Don’t forget the executive perspective when making ERP changes

////Don’t forget the executive perspective when making ERP changes

When managers and supervisors are the ones pushing for changes or upgrades to an enterprise resource planning system, or even considering the use of ERP for the first time, they have to take into account different perspectives when presenting the reasons to use ERP.

While those on the work floor and dealing directly in the back office will understand the benefits of specific features like automatic data capture and timekeeping software, executives that have to be involved with the purchasing process for ERP software often want a higher-level view of how such programs provide business advantages for an entire organization. Instead of focusing on procedural benefits on the work floor, those who want to change or upgrade the software should present the overall financial advantages and operational efficiencies that the right ERP solution can provide.

Explain both the advantages and steps to proper implementation
Getting decision-makers on board with the idea of using ERP can be relatively easy, especially in a field like manufacturing. In fact, 72 percent of all businesses in the manufacturing sector already use ERP software, according to research from Aberdeen Group. Because knowledge of the benefits of these systems is greater in this specific sector, the most difficult part of bringing about an ERP change may be getting everyone involved to understand what goes into a successful implementation process.

For businesses looking to avoid costly upgrades after they make a switch to a different ERP system, modular is likely the way to go, especially for the diversified needs of the manufacturing industry. Programs like Microsoft Dynamics NAV allow companies to create an initial setup focused on specific and unique needs without the costs associated with an all-in-one ERP system. Additionally, upgrades can be made after initial installation with ease, and at relatively low cost.

TechTarget points out that an overall implementation plan needs to be in place, no matter if it's an entirely new system being installed or just an upgrade. This is another area in which executives should consider an ERP upgrade, with those that want new software demonstrating they know how to formulate an effective path to use. When return on investment, overall employee training needs and other high-level considerations can be addressed, it's more likely that executives will listen to an internal call for an ERP upgrade.