Obtaining Senior Management Buy-In
By Katie Foley
Whether your organization does not have an ERP system yet or your organization is relying on an outdated ERP solution, it can be easy for employees on the ‘front line’ of the manufacturing business to see the day-to-day inefficiencies and make the argument for a modern ERP solution. However, for senior management further removed from the day-to-day business processes, it can be a harder to make the argument that new ERP is a necessity.
Getting executive buy-in is one of the keys to a successful ERP project. Having senior management support the ERP project will help with everything from implementation to getting employees to buy-in to the project to getting an adequate budget approved for the project. If you are struggling with convincing a skeptical c-suite, here are some ways to get them on board:
Provide Total Visibility
Upper management may not to see the day-to-day business challenges, but they do rely on reports and analytics to get visibility over the business. Show them the opportunity for enhanced reporting capabilities that will allow them total visibility over the business in real time.
Quantify the ROI
Take the inefficiencies observed and turn them into concrete numbers for senior management to review. For example, maybe your organization relies on several outside manual processes. Show the executives exactly how much time is being wasted on these manual processes so that they can quantify the ROI of a new ERP solution.
Show the Opportunity for Growth
Growth is always a compelling argument for upper management. Perhaps your organization doesn’t have an ERP system, but has outgrown the manual processes or basic software it relies on or maybe your manufacturing business is nearing the functionality limit of an outdated ERP system- show the c-suite how a new, modern ERP solution can offer room for growth.
Executive buy-in is an important factor in a successful ERP implementation. Once you get their approval, keep the key players involved throughout the process to ensure employees stay engaged throughout the project. Be sure they are present for meetings and demos with vendors. Once you decide on a vendor and kick off the implementation, invite them to weekly status meetings or send them weekly status reports to keep them in the loop.