When developing an ERP strategy, there are many factors to have into consideration depending on the type of business, the size of the organization and the purpose of the initiative. But regardless of the particular circumstances of every case, an ERP strategy must consider the following points:
- Organizations need to realize the scope of the project and how an ERP implementation, when done properly, can affect their company. An ERP strategy is not just an IT project, it is rather a companywide initiative and getting executive sponsorship as well as sponsorship from all across functional areas will drive the success of it.
- A successful ERP strategy has a tremendous effect on the company efficiency and revenue. Internal and external resources, project timeframes and the overall cost of the initiative are the foundations of an ERP strategy. All too often organizations underestimate what an ERP implementation is going to take from the cost perspective, the resource perspective and how long it will take causing time and costs overruns.
- Too many companies make the mistake of not fully involving a VAR or third-party assistance such an independent consulting firm. A third-party involvement, from the strategy planning stage through the implementation, provides a comprehensive vision and helps to maintain the project on-track.
- Companies can achieve higher benefit realization by truly emphasizing areas for improvement early on, benefit realization is a living and breathing entity and should be addressed during weekly or monthly company meetings. If goals and metrics are not clearly set from the beginning, they will not be attained.
We had a recent apparel manufacturer client that went through a full ERP software implementation process. At a high-level, they had the goal to grow with technology and limit FTE expansion. Every time they felt they needed new employees they went through exercises to see if technology was a better answer.
The company set realistic goals of process definition, software selection, process improvement and organizational change management. This plan was a companywide plan and whenever they had turmoil within the industry or a change at the management or C-level, they always went back to the plan as the foundation. It was a two-year implementation but they accomplished it within budget and timeframes because of realistic expectations set from resources who had the expertise and were able to define the right ERP strategy for the company.