Earlier this month, I spoke at CDC Software’s Ross Enterprise user conference in San Antonio. The team at CDC asked if I would cover the topic of how to realize a larger return on investment and business benefits from their customers’ investments in Ross Enterprise. This is a topic that I particularly enjoy speaking about, so it was a pleasure to be able to discuss it with their customers and users.

Here are three key points we discussed in the presentation:

1. Understand and leverage the functionality you already have. Like many ERP vendors, CDC and Ross Enterprise offer a wide array of core functionality, advanced modules, and third-party applications to address the needs of their customer base. So much so, in fact, that many customers don’t fully understand the full breadth of what is right in front of them.  Once key lesson from our clients is that many broken business processes or perceived weaknesses in the system are often easily addressed by better leveraging functionality that already exists but isn’t necessarily being used by the organization. This can be a more cost effective solution that ripping out and replacing your incumbent ERP software package.

2. It’s never too early or too late to develop your business blueprint. It’s amazing how convoluted a robust, complex, and flexible ERP system can become where there are not clearly defined business processes to base the design. For that reason, it is important to develop your business blueprint to give your software vendor direction on how to configure and design the software. Although this is ideally done before you implement the software, we’ve seen quite a few companies benefit from doing this important activity during post-implementation to help identify areas of improvement, enhancements to the system, and to provide clearer direction to employees on how their jobs should be performed. Better late than never.

3.  Keep up with ERP system upgrades. Companies will inevitably experience misalignments with their ERP software over time as their business changes. This misalignment is usually magnified when an organization fails to keep up with upgrades. For example, CDC introduced Ross Enterprise version 7 at their user conference, which takes their software to a whole new level. Companies that don’t elect to leverage the millions of dollars of R&D that companies like CDC software spend will miss out on significant business benefits.

Realizing and maximizing the business benefits potential of ERP systems is never an easy task. However, although most companies fail to reach the full potential of their implementations, the smart ones realize that they can continuously optimize business benefits of their ERP investments by proactively employing tactics like the ones mentioned above.

Learn more about how we help clients develop their business blueprint or independently assess how they can get more out of their current systems by reviewing our ERP and IT consulting services.

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