ERP implementation is a large undertaking; it requires lot of hands, time, and planning. You have high expectations for what ERP software can do for your business, but do you have a benefits realization plan that outlines what you hope to achieve? Have you defined key performance indicators (KPIs) in order to demonstrate these achievements?
When you set KPIs for your ERP implementation, you are working to make sure that the time and money spent on ERP implementation is doing what you needed it to do and therefore well worth the time and money spent on it.
What are Key Performance Indicators?
KPIs can be set for any project to track effectiveness. They are simply measurable values that indicate how effectively a company is meeting its project or business objectives.
By setting KPIs or goals for your ERP, you are basically tracking to see that the software is achieving what you need it to, and if not, you have become aware that the implementation is not accurate or complete. This allows you to redirect and will make sure you never stray too far from your goals. Without setting these KPIs, you may not realize that the software is not working in the way you anticipated until much later.
The benefits you want to see coming from an ERP system should be considered and decided upon long before implementation.
What kind of benefits are possible? Well, it all depends on the size of your business, but every company, no matter how big or small, will see benefits when ERP is properly implemented.
One of these benefits is real-time data access, through all levels of your company. From management, the sales floor, and the production floor, your team will know what is going on with everything from the machines, to supply chain, and sales. This also allows for users to have knowledge of current and historical data, as well as take advantage of predictive and prescriptive analytics. This knowledge can help build sales relationships and lead to overall higher customer satisfaction.
With your sales team no longer having to manually input information and having up-to-date data at its fingertips, it has more time for their customers. The sales team even has the time to use the system to predict what the customer may need before they are even aware of it. Customers will notice a difference.
Another benefit is increased data security. You can decide who to share what data with. You can also protect your most critical data by using the system’s internal database to create centralized backups, regardless of whether you install on-premise or via the cloud.
Perhaps the most significant benefit is regarding cost reductions. ERP solutions can save and make you money. Certainly, an initial investment is required, but the system that is tailored to your company’s needs and goals will save you money in the long run, mostly through increased levels of productivity. As stated earlier, with your team members no longer constantly having to enter data manually, they have more time to focus on other important aspects of their jobs. This is true of many departments throughout your company, like HR, IT, and production.
These are the possibilities an ERP solution can deliver to you. However, you need to have goals in mind long before implementation. Know where you are and where you want to go even before picking a vendor. What are your weak points? Where do you have opportunities to improve? The earlier you set your KPIs and start talking with your team about the new solutions, the more likely you are to meet your bench points and see the results you are hoping for. Getting your team’s support throughout your organization is key to seeing overall success. Be open about the resources required to implement the ERP solution as well as the benefits that will assist each of the members on your team.
This all begins with making a plan and setting KPIs.