Critical Success Factors are the 80/20 of ERP – and Business – Success


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Published January 16, 2015

One of my clients had three sets of ERP system demos this week in a quest to select the best system to meet their business objectives. Not only is it a vital part of selecting the optimal system, I also find that it is always interesting to see how the software will meet the particular client’s needs – and what a big difference the people and presenters make in the process.

This week was no exception; being razor-focused on critical requirements paid off. In essence, what is unique about the industry or company? For example, is serial number tracking required? And/ or what functionality is needed to support the company’s strategy, growth plans or profit drivers? For example, one that arose this week is that the company does an impressive job of forecasting manually to drive high service levels during rapid growth. Does the system support this need in an efficient way?

Are you thinking about your critical requirements? Whether selecting a system, thinking about your daily priorities or designing a new business process, it will be a worthwhile exercise.

One tip to implement this week:
Think about your critical success factors. Whether you are selecting a system or not, you’ll make better decisions if you understand these factors. It depends on your position: 1) If you are an executive, think about what makes your company stand out from the competition? And think about what drives business growth and profitability. 2) If you aren’t an executive, think about what seems to be important in your sphere of influence. What might seem more important or be different from what you learned in school or experienced at other companies? Do those factors seem like contributing factors for success? Take ideas to your manager, owner or executive. I have no doubt it will be a “win”. These critical factors are more important to success than the rest. Thus, treat them as top priorities. Success will follow.