Transform the C-Suite into ERP Advocates
C-level executives want to make money—not spend it. Therefore, convincing the C-Suite to back an ERP implementation can prove a little tricky. Employees or IT personnel might recognize inefficiencies or problems within their system and recognize the value a new ERP instance would provide, but executives might not see that. However, for ERP project success, the C-Suite needs to be on board. ERP consultants find that implementations get derailed when executives are on the sidelines. They play a critical role in managing progress, defining expectations, building enterprise-wide trust and, of course, financing the project. So how can their support be won? We’ll teach you how to make a case for an Epicor ERP implementation so convincing that it will be impossible for the C-Suite to ignore.
Build a Compelling Business Case
By building a compelling business case that justifies a new ERP system and demonstrates a positive ROI, your C-Suite can gain insight into the benefits of an implementation and be more likely to dedicate resources to the project. To build a convincing case, the needs of all stakeholders should be taken into account. Their concerns about the implementation should be considered as well. Anticipate their objections by explaining the steps the project team will take to ensure success. By going a step further and including stakeholders in the development of a business plan, you can also gain some key supporters for the system before presenting your case.
Additionally, if you plan on needing any customizations, bring this up as well. Customizations will cost more money and time, so explain why they are necessary and how they will contribute to a positive ROI. Throughout your business case, provide critical metrics and hard data to back up your claims. Ultimately, C-level executives will trust numbers more than anything else, so do your homework.
Compile Persuasive Data
So we just established the importance of utilizing convincing data in your business case, but exactly what data do you need to present? To provide an accurate cost-benefit analysis, you need to be diligent when collecting data and calculating projected ROI. When considering your total cost of ownership (TCO), look beyond the price tag on the software itself. Infrastructure costs, support plans, training costs, license fees, ongoing maintenance and consulting fees should be included in your calculations. Keep in mind that cloud hosting has been found to reduce TCO.
Now it’s time to determine all the money you’ll end up saving with your investment. First, look into the areas that are currently wasting time and money. Have operation cycles slowed down? Have there been inaccuracies in your forecasts? What about slips in your schedule, or production inefficiencies? Though this will take time, an effective way to demonstrate your pain points is to run weekly reports in your departments to estimate the duration of particular tasks or data processing.
Once you’ve collected data on the current weaknesses, calculate the areas of business improvement that are expected to result from an ERP implementation. A robust system such as Epicor ERP will improve procurement and payment protocols, reduce inventory and decrease regulatory costs for compliance. With faster processing times, customers will receive products sooner, improving the overall customer experience. Faster processing times will also increase your workforce’s efficiency. Plus, advanced predictive analytics will boost forecasting accuracy. Each of these improvements contributes to a greater bottom line. Your C-Suite is bound to join in on the implementation process with proof of the benefits of ERP.
Without C-level support, ERP implementations are doomed before they even get off the ground. However, thorough research of the benefits of ERP and a compelling business case can transform the C-Suite into software advocates, providing the necessary resources to ensure a smooth implementation process.
Need more ERP advice? Datix is a premier enterprise software consulting firm. An Epicor Platinum Partner with 20 years in business, we know ERP and the manufacturing and distribution industries inside and out. To find out what makes us the one-stop shop for enterprise software solutions, reach out to us today!