- March 7, 2019
- By Aimee Schossler
- In ERP
Meeting the demands of today’s evolving global economy is a challenge for many organizations. Companies on their digital journey are learning about the effectiveness of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software in working toward their organization’s overall operational efficiency.
But make no mistake, implementing ERP software is a significant business disruption which takes careful planning to realize its benefits. Companies looking for innovative solutions to stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs and increase profitability are asking themselves if they’re ready to take the leap. You’re ready to grow, but are you ready for ERP?
Before your company embarks on its own ERP software evaluation, start by evaluating your ERP readiness. While no two companies are alike, here are a few of the baseline indicators that your organization is ready for ERP:
You have executive support
A vital aspect of any ERP implementation, the support of the executive suite has a direct correlation to the success of the project. Successful ERP implementations begin with company leadership ensuring proper resource allocation and keeping the process a top priority for the duration of the project.
With an executive’s broader perspective over the organization, they’re able to represent the needs of the company as a whole. Executive oversight prevents department heads from unintentionally favoring the needs of their respective departments. They also play a role as change agents ushering users through the transition away from legacy systems to adopting best practices and standards as well. More on change agents later…
You have skilled project management
Implementation projects staffed with skilled project management resources who understand the goals of the effort, as well as the intricacies of the business requirements, have a much smoother experience. By knowing the project inside and out, the project manager acts as a resource to other members of the team.
Questions your project manager can readily answer:
- What are our most important profit drivers?
- Which customer requirements are the key to our success?
- Does our industry have any differentiators?
- How will ERP functionality address our critical success factors?
A good project manager will use this information in their project plan to maintain authority over the ERP initiative. Project managers can effectively coach other members of the team, including vendors and key stakeholders, back on track when progress falls away from their targets.
You’ve calculated potential ERP ROI
To get the most benefit from your ERP, you’ll look for the system which brings improved efficiency and increased automation throughout your organization. By providing real-time information for better decision-making and increased profitability, you get ERP ROI.
Determine where ERP can reduce the cost of your IT expenditure. By shifting to the cloud, your company can reduce internal IT costs by reducing:
software licensing costs
hardware infrastructure costs
ongoing maintenance and upgrades costs
You have the right teams in place
With executive buy-in and skilled project management resources in place, don’t forget the supporting cast. Ensure the project is staffed with adequate resources represented by users at every level and across all departments. By beginning your ERP project with the right people on the right team, from leadership to internal IT and training teams, you are able to avoid potential bottlenecks and keep the project moving.
Remember your executives spearheading change? Installing change agents and teams enable a smooth transition through and beyond your ERP implementation. These are team members responsible for communicating goals updates to the organization as a whole. Change agents share in the vision for the new ERP system and realize how the organization will benefit so they’re generally able to quell negative perceptions of the new users within the organization.
Your training team, along with the change agents you’ve installed, is another example of teams who facilitate the adoption of your ERP system and often take on the role of super users. Super users assist other users by hosting workshops or individualized training to ensure employees are ready to operate the new ERP system.
Enterprise resource planning software boosts the overall efficiency of the organizations willing to undertake the planning that goes into a successful implementation. These companies know ERP reduces operating costs and offers standardized features not seen in standalone systems.
If your company hasn’t invested in ERP technology, you are missing a great opportunity to streamline and integrate your business processes company-wide.