Last week, I wrote a blog about why there is never a good time to start an ERP implementation. While these reasons are all valid, some organizations just aren’t going to be able to stomach the cost and risk of a new ERP system with an uncertain economic environment.
For those organizations that are in no way ready to start a new ERP project: there is still hope. Here are five ways to deliver a positive ROI to your organization without yet taking on the cost and risk of a new ERP system:
- Initiate a business process reengineering engagement. Your organization is probably wasting a lot of time, money and resources with inefficient and manual processes. While a new ERP system is one way to address those issues, business process reengineering can be a lower-cost and lower-risk way to get more immediate value from your efforts. Look for ways to leverage business process and industry experts to redefine your business processes in a way that takes advantage of low-hanging fruit and delivers immediate value to your company. The other big benefit of this approach? This work will help accelerate your ERP implementation once you are ready to start.
- Explore how to get more out of your current technology. You may have an old, outdated and difficult-to-use legacy system, but can you apply band-aids to get more out of that system for just a few more years? Perhaps an upgrade or reconfiguration will buy some time until you are ready for a more suitable long-term solution? While not necessarily ideal for the long-term, this solution can help ease the pain in the short-term while you gain the appropriate approvals for your larger-scale ERP implementation. Leveraging a technology-agnostic firm like Panorama can help you get the most out of your current technology.
- Define an enterprise and IT strategic roadmap. Many companies aren’t sure where to start when commencing their ERP initiatives. This can lead to a sense of fear and paralysis. The market has a multitude of technology options – SaaS, on-premise, best of breed, single ERP, cloud, etc. – but those decisions don’t need to be complicated. Determining the right technologies that are best aligned with your overall strategic objectives can ensure that you are focusing your efforts on the technological options that make the most sense for you. Learn more about Panorama’s IT strategy options here.
- Implement organizational changes. It may be that some simple organizational changes will enhance your current situation. For example, we are working with a large manufacturing and distribution client that has put their ERP project on hold. In the meantime, they are looking for ways to tweak employee roles and responsibilities to get more out of their system. They are also identifying potential pockets of resistance to address now – paving the way for their ERP implementation once it resumes next year.
- Explore niche enterprise technologies. Enterprise technology doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. It may be that certain technologies will deliver more low-hanging fruit in the long-term. For example, several of our clients are evaluating CRM systems, HCM systems, eCommerce, Point of Sale, Business Intelligence and other technologies that aren’t as expensive as full-blown ERP systems. One recommendation would be to make sure that you’re not backing yourself into a corner in the future with whatever system you might be considering, so make sure potential future ERP acquisitions support and integrate with the system you are currently considering.
If you need to make some changes, but are nervous about fully committing to an ERP system, these are some ways that you can move forward without breaking the bank.