The purpose of this blog has been to focus on ERP benefits realization and ROI, and we’ve all heard stories of companies of all sizes that implement ERP software without realizing the anticipated tangible business benefits. Which led me to wonder: how big of a problem is it for companies to realize ERP benefits?

Part of our ongoing focus on ERP benchmarks and metrics allows us to continuously track how well companies across the globe are realizing business benefits. One particular study we have underway asks the level of business benefits that have been realized to date. Perhaps not surprisingly, nearly half (46%) of the participants in the study so far have realized less benefits than they had expected. Only 31% have realized the benefits they expected, and 23% have exceeded their expectations.

Based on my experience with ERP companies, I am surprised that the percentage of companies with lower benefits than expected isn’t higher than 46%. Of course, we have no way to tell how high companies set the bar when they forecast their business benefits. And we also have no way to know if meeting benefit expectations results in a positive ROI. Or maybe as I consultant I tend to see only those companies that are most in need of help achieving ERP benefits realization.

Regardless of the cause of these numbers, one thing is clear: a success rate of around 50% for achieving expected business benefits doesn’t justify the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars that companies invest in ERP software. Companies can do better, and they owe it to themselves to ensure they realize a healthy ROI and leverage ERP to deliver positive and measurable business results.

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