When it comes to ERP systems, completing an implementation project doesn’t guarantee its success. In fact, approximately 75% of ERP projects fail and it’s not always down to implementation tactics. It could be due to a weak business case, lack of training, overcomplicated processes…all leading to an inability to deliver the ROI expected.
So, how can you maximise the benefits of your ERP system and ensure it’s always offering value?
- Revisit your processes
- Understand the features…
- …and ensure your team are using them
- Keep the system up-to-date
- Gain complete, real-time visibility
Revisit your processes
Until a new system has been implemented or integrated, it can be difficult to determine exactly how a process should be run. That’s why it’s easy to fall back into the way you’ve always done things. However, falling back into old habits can be impacting the effectiveness of your ERP system. As can trying to predict how certain processes should be followed before go-live.
So, revisit processes after go-live. Ask your users to share what’s going well and what they’d like to improve. Are there any processes that could be simpler or shorter? What improvements would your users like to see and why?
Review the system with your vendor too. What processes can be automated? Where can workflows be used? Are you integrating all that you can?
Understand the features…
It’s easy to implement a new ERP system or upgrade your existing one, only to later install or integrate additional solutions because you need more functionalities. But are you sure that your ERP system doesn’t already offer those features?
Combat this by closely reviewing the system with your vendor. Lay out your requirements and see if it’s possible to extend the functionalities of your system to include the ones you need. The best (and right) ERP systems should be scalable and grow to your changing business needs, anyway.
…and ensure your team are using them
When you use a system on a regular basis, it’s easy to fall into a routine for how you complete certain tasks. The more familiar you are with a process, the easier it can be to take shortcuts. On the flip side, the less familiar you are with a process, the easier it can be to make mistakes or become counterproductive when completing a task.
This can affect the system’s performance - making it look like the ERP solution isn’t working as efficiently as it should be when actually, it’s the user who isn’t being efficient. So, alongside revisiting your processes, revamp your training materials and schedules too. This can ensure every user receives the same level of training, whether they’re long-time employees or new recruits, have years of experience or are fresh graduates.
Keep the system up-to-date
How up-to-date is your ERP system? It may not come as a surprise that many businesses don’t update their systems as often as they should. After all, there’s always the chance that something might break/no longer works properly or your users don’t like the new functionalities and may require additional training. And you spent all that time getting their buy-in!
But consider the implications of running on out-of-date systems. Not only are you opening your business up to hackers and cybercriminals, but you’re also allowing your system to run at a less than optimal level.
This includes cleaning your data and keeping it up-to-date. Make sure you prioritise the maintenance of your ERP system and its data if you want it to run as efficiently as it can be.
Gain complete, real-time visibility
An ERP system isn’t just for facilitating process efficiency. You need to be able to quickly and easily view the information you need - as and when you need it. You may even need to access it on-the-go.
The best way to create this “one source of data truth” is to integrate your critical business systems. For example, connecting your ERP system to your CRM. Your CRM system complements your ERP by bringing your front and back-office data together. That means:
- A complete view of your customers
- Faster, more efficient access to the data you need
- Data accuracy
- Improved efficiency and productivity
- Better cross-team collaboration
An ERP-CRM partnership is key to growing your business
To truly extend the benefits of your ERP system, you should consider integrating your CRM and ERP solutions. In our guide, we discuss how a CRM system fits in an ERP world.
From the differences between the two systems and whether you need both to how to navigate the integration, learn more via the button below.