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How to Get More from Your SAP ERP

Posted on: 22-08-2016 09:43:11505


It’s scary to think that it’s almost a year ago today that we worked with Sean Culey to publish his ‘Five Reasons Your ERP System Isn’t Providing the Desired ROI’ eBook. Time certainly does fly.

However, the points made by Sean in his eBook are as fresh and relevant today as if they were published an hour ago. Why? Because the man-effort and monetary investment required to implement a new ERP system, such as SAP, means organizations are highly unlikely to chop and change their ERP as if it were an easily replaceable commodity. We’re not talking about switching broadband providers here. So for those that missed our initial marketing efforts for what is an excellent piece of content, I will provide a succinct summary for a few of the key points below. Only a few though, as you’ll have to download the entire eBook for the full and proper story! I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t squeeze in a CTA somehow…

The Business Does Not Take Enough Ownership of the ERP System

One of the major reasons why many ERP installations fail to deliver the anticipated results is because implementation was owned by IT and not jointly shared with the business. Aberdeen Group explain that ‘best-in-class’ implementations are 35% more likely to have business professionals accountable for their success.

When an ERP system is implemented as a software project its success factors are determined by IT; could people log on OK? Did it work without crashing? Was it delivered on time? And so on. In contrast, senior executives want to see business results. Does it make the business more responsive, reliable or agile? During the eBook Sean explains that ‘these contrasting success factors leads IT to believe that it has done the job well, but the business to believe that it has been short-changed and mis-sold an expensive ‘silver bullet’ solution that failed to deliver.’

Without fully understanding how the business wants to utilize such systems, an organization will be left with an out-of-the-box solution that won’t necessarily fit their specific needs.

Lack of Ownership and Accountability for Data

Another key reason ERP implementation projects are thought to fail is because the business lacks ownership and accountability for data. In an article for the European Business Review, Sean draws a comparison between this and the construction of a skyscraper; if you do not build on solid foundations then all subsequent initiatives will come crashing down in a cloud of misinformation, distrust and lag KPI’s.

John Thorp, the author behind ‘The Information Paradox’, explains that those who create dedicated data management job roles experience a 91% increased likelihood that they have a real-time visibility into the status of all processes from quote to cash.

Data is often seen as boring and unglamorous. Yet, Sean warns that ‘if you were to ask any business who has implemented an ERP system, without understanding or appreciating the importance of data management, whether they would turn the clock back and do it differently, the answer is always a resounding ‘yes’. Many don’t realize until it is too late, and then become daunted by the prospect of cleaning up years of old and inaccurate data.’

Good Stuff. And the Rest?

I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read thus far, but I’m afraid this is where it ends. I’ve briefly highlighted two of Sean Culey’s five key reasons why ERP implementation projects fail, but your journey doesn’t need to end. You can download the eBook in its entirety here. This includes three further reasons for ERP project failure, but expands on the two I’ve essentially tried to power phrase. Download it. You won’t regret it.

Joe Edwards
UK Marketing Manager

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