Wondering how to build an ERP upgrade business case in trying economic times? Our blog will tell you how.
Like any software, your ERP application will become outdated if not properly maintained or if new updates become available.
With this in mind, there will come a time when an upgrade is necessary – particularly if you want to stay ahead of the competition and achieve maximum efficiency.
Unfortunately, this is often a big investment that requires sign-off from the top of your organisation, and therefore a business case must be carefully and comprehensively put forward.
This should show that you have carefully balanced the risks and opportunities and article the fact that you re going into the project with your eyes fully open.
After all, there are significant costs and man hours involved in getting this right.
We’ve put our heads together and come up with several tips that could help you better express the case for a new ERP software.
Selling your case
In a perfect world, all decision makers will be aware of the need to upgrade when the time is right and will be sympathetic to your ideas. However, things are rarely this straightforward. If you feel the time is right to put the case forward, you’ll need to put together a carefully constructed analysis of what your current needs are and how a new ERP product will move you closer to these goals. Create a roadmap to success that incorporates real data to articulate your points.
Getting the costing right
When putting your case for a new ERP product, you might be tempted to under-estimate the level of investment required to get things right. In the long run, this is a bad strategy. Try to be as realistic as possible and even build in a worst case scenario into your expected costs. While this might hamper your initial efforts, being accurate with your costing will show you in a much better light once the project is completed. In the mean time, try to build your case around the financial benefits to the business after the initial outlay.
What are the benefits?
To counteract uncertainty caused by the significant costs that will hit your company (in pounds and man hours) you’ll want to present a benefits analysis to the key decision makers. This will show them that they’ll need to speculate to accumulate, and that ultimately, the money and effort required to upgrade will be more than worth it in the future. Don’t be afraid to discuss the intangible benefits as well – ease of use, more possibilities for customisation, more confidence in your product are all worth mentioning.
Include a risk assessment
Being realistic, honest and proactive is what convinces decision makers. With this in mind, make sure you carry out a risk analysis. This should not only include the potential pitfalls, but also how you will resolve them. This is a sure fire way to get people on board and inspire greater confidence in your abilities to deliver the project successfully.
A common concern is around giving up time that could be used elsewhere. To mitigate this, make sure you plan around the needs of various employees that are already stretched.
To recap – while you no doubt have fixed ideas about the benefits of upgrading, be aware that not everyone will share your point of view.
Your challenge is to convince people of the contrary. To do this, be open, honest and tackle any challenges head on in a proactive manner. First articulate your case and then anticipate the questions that will no doubt lie ahead.
If you need further help to build an ERP upgrade business case, contact one of our experts today by clicking here.
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