In a recent study of 192 companies with annual revenue ranging from below $25 million to more than $2 billion, conducted by Panorama Consulting, The 2014 ERP Report, 66 percent reported that they had failed to realize more than half of the expected benefits from their ERP project.
That’s a whole lot of wasted potential.
ERP systems can help streamline operations and improve workflow if used to their full potential. If you have an ERP software system in place already, there are a few ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment.
Here are my top three recommendations:
Choose the Right System for the Job
“It’s essential to link business objectives to your ERP strategy to ensure value is realized, whether adopting on-premises or cloud applications,” says Carol Hardcastle, Research Vice President at Gartner in their report, “Predicts 2014: The Rise of the Postmodern ERP and Enterprise.”
ERP can’t be everything to everyone. Understanding and utilizing the strengths of the ERP system is a great starting point. Sometimes the base ERP system is strong, but the add-on modules are a lightweight version of what you really need to efficiently run your enterprise.
By focusing on your issues, workflow needs, regulatory environment and other areas unique to your business prior to ERP system purchase, you can get a solution that can be customized to meet your needs.
Integrate, Integrate, Integrate
If you are not integrating your ERP with other systems like AP Automation or Document Management systems you are losing out on significant efficiency gains and cost savings.
According to the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), companies spend $20 in labor to file a document, $120 in labor to find a misfiled document, and $220 in labor to reproduce a lost document. Add to that, the cost to store all these documents and it quickly gets expensive to keep and use paper files.
Systems integration can complement existing business applications and technologies. Without it, your employees are wasting time making photocopies, emailing attachments and comparing data manually – often doing double or triple data entry.
With integration, you can harness the power of all of this paper by scanning and filing it electronically so that data is shared across your enterprise – globally, and can be accessed, reviewed and approved, from anywhere. You can gain substantial business ROIs like improved access to information metrics and analytics, faster and more accurate payment of invoices and customer service delivery.
Communicate Your Needs
Staying on top of industry trends and emerging technologies is key to a successful growth strategy. Communicating with your ERP vendor or reseller as your needs grow and change is a critical piece of the puzzle.
Many businesses can fail to reap the benefits of their ERP system once implemented because they simply don’t leverage ERP to the full capacity. By getting stakeholders together, assessing needs and communicating with your ERP vendor, you not only continually improve your business, you also ensure that all departments are actively engaged and utilizing the system to its maximum potential for the greatest ROI.
ERP vendors, resellers, and custom application developers with expertise in your industry can help tremendously with best practices – to save time and ensure you are getting the most out of your ERP investment. As long as it is managed proactively, an ERP system is an investment that can keep on giving – and can impact your business today, tomorrow, and down the road.