Although the term was coined more than 20 years ago, there are still many organizations that don’t truly understand the value of ERP. While streamlining and automating your financial processes is a huge benefit, that is only one piece to a much larger puzzle.
Successful ERP solutions enable businesses to capture, manage and translate data into business insight from a wide range of activities. It should be used to assist in key business decisions and strategies, both in the short and long term. It should create new levels of efficiency and reduce manual tasks through streamlining and process automation. Perhaps most importantly, ERP provides a platform to re-engineer your business processes to fit with best practices, positioning you for more streamlining/automation opportunities and strengthening the core of your business.
Ultimately, ERP is a platform on which to design a better business. Organizations who don’t share this vision for ERP will struggle to reach a solid ROI.
Any size, large or small
ERP used to be reserved for large organizations who could afford to take on such an expensive transformation. However, thanks to advances both in technology and infrastructure, ERP solutions are accessible and affordable to businesses of any size through the cloud. Organizations no longer have to invest half their earnings into hardware and IT staff, and can get up and running much quicker than ever before.
Be open to change
ERP is not about fitting your existing practices to a technology system. While that may apply in some aspects, the goal is really to improve your processes on a system that can can enhance their accuracy, automate them, and integrate with your partners and suppliers. This is the real value of ERP.
Consider what’s possible
While budget usually puts a cap on ERP projects, don’t settle for less than what’s possible. There are many ways to utilize ERP when you understand what others have done and what is possible. An example would be linking your ERP with your CRM system for integration with sales, inventory, accounting and supply chain. This creates a single solution that can automate your entire sales process from quote to invoice, updating your inventory along the way.
An ERP implementation can literally transform your business, but also carries a certain level of risk. Projects can fail to reach positive ROI if the following factors aren’t met:
- Support from senior management
- Planning: time, roles, scope, budget and process analysis
- Consultation and support, both functional and technical
- Go-live process: phased vs. big bang
- Training, available resources, and user adoption. Did I mention user adoption?
- Test! Test every aspect of the system with each of your users as much as possible before going live.
Read the full article here for more details on the benefits of ERP!