What’s Better? A New ERP System or a Band-Aid on Your Old One?

Before I attempt to answer that question, indulge me for a moment while I do some research on the ever-popular Band-Aid.  Here’s how I conducted my in-depth research. Step One: Opened my browser and Binged the phrase: “Who invented the Band-Aid.” Step Two: The answer popped right up on (have you guessed yet and no it wasn’t Wikipedia) eHow. The Band-Aid is an adhesive bandage that is actually a copyrighted name brand manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The Band-Aid was invented by Earle Dickson for his wife Josephine in 1921.

Dickson observed that his wife often cut or burned her fingers while cooking. At that time, bandages were sold separately as gauze and tape, but he wanted to make it more manageable for self-application. He cut pieces of adhesive tape and set a piece of gauze in the middle, which he sterilized. The product was passed on to his employer, Johnson & Johnson, who started marketing handmade ones immediately. The first Band-Aids were not well received and did not gain prominence until 1924 when the first machine manufactured Band-Aids were made. With a publicity stunt in which the company gave free Band-Aids to Boy Scouts and sent thousands of them overseas to the soldiers during WWI, band-aids soon because a household name.

For the consumer, Band-Aids provided an easy way to cover small cuts and burns without needing the assistance of another person. The Band-Aid also helped people to continue with their tasks after they had covered the wound and would not be hindered by gauze and tape falling apart.

Going back to our original question, the one in the subject line above, the answer may have more nuances than the inventor of the Band-Aid and yet it’s pretty clear cut (pun intended).  As you outgrow your old ERP system, you start to place band-aids in strategic locations. A band-aid for audit trails, and one for inventory tracking, another for improved reporting, and so on. In the end, you have a mess of band-aids some of which are sure to fall off (see our blog post on Band-Aids Will Fall Off). What’s more, each of those band-aids costs money, either in terms of time and/or money. By the time you’re finished purchasing and applying band-aids, odds are that you probably could have purchased a new ERP system for the same cost and the new system will undoubtedly offer greater functionality, ease of use, efficiency, and productivity than the band-aid laden old system that is limping along.

Still, we work with many prospects who often say they simply couldn’t afford the time it would take to implement a new system and they also cite the learning curve required to run on a new system when their staff is so comfortable with the old one. But, they’re coming to us anyway, because…the band-aids are decomposing and falling off. I’d be foolish to suggest that there isn’t a learning curve associated with the implementation of a new system. I’d be equally foolish to suggest that there isn’t a time commitment involved in the implementation of a new system. However, when the result is a shiny new ERP solution that will likely last you for a lifetime, one that will scale with you as your business grows, one that is supported by a major leader in the software industry, namely Microsoft, I believe all of that tips the scales in favor of new versus a box of band-aids.

Many of the Altico client case studies on the Altico Advisors Web site speak to the benefits accrued by implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP for ERP. I like this one the best: Company Moves from QuickBooks to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Flourishes. Many of our clients came to us with old systems that were bruised and bandaged. It wasn’t Johnson & Johnson that provided the cure. It was Microsoft via Altico Advisors, and we take a large part of the credit (humbly of course) because the partner you choose becomes your partner in success.

Please browse our Web site @ for additional information and then follow up the old school way and call Altico @ 508-485-5588.

By Marcia Nita Doron,  Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner serving New Hampshire (NH) and beyond.

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