How to gain competitive advantage with ERP implementation?

A number of clients we work with believes in implementing a new ERP system just because they have to. However, we don’t really know that it is a reason enough to give it a go – especially not when you desire your initiative to be a success and to deliver transformative and competitive advantage to your firm.

Having broad goals is imperative for implementation of ERP software

Somewhere, it may make some sense that you require doing something with your outdated legacy software which you have outgrown. Maybe, the ERP system is not supported by the software vendor any longer. Or, maybe you have customized the software too much that it is not realistic that you keep on using it. Or it could also be that you have just outgrown your current system and unable to make your future growth goals come true with it.

You should know that the ERP system is capable of doing a lot more than simply replacing your previous technology with it. Like, it may interest you that a number of current software have grown tremendously in the overall functionality, like artificial intelligence, Analytics, business intelligence, advanced planning and a number of other areas which can boost your competitive advantage. Meanwhile, there are chances of this functionality getting weak – or maybe not leveraged-at-all, in case your major goal is just to replace your present system.

Often, ERP system implementation can be difficult as well as tricky to start with. And then the intensity of difficulty reaches an all new level when there are no clear goals or direction for your project. Think it like, there are two projects: one has the goal to replace an outdated legacy system while the other has the objective to enhance customer-experience in order to compete better with the competitors. Now which do you think is more certain to deliver higher ROI (return on investment) as well as fuel growth? Choose for yourself.

The need of-an-hour is focusing on the bigger picture

Keeping that in the mind, it is vital that you take a step back and clearly define your vision for ERP or say digital-transformation project. Like what you truly desire to attain? What kind of business enhancements are you expecting? How can you realize those enhancements with modern technology? How your project governance will be aligned with all those objectives during the implementation? So, these are a few of the myriad questions you need to be asking yourself and also your team in order to attain success.

At the same time, it is also advised to define clearly the anticipated business benefits & enhanced efficiencies in detail. Keep in mind that your business case needs to be more than simply a means to justify your project, rather it must also offer a way to track & manage benefits going forward. It works well to consider it as a living benefits achievement plan that is of extreme importance and won’t just sit on shelves collecting the dust post the project starts off. This way, you can definitely realize full benefit potential as well as desired ROI.

How does ERP implementation or digital transformation benefit?

Other than the long-term benefits, focusing on bigger picture objectives will also ensure that your ERP execution or digital transformation goes pretty well. As it happens quite often that firms who are keen on replacing old systems tend to get lost while the implementation. There is no clarity while making crucial decisions, like how to define business scope, how to streamline business processes, whether there is a need to customize and myriad other issues. When there is no clear mission of what you intend to attain, you are simply shooting in the dark while making these important decisions.

What should be the next step then?

So, what is the best way to ensure that you are rather focusing to gain ultimate competitive advantage than to not just replace-the-old-system? Well, the best way is to begin during the implementation planning procedure. You need to ensure that these questions are answered & incorporated into the implementation plan, project charter as well as the entire project approach. It is vital that the ratio of benefits such as integrated processes and enhance workflow equals improved customer satisfaction. To make the processing better, it is advised to get the help of adept ERP consultants.

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