With the final quarter of the year well underway, it’s typically a time of reevaluation of old strategies. Project teams are taking the time to seek new initiatives to stay competitive in the manufacturing and distribution sectors.
As an independent ERP consulting firm, common questions we hear this time of year are “Are we ready for a new ERP system? Is next year the right time? Can we be successful with our existing system?”
Before any plans are set to undertake an enterprise technology evaluation project, we see the most successful companies are those that set ERP goals early in the process.
Survey Shows Importance of ERP Goals
The importance of setting ERP goals is confirmed from findings in Ultra’s ERP Implementation Survey recently conducted by Mint Jutras Founder and President Cindy Jutras, and sponsored by Ultra Consultants
The survey surveyed more than 300 US manufacturers and distributors with a carefully crafted set of questions designed to strike at the basis of conceptions about ERP projects.
The focus was on ERP implementation projects in terms of schedule, costs, and expected ROI.
The survey found that an ERP project is too important to embark upon without first setting goals.
These goals should also form the basis for expectations in terms of return on investment (ROI). You might have a single over-riding priority, or you might have a long list of goals.
We asked 315 survey participants to select their “top three” most important goals for ERP (Figure 1).
Several only selected one or two, and a very small percentage (4%) indicated they set no goals. They simply knew they had to “do something.” However, the vast majority did select three, leading us to believe that more often than not, they did indeed have a substantial list of goals
The Top ERP Goals
Specific business cost savings and improvement of selected performance metrics top the list, but we found it somewhat surprising that less than half (46%) selected each.
These two goals provide the most direct opportunity for ROI and most companies embarking on an ERP project must cost-justify the expense.
In the past, this was always a capital expense, but as software as a service (SaaS) becomes more prevalent, less (or no) capital may be required, perhaps making it easier to justify. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for ROI. An ERP project team is wise to take this finding into consideration.
Why Set ERP Goals?
Ultra guides manufacturers and distributors to identify specific, quantifiable goals before getting on board with any project, whether that project is an implementation of a new solution, a significant upgrade or a major overhaul.
If your current solution is not meeting your goals, or if you never set goals, it may very well be time to step back and perform an audit of your current solution to determine if it is living up to its full potential.
And then determine if that full potential is sufficient to give you a competitive edge. If not, it may be time to replace it. The role of an ERP consultant can help in this regard.
Your 2020 ERP Goals
As we wrap up this year and head into 2020, be thinking ERP goals. If you can’t be objective about this, find an independent third party that can.
As part of ERP process improvement services, we know the right technology-enabled applications can help propel growth and superior performance in the year ahead, while those built on outdated technology can stifle it.
Looking to set 2020 ERP goals? Contact Ultra for the best way to get started.