Sage X3 ERP Software: The Pros & Cons for 2021

Sage X3 is a top player in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software market, particularly for businesses searching for a usable interface with strong functionality and integrations at a reasonable cost. 

Like other ERP tools, Sage X3 makes it possible for businesses to combine software and operational needs, ranging from business intelligence (BI) to human resources to supply chain management to manufacturing management. 

See below to learn about the pros and cons of Sage X3 and some other resources your team can use to guide their ERP selection process.

Learn About Current Trends in ERP: Three Key Advances in ERP for 2021

A Closer Look at Sage X3 ERP

The Pros of Sage X3 ERP

User-Friendly Interface

Many ERP users are not developers or technology experts, which makes it increasingly important for ERP software to be highly navigable and UI/UX-driven. Sage X3 receives high marks for its user-friendly interface, with many users noting its simple and streamlined dashboards.

Depending on the business operations segment you are looking at and your role in the operational infrastructure, your dashboards can be customized to the metrics you view most. You can easily navigate to other dashboards that aggregate related data in charts, graphs, and other visually driven analytics.

The dashboard interface is set up to aid in both navigation and self-service for troubleshooting, with guided prompts and a “Help” button found on every dashboard screen.

CFO Dashboard Sage X3 ERP
This is an example of a custom CFO dashboard on Sage X3. (Source: Sage)

Scalability with Multiple Lines of Business

Sage X3 is built with scalability in mind, whether your business already includes several service lines or subsidiaries, or you plan to grow in the future. 

The software allows you to separate your subsidiaries under one corporate umbrella into stock sites, financial sites, and other platforms. You can run them all as separate brands with separate goals while also splitting internal dashboards from customer-facing sites. However, these sites can still share relevant information back and forth — such as customer, supplier, and general ledger (G/L) data — for additional analytics capabilities.

Presented as a platform-agnostic tool, Sage X3 makes it easier for businesses to acquire companies with different business models and tech portfolios over time. The software is known for its high customization as well. Given the right plan and experts to carry it out, the tool can be built out and adjusted to meet the needs of different business lines. 

Sage X3 already includes industry-specific modules. If you work in these particular industries, no additional compliance measures or customizations need to be added to the tool:

  • Food & beverage
  • Process manufacturing (specifically for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics)
  • Discrete manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Chemicals
  • Services

Industry-Specific Focus in Sage X3
This image illustrates the built-in industry verticals and customizations that Sage X3 offers. (Source: Sage)

Fully Integrated and Automated Processes

Sage X3 offers fully integrated web services, which makes it possible to derive useful customer and process analytics from all websites and customer databases in a company’s portfolio. The focus on web integration also makes step-by-step process automation possible across business operations. Some examples of integration and automation in action include: 

  • Traceability for inventory, financial data, and manufacturing transactions across a product’s life cycle
  • Order automation to the point of shipping and delivery
  • Production management via bill of materials (BOM) planning, shop floor control, quality control, and project management features on X3 dashboards

The Cons of Sage X3 ERP

Difficulty of Custom Configurations

Although the tool is considered highly configurable, some users express frustration about how difficult it is to code custom configurations into the system. Out of 33 reviews on Gartner Peer Insights, approximately 28% of users comment on the difficulties of configuration and managing those configurations in Sage ERP software.

Some of the more specific configuration concerns from customers include the following:

  • The difficulty of using and exporting Sage’s Crystal Reports leads many companies to do custom development for their reporting needs.
  • Sage X3 focuses on six industry categories of operations, so many companies need to build custom tools for industries that go beyond those categories.
  • Sage X3’s core language is a proprietary 4GL language. Few companies have the in-house experts to manage configurations in this language, leading them to seek out consultation and implementation from third-party vendors.

Concerns with Customer Support

With difficult customizations, some customers seek out strong customer support from Sage. However, user reviews have highlighted that the customer support offered by Sage is lacking in several key areas:

  • Support tickets often go untouched by Sage experts for “days” and “weeks” at a time with no follow-up communication.
  • Sage’s user community misses out on a forum approach for self-service and problem-solving.
  • Sage customer service representatives often don’t have the technical, localized, or industry-specific expertise to provide the assistance customers need.

Because the customer service structure leaves some of Sage’s customers frustrated and lost in their configuration and implementation questions, they often hire third-party consultants to manage and troubleshoot within their systems.

Limited Quality Controls

With high levels of customization comes the potential for high levels of user error and diminished quality. 

Some customers comment on the limited quality controls in Sage ERP software, noting that vague error message descriptions complicate the troubleshooting process and often lead to additional user errors down the road. 

Other customers comment on how simple it is to change a code by clicking in the wrong section of the tool; they attribute this confusion and potential for error to the large number of X3 modules that overwhelm the average system user.

Selecting the Right ERP for Your Business

Sage X3 is a competitive solution in the ERP market, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best fit for your organization. 

Dozens of ERP software and consulting firms offer a wide range of capabilities and pricing packages. Unless your team is well-versed in ERP implementation and your particular business strategy needs, it can feel challenging to select software that actually fits your goals. 

Use the resources below to learn about other top players in the ERP space and how you can customize their platforms to work with your company’s existing business pain points.

Other Top ERP Tools to Consider 

Oracle NetSuite ERP: The Pros and Cons

SAP ERP Software: S/4HANA Cloud Review for 2021

Industry-Specific Features to Consider

Key Features of Healthcare ERP Solutions

Essential Features in Foodservice ERP

Helpful Resources for ERP Selection

TechnologyAdvice’s ERP Software Selection Tool

Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter is a marketing content writer with more than five years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on healthcare, technology, data, enterprise IT, and technology marketing. She currently writes for three different digital publications in the technology industry: Datamation, Enterprise Networking Planet, and CIO Insight. When she’s not writing, Shelby loves finding group trivia events with friends, cross stitching decorations for her home, reading too many novels, and turning her puppy into a social media influencer.

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