Selling ERP to the C-Suite
When you’re deciding whether to introduce enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems into your business operations, you’ll need to get your C-suite executives firmly onboard. As the organization’s major decision-makers, they have critical insight into the business’s needs, goals and direction, and their approval carries tremendous weight.
Fortunately, ERP systems provide an array of benefits for C-suite managers, as well as for your overall operations. Persuading your C-suite that an ERP is the right choice for your company can be simple if you focus on the wealth of management advantages an ERP can offer. In the guide below, we’ll highlight how ERP solves management problems and discuss why the C-suite needs ERP.
Why ERP Matters to Managers
When you’re considering why managers need ERP, think about all the responsibilities that fall to higher-level executives. In the past, C-suite executives might have left technological advances to their IT departments and focused the bulk of their work on more traditional executive decision-making. Today, many C-suite managers are taking on redesigned, broader roles at the heads of their companies. They often wear multiple hats — including those of educators, guides, coaches and technological planners.
From a tech standpoint, many higher-level executives now have several roles to play. On a daily basis, they must have the technological fluency to assess their business’s current architecture, understand the decisions that led it to its current status, evaluate how well the existing system is working and make the best decisions they can to guide future investments. They must also stay on top of inventory planning to ensure customers can get the products they need when they need them.
C-suite executives must also consider how the value chain is working in their businesses. Part of C-suite executives’ daily work involves planning, scheduling and overseeing every aspect of that chain to provide the best value for customers and the best return on investment for the business. Additionally, they may oversee mid-level managers and coach them in how to draw the best efficiency and production from their employees.
ERP helps with all these responsibilities. It allows high-level managers to access the real-time data they need to make informed decisions and provides the technological function they need to keep their operations running at high efficiency and productivity.
Benefits of ERP to the C-Suite
When you’re deciding whether to incorporate ERP into your business practices, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons and take a realistic look at how the software can streamline your operations. Below are some of the many advantages ERP can provide for the C-suite:
1. Enhanced Efficiency
Companies that use ERP can eliminate repetition in their processes. By having information at their fingertips, they can keep track of what they have and haven’t done. The automation possible with ERPs also radically reduces the amount of manual data entry a company’s employees must perform. This frees them up for more focused work on their core responsibilities and helps them respond to customers’ needs faster. It also eliminates many of the mistakes that result from human error and may lead to costly losses and time delays.
ERP provides a wealth of information that helps streamline business processes, so even information collecting becomes more efficient. And managers can glance at the available data and determine what areas have slowed down and require their urgent attention.
2. Reliable Forecasting
C-suite executives need the ability to look perceptively into the future, analyze trends and steer their company on a productive and profitable course. The dependable forecasting abilities that come with ERPs can help them do just that.
ERP provides high-level executives with technological tools to make correct predictions easier. These tools help businesses pinpoint more accurately what they will need down the road — from inventory to sales numbers to customer service practices. And because ERP data updates in real time, executives will always have the latest numbers available to use as a foundation for their predictions and decisions. Thinking ahead and predicting future needs correctly using ERP helps higher-level executives chart a course for profitability and growth.
3. Increased Interconnectivity
C-suite executives need all their departments to be on the same page. ERPs facilitate progress toward that goal by making communications between departments much easier. A department manager in one area won’t have to spend time calling several other managers to get the information they need — they can take advantage of the ERP’s centralized data repository to get answers. An ERP system provides easy, centralized data access that makes it easy for different departments to share information and work together on projects.
Many of the benefits of ERP add up to valuable cost savings. By providing automated data in a centralized location, an ERP system reduces the amount of money spent on the administrative and operational costs of data entry, manual report generation, interdepartmental communication and other aspects of information communication that ERP can provide automatically.
It also gives managers the tools they need to be proactive in their management and troubleshoot problems before they occur. They can identify potential operational disruptions, prevent downtime and delays, minimize information bottlenecks and generally increase the business’s return on investment with each decision.
5. Streamlined Procedures and Boosted Productivity
One of the most important benefits of ERP to managers is the increased employee productivity it offers. With the help of ERP, managers can trim unnecessary procedures, focus employee efforts and boost productivity by concentrating work in the area where its benefits will go furthest. By providing the same accurate information to everyone and minimizing the need for time-consuming manual data entry, an ERP system helps processes like production, order fulfillment, shipping and delivery move faster and satisfy more customers quickly.
Considerations to Make When Getting an ERP System
When your business is choosing an ERP system, there are a few factors you’ll want to keep in mind to ensure you get the most benefit for your C-suite executives. Below are a few C-suite considerations for ERP:
- Communications: Good ERP should facilitate communications between all levels and departments of your organization by providing valuable, accessible and up-to-date data.
- Innovation: Effective ERP should also be capable of adaptability and innovations that will keep you ahead of your competition over the long term — potentially by including advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent ERP (i-ERP).
- Integration: The independent ERP consulting group Panorama Consulting Group has found that ERP use is most successful when it focuses on integrating people, processes and technology. An ERP system should also provide seamless integration with your business’s other operational platforms, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software.
- Reporting: Ideally, the ERP you choose will provide robust report generation functionality, including report customization, a suite of configurations and the inclusion of real-time data.
- Scalability: Your ERP system should be able to grow with your business. It should continue providing benefits as you expand your client base and increase revenues.
- Security: A quality ERP system will come with security features to keep your data private and protected from malicious intrusions.
- Upgrades: To be most advantageous, ERP systems should change with the times. The best ERP for your business will offer upgrades as better features become available to meet the needs of a changing marketplace.
Let FDM4 Supply Your ERP Solutions
To see the benefits of ERP software that allows you to manage your inventory more efficiently, ship orders faster and receive real-time data about your business operations, partner with FDM4.
Our apparel-industry ERP lets you monitor and manage apparel from inventory to order fulfillment. Our non-apparel-industry ERP can offer the same benefits for a variety of industries to make your business more efficient, productive and savvy in leveraging data-collection and data-analysis benefits. Contact us today to learn more.