3 Tips for Achieving Buy-In for Your ERP Integration

When looking to achieve ERP integration buy-in, starting on the right foot typically leads to an auspicious project. If you don’t have the right enterprise colleagues on-board early in the evolution, your most useful ERP integration ideas will go fallow. At the outset, then, *although it may appear that starting at the top will make the most sense from a strategic perspective, creating the right interest at the right time usually works better from the middle out, since a wider intellectual ‘platform’ will help weather any subsequent challenges as you move up the management ladder.

Involve On-The-Line Managers First

In my own varied experiences of enterprise integrations, the most successful projects involved on-the-line managers first, who either immediately saw the value of ERP integration, or, in the event of a more dubious level of interest, they were at least willing to listen to my business rationales since these folks were in the mix with me, in the same place, at the same time. Assuming that clear interest is well-established the next step is to go to finance, where the money is either hoarded or distributed, depending on one’s operational perspective.

Recommended reading: Our guide to selling your ERP project to senior management will help you achieve executive level buy-in for new software.

Forget ROI…..for Now

In this case, talking to financial folks can often feel like sticking pins in your eyes, but once you understand what their goals are, working through one or more financial problems ends up being pretty cut-and-dried. In this event, it’s all about upfront bang for the buck not long term return-on-investment (ROI).

Demonstrate Value from the Outset

Many enterprise technical managers make the mistake of working on ROI valuation alone to sell an ERP integration project and usually get their heads handed to themselves. While that thinking may appear to be the most obvious business play, it’s really the tail wagging the dog. At the end of the day, to achieve ERP integration buy-in from finance, you must demonstrate that you can spend as little as possible, while securing the most value from the outset.

Many enterprise technical managers make the mistake of working on ROI valuation alone to sell an ERP integration project

Oh sure, a financial wonk may ultimately get around to the topic of ROI somewhere during a project sales dialogue, but that element is usually applied as a gating issue at the end of a project agreement, not at the beginning where the project is being offered up in its most fragile state. So, if you can get successful ERP integration buy-in from on-the-line managers and finance first, senior managers up the line typically see that validation as a rubber-stamp and consequently respond accordingly.

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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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