The need for new business management software, like ERP and CRM, is usually first recognized by the finance and line of business managers. You see the inefficiencies first hand – employees tracking information in spreadsheets, time lost searching for information and reports that don’t answer the right questions. But convincing the boss to invest the time and money in a new system can be challenging.
Building a business case for ERP
When business processes or system limitations are starting to impact the success of the business, it’s time to build the case for ERP. As a strategic investment for the business, a systematic approach will help everyone map out how ERP will improve business operations.
There are three primary issues to address in building the business case, Including:
- Project funding – The benefits that an ERP implementation can deliver has to be balanced against the cost. Every business owner fears the potential failure and scope creep of any IT-related projects. Creating a clear case for the return on the investment is critical to presenting your case. Outline the specific savings – productivity, inventory control, IT support – that will result from the ERP implementation.
- Competitive advantage – In an age when every customer can find another vendor with a simple internet search, good customer service is no longer an option. If your systems can’t keep up with the competition, you will lose business sooner or later. Providing a comparison of what other companies like yours are doing will help to illustrate the importance of ERP investment.
- Risk control – This issue is two-fold – external and internal. External risks usually come in the form of government compliance and your ability to manage those processes reasonably. ERP systems today make compliance tracking and reporting much less time consuming. Internal risk for a growing business increases as more people have access to valuable resources. Audit controls will protect the company against potentially devastating loss.
The success of your organization may depend on the business case you build for ERP. While management may think that the current systems are good enough, as a hands-on manager, you see the real world. Help your upper management see the importance with a well-researched business case.
Let’s build the case together. If you need help convincing your boss that an ERP system will provide the foundation that your business needs, let’s talk.