Three ERP productivity benefits that c-level will love

From an operational perspective, ERP’s advantages are typically well-understood and largely accepted within most enterprises. However at the management tier this value can be become somewhat confusing.

In the main this lack of clarity is usually due to the particular needs of individual senior managers, what business drivers are seen to be obvious and useful, and most importantly, what levels of performance are to be expected.

In order to eliminate some of the haze, we’re offering four ways that senior managers can define ERP’s value pretty quickly, however, every manager has his/her approach to what is and isn’t worthwhile.    

1. Enhanced enterprise information sharing

One of the most obvious of all ERP values relates to the propagation and migration of accurate information throughout a business. As a practical matter, this means that various departments and divisions can operate and act on the basis of common sets of metrics, requirements and data points.

Although today’s cloud is largely driving the application of premise-based, stand-alone information environments to the wayside, these commercial configurations still exist. Many companies, both small and large, face challenges overcoming functional silos and consequent information sets that cannot be easily shared by necessary groups of participants.

These weaknesses can disrupt the movement of information from the customer level to the inventory and shipping dock, ultimately causing headaches to senior managers who are typically remote to any of these kinds of issues.

Guide: how to sell your ERP project to senior management

However, should one of these overburdened senior execs move toward a consolidated ERP platform, many of these silos would disappear. A core advantage of resources-based technology is to streamline and deliver data that becomes useful to all parties simultaneously - and in real-time.

2. More efficient decision making

In the same ways that information consolidation adds value, increased information also provides enhanced support to senior management. The old saying ‘get there with the mostest’ still applies; particularly given today’s demands for operational speed and accuracy both internally, and when dealing with the needs of a global marketplace.

At the c-level, these responses typically emerge as operational or financial bottlenecks, consequent with low-level processes they have little control over. For example, financial managers can find themselves a loggerheads because up-to-date information is not readily available, work in progress issues can cause revenue disruptions, or financial plans can be suspended accordingly.

On the other hand ERP is purpose-built to deal with the delivery of snapshots that can help managers, and ultimately the entire enterprise avoid such problems.

3. Enhanced business intelligence accuracy

Senior managers live and die on the basis of equal parts business prudence and the effective deployment of risk management decisions. In both cases, solid and timely business intelligence is paramount.

This is particularly critical given today’s commercial bent toward virtual, mobilized business, since when one ‘loses sight’ of one’s operations, bad things typically happen. Consequently, ERP tenets easily support multi-channel support of enhanced business intelligence, since to be frank, that’s what they’re designed to do.

Certainly there are other more complex values involved when considering senior management expectations relating to ERP, but these three suggestions should offer a general guide toward what next-steps are available.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton