Return on investment can be a buzzword when it's thrown around too often or used to justify decisions without any sort of numbers backing up the choices made. Return on investment, when viewed away from the buzz that the term can generate, is also the goal of nearly all business decisions related to purchasing equipment, software and property. This is especially true for manufacturing and warehousing organizations, which usually have to tie up a relatively large amount of funds in the machinery used to produce and store their output as well as successfully manage their operations with enterprise resource planning software.

Here are three pieces of advice to get the most out of the financial and time commitments made to a new ERP system:

  1. Don't neglect training: Learning Solutions Magazine pointed out that training is one of the, if not the most, important parts of a successful ERP implementation. Teaching employees about the specific system functions they'll have to master is obviously crucial, but managers and executives also need to learn about the broader visibility provided by such a system. Offering targeted training as well as education about the end-to-end reporting possibilities of ERP leads to greater organizational understanding.
  2. Make it modular: Modular ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV allows for far more customizability and can be configured based on a variety of different financial and organizational needs. It is easier to get a good return on investment when spending is kept under control, after all. Building an individualized platform using the most appropriate components available is a better choice for most organizations than the out-of-the-box ERP that carries large costs at the start and as upgrades and updates are put into play.
  3. Keep options open: As a business expands and grows, there will likely need to be changes made to keep ERP as effective as possible. A modular system makes it easier to boost effectiveness in certain areas or expand the scope of visibility. One area that can often be improved during expansion is warehousing, and mobile warehousing management is a powerful solution. No matter what course a business decides to take with its ERP, any additions or changes also need to be explained and demonstrated to employees. ERP Focus called continuing training a key to success for businesses.