3 reasons why you need an ERP system roadmap

Value points based on the usefulness of enterprise “road mapping” are rife with opinion, ranging from highly-granular tactical constructs to company-wide strategies. However, when ERP is involved, both perspectives apply equally, since the technology intrinsically straddles the “tactical” and the “strategic” on a daily basis.

For example, a typical “tactical” ERP roadmap primarily leans on operational granularity including:

Whereas, a typical “strategic” roadmap focuses on more overarching plan elements such as:

  • What are the enterprise’s business goals and objectives?
  • What direct and indirect business challenges apply?
  • What internal/external security threats apply?
  • Is the enterprise ready for a new platform in terms of resources and infrastructure?

Recommended reading: ERP selection survival guide - 10 steps to selection success

So, why do enterprise managers require one or more ERP system roadmaps? Well, regardless of type, here are at least three rationales to help get you achieve a clear understanding.

1. Workforce confidence

In the case of a full-featured ERP platform, major operational modules typically interact with each other on a daily basis, including personnel activities associated with; production, quality assurance, warehousing and inventory, HR, sales, marketing, procurement, and finally, accounting and finance.

Given this depth of workforce-driven processing, tactical and strategic ERP roadmaps should exist on the basis of well-established plans delivered to an enterprise’s workforce as a whole. this ensures everyone works from the same playbook, at the same time, for the same reasons.

2. Effective goal setting

This ERP roadmap value is sometimes lost in the midst of many of the more obvious elements, but nevertheless clearly supports the efficient growth of any ERP implementation. As the old saying goes; “if you start right; you’ll finish right”; however, there’s also “the middle” to deal with.

ERP users often lose faith when slogging through the heart of an implementation since there are typically many challenges to face as a system becomes more intrinsic to an operating environment. Therefore, any ability to illustrate and showcase periodic roadmap successes serve as points of encouragement that can, not only, help keep the trains running on time, but also remind an enterprise workforce which tracks lead to an ultimately successful business outcome.

3. Effective end-to-end cost control

To be blunt, the potential of runaway costs are the bane of any ERP system implementation. Consequently, ERP roadmaps serve as constant reminders to the enterprise that vigilant cost management must be paramount throughout.

The importance of cost management applies whether it’s simply oriented to an early system research effort, considerations associated with identifying and validating an ERP vendor partner, launch and implementation budgeting, or even minding one’s enterprise pocketbook right up the point where a system is about to “make money” on the bottom line. This latter awareness is really the most important roadmap rationale of all, since cost-creep is intrinsic to many enterprise threats. After all, if you’re not making more money than you’re spending, you’re not going to be in business very long.

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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

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