Executive Sponsorship Essential to ERP Project Success
Research and due diligence are important components in any ERP search. Before pulling the trigger, don’t overlook an additional essential component that is key to success: leadership buy-in. If you don’t have an engaged executive sponsor, you may be wasting your efforts.
Implementing new ERP system has been compared to corporate open heart surgery. Preparation for the important process should be carefully approached. If leadership is part of the process, that is a good start to a successful investment that pays off over time.
If there is not executive buy-in, then the project is, by definition, off to a shaky start. Executives add value by guiding and monitoring big decisions and progress as it relates to a corporate direction. The executive role should be more than approving the purchase and signing a check. ERP projects involve big change that affects many staff members. Extra work will inevitably be required, and should be recognized. Visible support from the top shows support for employees doing the work and will provide needed motivation to get the job done right.
Attaining leadership support
First, define the importance of a new solution. To remain competitive, businesses must take advantage of tools that enable modern strategies. How will a new system make doing business easier and more efficient? Will data be easier to analyze and more readily accessible through dashboards via the cloud? For example, defining key benefits and the specific impact of those benefits to the company are a good first step.
Remember to highlight the ROI. The cost of a significant investment should be weighed against the benefits. Once the benefits have been defined, estimating the financial impact over time will help to justify the investment. Tangible benefits are easy to calculate. Intangible benefits can be hugely impactful as well and should be considered, even if they can’t be fully quantified. For example, if your business is using a locally installed ERP system that is not optimized in the cloud, there are many benefits to updating your deployment model to a more modern cloud based system. Some of those benefits (such as the cost of hardware, backup software, etc) can be easily quantified. Other significant benefits, such as the value of a system that is always accessible from anywhere, are considerable even though it may not be possible to assign an exact dollar value.
The champion for the project plays a key role in keeping the executive sponsor(s) in the loop as the implementation progresses. A champion keeps the executive sponsor informed and seeks input from leadership, so that no delayed surprises occur.
Are you currently researching and evaluating your cloud ERP options? If so, we encourage you to consider Acumatica’s true cloud ERP solution. Contact our team of experts with any questions, or to schedule a product demonstration.