The consequence of an ERP for services is often underestimated in addition the fact that more than three out of four jobs (77.2%) in the U.S. economy are in the service sector. According to the department of qualified workers, by 2018, this ascendancy is expected to increase, with 78.8% of total employment being in the service sector.


Service oriented businesses often make one big mistake! They choose to manufacture ERP solution to solve their service-oriented needs. The logical explanation for this error is because historically, ERP systems were built to serve companies that designed and artificial products. But services industries by nature are project and customer oriented and they have a different set of ERP needs. Buyers’ top priorities for ERP software in the services industry include project planning and execution, resource utilization, efficient management of development costs, as well as strong customer relationship module.

7 Needs from an ERP for Services solution

According to the latest review conducted by TEC, this is the top 7 needs expected from a robust ERP for services solution:

When choosing an ERP for services oriented business, around 50% of all respondents agree that the new ERP solution should help them maximize the resource utilization. Also, the ERP for services should include strong project organization module that will provide: planning and execution of projects (around 45% of all respondents) as well as managing project costs (more than 40% of the respondents). The need of a strong customer relationship system and tool for finding new clients has been stated by 40% of all respondents.

Furthermore, the management of the workforce is also another important issue when choosing an ERP for services. Around 30% of the respondents stated the need of a proper tool for hiring and retaining qualified staff inbuilt in the ERP for services. The “multi-” functionality feature (multi-size, multi-currency, multi-language) is significant for a bit less than 20% of all respondents. This is expected because most of the service-oriented organizations are small and mid-sized and still not ready for expanding into global markets.

Big Initiatives

Nearly 50% of all respondents in the survey are pursuing either a replacement or an upgrade to their entire ERP system. Other initiatives include time and expense management (32%) and customer relationship management (29%).

Problem Areas

According to the same survey, ERP solution vendors still have a long way to go toward meeting the expectations of the user community. From all respondents:

  • 37% reported issues with the user experience, expecting improvements in this area from the current or the new ERP for services solution.
  • 36% reported experiencing system flexibility difficulties. Their current ERP system was too rigid and not able to support users changing needs.
  • 27% reported experience scalability issues. The system was not able to support their growth over time.
  • Only 26% reported that their current ERP for services solution provide mobile device support.
  • 28% reported problems with efficient completion and maintenance of the project costs.