Three Ways to Tell if Your ERP Implementation Has Been a Success

When you set out at the beginning of your ERP implementation project, you will have set out your primary goals and objectives. Now that your ERP system has been up and running for a while, it is time to check in on performance.

What are the best ways to see whether your new ERP is making the difference you thought it would? Here are a couple of good places to start.

1. A Positive ROI

Any major business investment should be able to provide a return, so this should be your main success metric for an ERP system implementation.

Some investments may take longer to bear fruit than others and the larger the project, the more time it can take to prove an ROI. That doesn’t mean you can’t detect trends in the meantime. The payback period for an ERP system ranges from 1.7 to 3.2 years, with 2.7 years being the average. That might seem like a long time to wait but the payback itself should be significant enough to make the daunting outlay much easier to digest.

Planning when you expect to see a return (and how to calculate it) should have been a major part of your implementation planning process. It is unlikely you would have had sign-off to invest without it. (If you are reading this article prior to selecting a vendor and setting out your requirements, take a look at this ERP Selection Survival Guide for an overview of the entire process).

For help with forecasting, analysis and calculation, try this easy-to-follow ERP ROI template and tips from industry experts.

2. A Visible Increase in Productivity  

Seeing improvements in productivity will be an earlier indicator of success than the ROI. Look back at the objectives you set out around productivity and reducing human error. Are you hitting those goals? Are you seeing positive trends? With all the automated processing that ERP brings, you should start to see the benefits once your users have been trained and are making use of the features you chose.

Here are some of the ways that a successful ERP implementation improves productivity:

  • Improved communications
  • Reduced manual work
  • Slicker business process workflows
  • Better forecasting and data-driven decision making

If your users have been well trained and supported, then you should be able to see where your productivity improvements are paying off.  

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3. Increased Client Satisfaction

Are you getting orders to your customers quicker? Are your clients enjoying better communication with you? Is there a reduction in dispatch issues and other customer pain-points? All of these things are measurable and an easy way to find out whether your ERP implementation is having a positive effect.

You can track and optimize customer service metrics as well as organise communication with both the demand and supply side of your chain. Look back at the customer service KPIs you set out to hit when you went through your ERP selection process and look for signs of improvement. Again, this can be an early indicator to ERP success than the more overt ROI goal.

Helen Peatfield is a writer, editor, and regular contributor to ERP Focus. She has a wealth of experience in ad tech, supply chain management and SaaS. When she is not typing away at her desk, she can be found scuba diving or wakeboarding in the sunny Gulf of Thailand.