An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system integrates all key business areas into one interconnected software platform. Finance, accounting, operations, sales, and marketing can all be connected through an ERP, sometimes within one platform or with simple integrations. Companies receive many benefits from an ERP: enhanced visibility into existing data, improved forecasting, enhanced customer relationships, and more.
Many companies following the digital transformation trend seek an ERP, thinking that adding an ERP solves many of their business challenges. However, even when approached correctly, selecting and adopting an ERP platform alone won’t solve all problems. A sound ERP strategy that guides all aspects of use and alignment helps firms achieve their goals.
What Is an ERP Strategy?
We’ve defined an ERP, but what exactly is an ERP strategy? As the name suggests, it is the strategic use of an enterprise resource planning system as part of the overall business strategy. A good ERP strategy can help you reap the many benefits the platform promises, as well as help you achieve a good return on investment.
Business-Led ERP Strategic Plan
Thinking of your ERP as part of the overall business strategic plan is helpful. On its own, it is just technology. But with a clear business strategy leading the way, an ERP system becomes much more impactful.
At its most basic, an ERP strategy must include a well-defined vision and a comprehensive grasp of business requirements. To ensure that the overarching ERP strategy includes a path to achieve the company’s goals and objectives, it is essential to have the right mix of personnel included in both the planning and the execution. Even though accounting or finance usually leads the ERP planning and implementation process in most companies, it is important that all business areas are represented, and activity participating strategic planning process. By doing so, your company maximizes all opportunities to align the process with KPIs and goals.
Transparent Business Planning
Another element of ERP strategy is transparent, companywide business planning. Consider how the ERP system will be used as part of business planning. What information is needed from it to support planning, goals, and objectives, and the path to achieve those goals? How will the ERP be infused into companywide business practices?
Purposeful Data Strategy
One point in which many ERP strategies go awry is in the collection, maintenance, and use of data as a component of the overall strategy.
A data strategy, as part of an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) strategy, refers to a structured plan that outlines how an organization will manage, utilize, and leverage its data within the context of its ERP system. It involves making informed decisions about data acquisition, storage, processing, integration, and analysis to support the overall goals and objectives of the organization.
A sound data strategy begins with data governance. This means establishing rules, policies, and procedures for data management to ensure data accuracy, consistency, and security. Additionally, data quality management is also important. Personnel or teams must be assigned to monitor and address quality gaps.
Data integration is also vital for a sound ERP strategy. The ERP team must define which data from different sources will be integrated into the ERP system, ensuring seamless connectivity and consistency across the organization. Security must also be considered—how will the company keep the data secure?
Lastly, after ensuring the data is clean and ready to use, the ERP team can discuss the reporting strategy. Sometimes, ERP teams start with the reports they need and work backward through the data strategy to ensure they collect, manage, and maintain the data they need for their reports.
A well-defined data strategy within the ERP framework contributes to improved decision-making, operational efficiency, and organizational agility by ensuring that data is treated as a valuable asset and is used effectively to support business processes.
Create Your Optimal ERP Strategy Now
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) strategy is essential for organizations aiming to enhance operational efficiency, streamline processes, and align technology with strategic goals. By integrating various business processes into a unified platform, ERP systems eliminate data silos, improve accuracy, and provide real-time access to information. The cost savings resulting from efficiency gains, reduced manual labor, and better resource utilization, coupled with the competitive advantage gained through quicker responses to market changes, make an ERP system imperative. An ERP strategy is a crucial roadmap for achieving long-term success in a dynamic business environment.
Emerald TC is an expert Acumatica and Sage ERP consulting firm with over 23 years of experience. Our process is simple, but the results are dazzling. If you would like a consultation, we’d be happy to schedule a call. Please get in touch with us at (678) 456 – 6919.