Once again, Eric Kimberling of Panorama Consulting has penned some good tips about achieving a fair return on investment on your ERP implementation. In this case, he touts five ways to achieve it, and a post you can read here.
Kimberling starts by noting that most CEOs are so hung up about simply making sure their initiatives go live reasonably within budget and time that they sometimes miss the larger goal of ROI. We’ll condense the gist of a recent post by Eric here for you today.
- Set the bar high for your ERP implementation. It’s okay to shoot for the stars. Rather than operating out of fear – whether it be fear of the project failing or fear of losing your job – try aiming for something even higher, such as delivering a set of business processes and related ERP functionality that will take your business to the next level. This mentality can and should affect every aspect of the project.
- Focus on people and processes, not technology. ERP vendors invest billions of dollars per year in R&D to make those cool bells and whistles, but at the end of the day, the success (or failure) of your project won’t have anything to do with these technical features. Instead, it will come down to how well you handle business process reengineering and organizational change management – the two most important success factors for any ERP implementation.
- Don’t underestimate the cost, time and effort required for your ERP implementation. While it is important to not become too focused on implementation time and duration, you also have to remember that you will never achieve your expected business benefits and ROI if you don’t make it through your ERP project alive. Setting realistic expectations early is the first step toward a ROI-driven and successful ERP implementation.
- Understand where the finish line really is. Successful ERP implementers know where the finish line really is. Most organizations go into their ERP implementations with the expectation that they are going to implement everything that their new ERP systems have to offer but, due to time and budget miscalculations, end up quitting the race early and never realizing that expected functionality.
- Focus on the long-term alignment between your business and your new ERP system. Successful organizations don’t ever really “end” their ERP implementations. Instead, they focus on ensuring that their businesses evolve over time.
We find Kimberling’s points above to be good standards for helping to ensure that clients achieve desired ROI and view their systems as a cog in their ongoing pursuit of continuous improvement.