The word agile means a lot of different things to a lot of different people—and has changed a lot over the years.

The Agility Imperative: How Speed and Adaptability Has Evolved

The printing press made it easy to copy documents. Replaceable parts made it easier to create standardized, reliable, and repairable products. The assembly line took the time to build a Model-T from half a day to an hour and a half. This represented the peak of agility—until GM introduced a more flexible process that delivered both speed and choice.

This was supplanted by Toyota’s lean methodology, which bled into software development and helped save the technology world from the dot-com bubble.

But the dot-com bubble was two decades ago, and sadly, too many executives have held onto the notion that agility is limited to either small businesses or technology companies.

The Dangers of Bloat: When Agility is No Longer Optional

This mindset is especially prevalent in the manufacturing world—and especially dangerous. Why? Because agility is no longer an optional concept. The past ten years have shown us that even the largest of global enterprises can pivot when needed, and the last two months have reinforced this point.

Something we discussed in our article titled Why a Truly Mobile ERP Is More Important Than Ever,

“The concept of business agility is often presented as an abstract need to be able to respond quickly to changing circumstances. […] But, what if, as we are now experiencing, everything changes in a day? […] Your agile response will also have a lot to do with software. If you rely on software to run your business, you will also be relying on it, for better or worse, to handle today’s extreme agility challenge. Companies operating legacy ERP may find themselves constrained by limited mobile functionality.”

But mobility is just one of the many facets of agility, and while embracing it means tearing down barriers to access, true agility can only happen when you tear down the bloat and bureaucracy that exists in your business.

Bloat: A Flaw (and a Feature) of Legacy ERP Like Macola™

Back when the term ‘agility’ was generally preceded by ‘small business’, ERP was built as the one-stop shop for your business. Whether that was a good thing or not, these products were meant to do everything for everyone. The one problem with this? At the time, everything for everyone was impossible. Maybe you could find an 80% fit. It would require a bit of compromise, a couple changes to workflows, and a bunch of headaches, but it covered everything.

Everything for Everyone Means Neither in Today’s Business

Macola™ was built like this. A suite-based, data-driven, second-generation ERP product, the product was built around itself—and a few add-ons. The little things that made it better a decade ago were great then—but it pays to ask, “What have you done for me lately?”

It was one of the best legacy ERP products out there, but that only meant better than bad.  In today’s business, this isn’t enough.

An Endless Series of Add-Ons

Now, Macola did offer the core functionality and did try to remedy this over the years, but more often than not, the only way to do so was through a series of add-ons. Sales Tax? Add-on. Warehouse Management? Add-on. Demand Forecasting? Add-on. Financial Reporting and Consolidation? Another Add-on. Manufacturing Operations Management, CPQ, Field Service Management, or “Forms” are all add-ons.

Paired with its continued series of acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, and acquisitions, users continued to see the software get heavier, more bloated, and harder to use. In turn, this directly affected the operations, slowing down decisions and reducing the agility businesses so needed.

Learn more in How is Macola™ Handling Your Remote Workforce?

An Outdated Integration System

At a time when ERP was built as a one-stop-shop, its stability and comprehensiveness was built around the theory that “we already do [x]. Why would you need anyone besides us for that?”

In turn, this meant that access for developers was limited, and while internal integration was great, adding an often-necessary (or better) third-party product was a challenge—and maintaining it was downright nightmarish.

While they did offer APIs, this iteration of APIs was brittle, requiring 50+ IT guys to maintain their carefully-constructed-but-constantly-breaking system.

What does this mean? More bloat, more bureaucracy, and more people in between you and your goals.

Cut the Bloat: Gain Agility with Modern, Easily-Integrated Cloud ERP

Solutions like Macola were great—at a time when agility was limited to a small group of businesses. Today, however, people, processes, and technologies need to be tightly knit. Communication needs to occur between departments, workflows, and products, and it needs to happen fast.

Unfortunately, the everything for everyone mentality that Macola was built on is no longer feasible, and it’s holding back your attempts to cut the bloat and increase business agility. Today’s cloud ERP solutions are built not only to connect—but to keep you connected.

For more than 20 years, The Donas Group has been honing our service offerings to align our customers’ needs. As students of the ever-changing business process and subsequent management solution landscape as well as being numbered as one of Acumatica VARs (which gives us access to their award-winning Acumatica Partner Program), we succeed by simplifying the solution to meet our customers’ needs today with a plan for tomorrow’s growth.

With The Donas Group, Macola users can leverage our experience in both Macola and Acumatica for a seamless, and effective migration.

Get to know more about what it means to be truly in the cloud by reading True Cloud vs. Fake Cloud: How Manufacturing Companies Can Tell the Difference or Comparing Macola™ and Acumatica Cloud ERP Software and reach out to learn more.

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