A Guide to Switching ERP Systems for Project-Based Businesses

March 28, 2024

Switching Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can be daunting. Businesses understandably worry about the cost of switching, the time it will take to make the switch and the disruption to the organization during the transition. However, if your current ERP isn't meeting the needs of your business, the cost of not moving to a more suitable solution could be even higher. 

This blog discusses how the wrong ERP solution could be holding your business back, hindering productivity and affecting profitability. We also discuss what you need to do to select and move to a dedicated project-based ERP solution.

Why Do Companies Switch ERP Vendors and Solutions?

There are several reasons why companies choose to switch ERP vendors and solutions. The most common is the need for more advanced technologies and functionality. Legacy ERP systems may lack certain features or industry-specific functionality that can hinder business processes and growth. Essentially, it's not meeting your business's current or future needs. 

Another common reason is the desire to move to a cloud-based solution. On-premises systems require investment in infrastructure and maintenance, meaning ongoing costs for the business. On the other hand, cloud-based ERP systems provide real-time data, enhanced reporting, upgrades and scalability without ongoing investment in infrastructure and resources, which might be a more attractive option for some businesses.

When an ERP solution isn't meeting business needs, user adoption often decreases. Consider a switch if your employees struggle to use the current ERP system effectively or are working around it by using other software, such as Excel spreadsheets. User-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows are essential for productivity, employee satisfaction and the smooth running of your business and projects.

There is also the relationship with your current ERP vendor to consider. A strong partnership with your ERP vendor is crucial for ongoing success and support. Suppose your current vendor is not meeting your needs or providing the level of service you require. In that case, it may be worth exploring alternative options.


“We had our previous systems in place for a long time. But it was a web of disparate tools that limited integration. We had lots of information in one tool, other insights elsewhere – and very little consolidated data.”

– Matthew Tence, Practice Manager, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects


Why Move to a Project-Based ERP?

A project-based ERP is designed to handle the unique requirements and complexities of professional services firms.

With a generic ERP system, tracking project progress and monitoring resource utilization in real-time can be challenging. Project-based ERPs provide advanced project planning and management tools and offer comprehensive visibility into project timelines, budgets, and resource allocation. They enable effective project scheduling, resource management, budgeting, and forecasting, ultimately improving project delivery and profitability.

Switching to a project-based ERP allows organizations to align their systems with their specific business needs, ensuring efficient project management and ultimately driving business growth.


4 Signs Your Current ERP is Holding You Back

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Key Considerations When Switching to a New ERP 

Switching to a new ERP solution is a significant decision for any organization, and several factors must be considered to ensure a smooth transition and maximize the benefits of the new system.

1.  Evaluate Current Systems and Processes - What's Working and What Isn't?

Before switching to a new ERP, your firm must evaluate its current systems and processes. This is a critical step in the transition process.

You need to consider how you will streamline and consolidate existing business processes and systems into your new solution. Identifying any redundant or outdated processes that should be eliminated or automated before you make the transition is crucial. Firms must involve key stakeholders from different departments to gather requirements, define business objectives, and address any concerns or challenges that may arise during the transition. By consolidating and standardizing business processes, firms can achieve better control and visibility over their operations.

You must also ensure that the new ERP solution can seamlessly integrate with the existing software systems and databases, as a lack of compatibility can lead to data duplication, errors, and inefficiencies in business processes. By thoroughly examining compatibility issues beforehand, firms can ensure a smooth transition to a new ERP system without compromising their business operations.

2. Features and Functionality - What Do You Need?

Project-based businesses have unique needs when managing their operations, resources, and finances. The right ERP solution is crucial for streamlining processes, improving project management, and maximizing profitability.

Therefore, firms must carefully consider their current requirements and the functionality they need to manage their business and projects successfully. These features may include project planning and scheduling tools, resource allocation and cost management capabilities, and real-time project progress tracking.

By choosing an ERP system with built-in features designed explicitly for project management, businesses can streamline their workflows, improve collaboration among team members and enhance overall efficiency. 


“Having a single source of data that brought together the company's projects, CRM and financials was really important to us, and we needed a system that aligned with how professional services firms are set up.”

– Mark Worrell, Head of Systems and MI, APEM


3. Consider Implementation and Support Costs

When switching ERP solutions, firms must carefully evaluate the cost of implementation and maintenance. You should consider the investment in the software itself, as well as training your employees and migrating data from current systems.

Additionally, you should consider ongoing costs such as licensing fees, technical support, training and upgrades. 

4. Training Employees to Use the New ERP

While implementing a new system brings numerous benefits and efficiencies, it also requires employees to adapt and learn new ways of operating.

Without proper training, employees may struggle to navigate the new system, leading to decreased productivity and potential errors in data entry. It is essential to partner with a vendor that will provide comprehensive training programs that cover all relevant modules and functionalities of the new ERP system.

Training should be tailored to the specific needs of employees and should include hands-on practice sessions and user testing. Ultimately, practical training empowers employees to perform their roles effectively, maximize the new system's features, and contribute to the organization's overall success.

Switching to Deltek ERP

Deltek's ERP solutions are designed to meet the unique needs of project-based businesses, providing enhanced reporting capabilities, centralized databases, and advanced technologies that can significantly improve operational efficiency. Deltek ERP enables companies to streamline their workflows and make better, more informed decisions by eliminating manual processes, improving business operations, and providing real-time data.  

The long-term benefits of switching to a Deltek ERP include increased employee productivity, improved financial management, and the ability to scale and support business growth. With Deltek's cloud-based solutions, organizations can access their ERP software anytime, anywhere. This flexibility allows for remote work and better collaboration across teams.

Book your personalized demo today to experience the power of Deltek ERP first-hand.


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