How Can You Maximize ERP Value?
Now that you’ve implemented your ERP software, you can expect to see incredible improvements, from richer insights to fewer errors. However, your software investment is only as worthwhile as you make it. In other words, implementing ERP and never following up with system enhancements or evaluations will deteriorate your software’s value and prevent your business from generating long-term ROI. Businesses only use about 30% of their ERP functionality, which means you’re probably leaving money on the table.
Making your ERP a transformative solution for your enterprise requires a commitment to continuous improvement. Sure, that sometimes means taking on another software project or customization, but some of the best strategies for maximizing ROI are simply listening to users and looking over your operations. Below, we list our five tips for extracting the most value from your ERP software.
1. Review Business Processes
At every step of your ERP journey, the core focus should always be on your business processes. Are they running as smoothly as possible? Are you missing opportunities for growth or experiencing inefficiencies? Your business has undoubtedly changed since first implementing your software. That means your existing functionality might not be enough to keep up with new demands.
To ensure that your ERP continues supporting your enterprise, regularly review business processes. Your software should simplify this process, giving you KPIs and metrics that will expose weaknesses in your supply chain. Based on the issues you uncover, you can begin strategizing ways to improve your operations and solution. Maybe you need to automate a workflow. Or provide extra training to a department. Or customize a report to improve data accessibility. Just make sure any modification is pursued with the intent to streamline processes.
2. Manage Data Properly
Poor data management causes your enterprise performance to suffer. 76% of companies gain insufficient value from their data, and Gartner estimates that poor data quality costs businesses $15 million per year. As you reevaluate your business processes, don’t forget to check in on your ERP data. Are you producing frequent reports that nobody even uses? Are some employees struggling to access critical datasets? Make sure your reports and data analytics are providing users with the information they need for effective decision making.
For those struggling with data management, we have a couple of suggestions. First, undergo periodic data cleaning. Do you have outdated information cluttering your system? Delete or archive old or inaccurate data to make room for valuable insights. Second, store your data into a single warehouse. Many businesses utilize multiple analytics and BI tools to report against datasets across several platforms. Harboring information and reporting functions in one system results in faster, easier access.
3. Touch Base with Users
Some of the most important feedback on how well your ERP is performing comes from the end users. Senior management and IT teams often take the lead in ERP projects and management, but implementing changes without understanding the users’ perspectives could cause your business to miss out on opportunities to increase the value of your software and improve processes. Give users chances to voice their thoughts and concerns.
Additionally, continue offering training programs to both new and existing employees. Discover functionalities that give users trouble, and guide them through the features introduced in recent updates. Provide access to various resources such as video tutorials and on-demand training. This will encourage users to figure out how to solve problems and learn new tricks.
4. Integrate Systems
One of the most effective methods of increasing software ROI is systems integration. Running disparate applications is inefficient. Each platform houses data maintained in different ways. Some users are stuck manually entering information into multiple systems—and making occasional typos. Managing several disjointed solutions creates data silos and inhibits users from gaining a 360-degree view of enterprise performance.
With a software integration, your existing systems work as one. Integrating ERP and CRM gives you deep insights into customer needs. Connecting ERP with Marketing Automation software enables users to instantly reach out to customers with relevant messaging. Together, your ERP and eCommerce systems can seamlessly process online orders and maintain website accuracy. An integration provides bidirectional data synchronization to serve as a single source of truth for real-time business insights.
5. Join an ERP Community
Something as simple as talking to other ERP customers can drastically improve software usage. Online forums can give you answers to simple questions. However, to solve more complicated issues, develop new strategies or explore the latest ERP functionality, it’s better to meet with ERP customers in person. User groups are established across multiple regions, hosting meetings and webinars to promote continued learning.
For example, St. Louis includes a Midwest Epicor Users Group. The group meets regularly to discuss best practices and work through specific user problems. In our last meeting, we took a tour of some of the latest Epicor functionality, including the IoT feature and home page improvements. By joining an ERP community, you can learn from the mistakes and victories of actual users to optimize your solution.
Enjoying the full value of your ERP solution doesn’t require frequent, expensive investments into add-ons and customizations. When you stay on top of software best practices, user requirements and business goals, you can discover a wealth of opportunities to enhance your system’s worth.
Epicor ERP is a flexible, scalable solution that enables manufacturers and distributors to align their software to their changing demands. An Epicor Gold Partner, Datix can help you capitalize on Epicor functionality to reach business goals. In addition to providing a full array of ERP solutions and services, we also host the Midwest Epicor Users Group in St. Louis to promote continued learning. Plus, we offer continuous improvement plans to help businesses with ongoing projects and support. Our certified consultants are committed to working with clients from start to finish to maximize the value of their software.
Make the most of your enterprise software. Get in touch with an ERP expert at Datix today!