outdated software. Many companies use this opportunity to review and optimise their processes and long-term strategies, which is considered best practice. However, these tasks will add to your team's workload during the project.

It's a common mistake to assume that signing the sales order for the new system is the extent of your responsibilities in the project. To truly derive value from the project, approach it as a partnership rather than a transaction. This means actively engaging with the ERP vendor and being involved in decisions and implementations to ensure the system aligns with your business goals effectively.

How easily will my staff adapt to the new system?

Adapting to a new system is crucial for its success, yet businesses often overlook the end users' experience when choosing software. When users feel excluded from the decision-making process, they may reject the new system in favour of familiar but outdated methods like spreadsheets. Prioritising the end-user experience from the outset ensures software acceptance and caters to user needs.

Effective planning for system rollout is key to success. Think of it like adjusting to a new phone—initially, there's resistance to change, but with time, users adapt and prefer the new system. To ease staff adaptation, ensure tasks can be executed effortlessly without extensive training. Assess the system's user-friendliness in advance and involve key staff to ensure smooth functionality.

Most modern systems are reasonably intuitive, but it's essential to verify this by visiting reference sites. By enabling staff to perform their roles easily, you enhance efficiency, productivity, and facilitate quicker adoption of the new system.

Do I need to change my PCs or server?

When contemplating a new ERP system, seek professional guidance to assess your network, PC requirements, and overall infrastructure beforehand. The investment needed will depend on the condition of your existing setup and the specifications for the new software.

Different systems have varying resource and licensing needs, impacting the project's overall cost. Additionally, your choice between on-premises or cloud deployment will affect expenses. Consulting experts ensures you make informed decisions tailored to your specific needs and budget.

What is the difference between on-premise and cloud-based ERP?

The main difference between on-premise and cloud-based ERP lies in their deployment and payment structures. On-premise ERP follows a traditional licensing model where the user purchases licenses per user or company, installed on their own premises. This involves a one-time payment for software and implementation fees, followed by ongoing annual payments for support and upgrades. Additionally, optimisation services may be included post-implementation to enhance system functionality.

On the other hand, cloud-based ERP operates on a subscription-based or SAAS (Software as a Service) model. Users pay for the service regularly—annually, quarterly, or monthly—per user. This subscription typically includes support, maintenance, and optimisation services, managed by the ERP provider. The key distinction is that with cloud-based ERP, the software is hosted remotely by the provider, accessible to users via the internet, eliminating the need for on-premise installation and maintenance.

Do I need a cloud or on-premise solution?

Deciding between a cloud or on-premise solution depends on your business needs. If deployment or server-related issues are a concern, the cloud might be the right choice. However, in most cases, a hybrid solution combining both cloud and on-premise elements is common. Cloud solutions offer flexibility, allowing users to select specific functionality and avoid paying for unused modules.

However, security and connectivity issues should be considered. Company data, especially sensitive financial information, may be more exposed to hackers or viruses in the cloud. Additionally, reliance on external IT departments for server maintenance can impact uptime. Each company must weigh the benefits of cloud solutions against potential risks to make an informed decision.

Migrating from Vline (Legacy System) to Xline

Vline has reached the end of its serviceable life, so we’re encouraging all remaining Vline users to switch to its future-aligned successor, Xline.

How does Xline differ from the Vline platform?

Xline is the next chapter in business management software for SMEs, built on a futureproofed technology platform with new features, and a cloud-hosted option, it allows for greater control and modular customisation. Integrations with Cliqx and Access allow for a more unified customer experience, and this mobility brings Xline to the edges of your organisation.

That said, we’ve made sure Xline isn’t a huge departure from Vline. All the features you love about your current system are here, coupled with a familiar interface housed in a modern design that makes for simple migration and onboarding.

Will staff need re-training on the new Xline system?

No, staff won’t need re-training before using Xline. We’ve developed the system to work in a similar way to Vline, with added features and functionality that are intuitive and easy to use.

If, however, you or your team does require additional training and support, all Xline users can access the Xline learning portal, which includes a range of online training resources. Here you can brush up on your skills, learn about new Xline features and provide new employees with a ready resource to learn all about the Xline system.

What features come as standard on Xline?

Xline offers wide-ranging functionality as standard, with features including:

  • Advanced Trade Counter, POS & Touch POS
  • Analytics & Scheduled Reporting
  • Credit Control Manager
  • GDPR & WEEE Compliance Enablers
  • Loyalty Points
  • Management Accounts & Financial Ledgers
  • Multi-Branch & Multi-Location
  • Quotation, Sales & Purchase Order Processing
  • Security & Privacy Controls
  • SEPA & Multi-Currency
  • Smart Stock Control
  • Task Manager
  • Xmanager – Business Intelligence
What integrations and optional modules are available for Xline?

One of Xline’s core strengths is its range of compatible integrations and modules, which allow you to customise your system and extend its overall functionality. Multiple optional modules can be added to your system, and they include:

  • Access – Mobile App for Delivery, Sales, Purchasing, Warehouse and/or Management Team
  • Bill of Materials
  • Cliqx – e-commerce/e-trade
  • Cliqx – Online Account Management
  • Courier Integration
  • Credit Card Integration
  • CRM Lite
  • Data Clear-Out
  • Document Scanning
  • EDI
  • Excel Connector
  • Expenses Recording
  • Job Costing
  • Luckins Integrator
  • Machine Service
  • Mobile Warehouse
  • Serial and/or Batch Tracking
  • Signature Capture
  • Stock by Size
  • Third-Party Integration
  • Tile Distribution
  • Timber Sales
  • Time Recording
  • Works Order Processing
  • Telesales
Why is Vline being retired?

After 23 years Vline has reached the end of its serviceable life and keeping it performing at its best has become unfeasible for our technical specialists. What’s more, the software doesn’t offer the level of integration businesses demand from modern business management platforms, so it’s limited in terms of functionality.

We haven’t sold or advertised Vline for the past three years, instead encouraging new and existing customers to switch to Xline, which was launched in 2018. Offering enhanced functionality and future-proof technologies, it’s the platform you need for the future.

What will happen to our Vline system?

We aren’t ending development and support for Vline straight away. This will be a phased process over the next 12-18 months or so, with different elements being switched off at planned intervals.

That means you can continue to use the Vline system as normal until such changes take effect. Over the coming year, however, we will implement several changes which could affect how you use and benefit from your current system, including:

  • No further development
  • No further integrations
  • No further licences
  • No bug fixes or regulatory updates
  • Maintenance mode
  • And finally no support desk
Can we continue to use Vline?

The Vline system isn’t going away, so businesses that want to continue using it are free to do so. However, given the changes we plan to make to the old platform over the coming months, it’s important to note that experience and service will be greatly reduced.

It’s for this reason that we’re encouraging all existing Vline users to switch to Xline. Combining efficiency-boosting features with the familiarity of your old system, it’s a cost-effective, future-fit solution that provides total confidence and ease of use.

Is there any cost in switching to Xline?

Five years in the making, Xline provides an advanced business management solution for your business, and this is reflected in the price you’ll pay compared to your old system. We’ve introduced a new subscription pricing model to ensure costs are manageable and scalable. This ensures you only pay for the active users on the system, which can be scaled up or down with ease. It also means there is no large, initial capital outlay.

Here are the key things to note about the difference in cost between Vline and Xline:

  • Pricing is changing
  • Support costs aren’t increasing for Xline
  • Flexible subscription pricing, no CAPEX costs
  • Reduced migration fees compared to alternative options

For an accurate breakdown of Xline pricing, contact the Xline team today.

Is there any flexibility on when we can migrate from Vline to Xline?

Yes, you can choose a migration date to suit your requirements. At present, there is a six-month lead time so it’s best to contact us sooner rather than later to slot in your migration. Our professional services team will work around your needs, scheduling the migration at a convenient time for your business.

We understand that transitioning to a new business management system can be a stressful undertaking, but we’ve designed the migration to be a seamless process. In scheduling proposed changes to the old Vline system, we plan to implement these during slower periods and downtimes – reducing the strain on your organisation.

How long does it take to transition from Vline to Xline?

Switching from Vline to Xline can be done with only a small amount of negotiated downtime. We aim to have your business up and running on the new system the same day (or the next day if the migration is taking place out of office hours).

For the migration, we recommend that new Xline users book 3-6 days of consultancy time – this service allows you and your team to become fully acquainted with the new system, clear out old data and ensure your processes are optimised in your Xline system.