The survey surveyed more than 300 US manufacturers and distributors with a carefully crafted set of questions designed to strike at the basis of conceptions about ERP projects.
The focus was on ERP implementation projects in terms of schedule, costs, and expected ROI.
The survey found that an ERP project is too important to embark upon without first setting goals.
These goals should also form the basis for expectations in terms of return on investment (ROI). You might have a single over-riding priority, or you might have a long list of goals.
They asked 315 survey participants to select their “top three” most important goals for ERP.
Top 1 – Specific business cost savings 46%
Top 2 – Improve selected performance metics 46%
Top 3 – Reduce frustration and improve efficiencies in transacting business 40%
4 – Support growth 36%
5 – Reduce IT cost longer-term 35%
6 – Gain a competitive advantage through better use of technology 30%
7 – Improve interoperability in response to pressure from trading partners 13%
8 – Insure regulatory compliance 12%
9 – We have not set specific goals – we just knew we had to do something 4%
Several only selected one or two, and a very small percentage (4%) indicated they set no goals. They simply knew they had to “do something.” However, the vast majority did select three, leading us to believe that more often than not, they did indeed have a substantial list of goals
Specific business cost savings and improvement of selected performance metrics top the list, but we found it somewhat surprising that less than half (46%) selected each.
These two goals provide the most direct opportunity for ROI and most companies embarking on an ERP project must cost-justify the expense.
In the past, this was always a capital expense, but as software as a service (SaaS) becomes more prevalent, less (or no) capital may be required, perhaps making it easier to justify. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for ROI. An ERP project team is wise to take this finding into consideration.
If your current solution is not meeting your goals, or if you never set goals, it may very well be time to step back and perform an audit of your current solution to determine if it is living up to its full potential.