Enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms can make a company significantly more effective, but that is only the case if the business is able to maximize its ERP implementation. In a recent interview with Manufacturing Business Technology, manufacturing software professional Pete Zimmerman suggested that organizations ask and answer these five questions before adopting solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV:

  1. How will the ERP's ROI be calculated? Although this may seem like a basic consideration, too often businesses fail to think about this issue prior to adoption. Unless decision makers can clearly illustrate the true value of an ERP implementation both in the short term and in the long term, then the platform will likely create more problems than it solves.
  2. What does the business need the platform to do? This is in line with the first consideration, as Zimmerman said businesses should first establish clear use cases for ERP to make sure that the platform yields immediate benefits as soon as it is implemented.
  3. What does everyone at the company think about ERP? Making sure all end users buy into the platform and are able to fully leverage its benefits is key to ensuring its success. A NAV implementation can be seamless, but it will never yield a quality return on investment if various internal departments never bother to use it.
  4. How flexible is the ERP platform? As Zimmerman astutely noted, the trends and concerns of today's businesses will likely be noticeably different from those affecting enterprises five to 10 years from now. Because of the ever-changing nature of today's business environments, organizations should be sure their chosen ERP platform is flexible enough to account for any shifts.
  5. Does the configuration support mobile devices and the cloud? The proliferation of mobile devices and cloud-based solutions in the workforce has significantly impacted business operations, and Zimmerman posited that any ERP configuration that fails to take these trends into account will likely not be very helpful.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.