Infor Visual ERP Delivery Partner


Infor Services Partner


Visual ERP Upgrade vs New Car

My husband always wants a new car. He wants something faster, sleeker, sportier or maybe like one of his friends. Yes, he has car envy. It leads to lots of interesting discussions. Like: do we really “need” one? What options will this new car have? Is it worth the cost? My favorite question – “What colour would we get?”

These conversations got me thinking about buying new ERP software. You may have heard rumblings at your company that some people think it is time for new software. You might be in the same boat as I am- and love Visual ERP.  You think why would we want new software? but management is asking.

Just like a new car, you would go shopping. The process might be something like this:

  1. Identify the specific needs for your company.
  2. Check out ERP software either by searching the internet or asking others for recommendations. If you are like me, this comparison would be on a spreadsheet showing the options versus features and costs.
  3. Then you would pick a few to have a test drive.
  4. After that, everyone would meet to give their opinions about the test drive.
  5. Then another test drive for a smaller number of software vendors.
  6. More discussions.
  7. Then the negotiation phase.
  8. Eventually you pick new software and start the implementation process.

Buying new software (or a car) can get expensive.  There is:

  • the software,
  • training,
  • consulting,
  • report writing,
  • new procedures,
  • customizations and

Not to mention the time for your people to be involved with the project taking them away from their day-to-day jobs. You can see how this can add up.

Panorama Consulting Solutions, published a report that states “Expect to spend a total of 5x your direct cost of software”.  There are other statistics showing the split of the costs like graph below.

Now what if … instead of buying a different new car, you get the same model but a newer year.  You can get this with your Visual ERP software – it doesn’t cost you anything extra to buy the software. It is included in your maintenance.

Of course, it isn’t totally free but what would the cost be for the newest Visual ERP model?

  • Training on new features and functions.
  • Technical support to upgrade your database or you may want to consider a re-implementation.
  • You might need a new server.

But here is the beauty of upgrading.

  • The amount of training is significantly less.
  • There is an opportunity to “relook” at how you are doing things. There may be new functionality or existing functionality that is not being used. Hey – Check out Visual ERP’s customizable dashboards. It is almost like a car’s instrument panel.
  • The users can adapt quickly since the screens contain the same functionality plus some new tweaks. Just like getting some new features in your car. Gosh I remember my 1st car with power window. And don’t get me started with keyless ignition.
  • Some reports may need to be changed but the vast majority will work. How many custom reports do you have? 20, 30, 50, hundreds? Oh, and don’t forget your Excel queries and applications.
  • Only a few new forms to be done. Your existing invoices, orders etc. could be the same. You may need to do a “match to standard” to bring in the new fields but that is a quick job.

Like any decision-making, it requires a grid.

New Software Update Visual
Software $$$$ 0
Hardware $$$$ $$
Training – New Features & Functionality $$$$$$$

All employees would need to have in-depth training.  Everything would be new,


Limited amount of time required.

Reports & Forms $$$$$$$

All customized reports would need to be created for the new software.


Minor changes required on some reports and forms

Process Mapping $$$$

All procedures involving the ERP system would need to be rewritten.


Procedures could be updated to consider new functionality.

Customizations $$$$$

Any special requirement that is unavailable in the software would need to be specified, written & tested. And then retested.  It always takes multiple times to get it tuned in just right.


Would need to be reviewed to see if there are any field/table changes that would impact this.

Total Investment $$$$$$$$$ $$$

Now let’s think about it.  Do you want a brand new entirely different car or maybe a newer model of a car you know and love?  I know my pick.

Kim Worrall, CA, CPA is a Visual ERP Application specialist and owner of Back To Basics headquartered in the Greater Toronto Area. Kim has spent over 20 years consulting with Visual Enterprise, with an in-depth focus on all aspects financial. From costing to reporting to processing transactions as efficiently and accurately as possible. Kim is obsessed with how Visual works. She combines her healthy obsession, her thorough understanding of Visual’s functionality and tables, her puzzling skills and down-to-earth communication style to help companies get the most out of their Visual ERP.

Kim likes to share with her monthly Visual ERP Tips & Trips and monthly Blogs on all topics Visual. Her life’s objective is “To help others Love Visual as much as she does”.