At the heart of the information system, the ERP is presented as an essential component of the strategy of the industrial company, and, when it is deployed for the first time or when it is renewed, offers an opportunity to the organization to reinvent themselves.
This management tool aims to ensure that the strategic orientations and the information system are aligned to best support decision-making. But any ERP project, to be carried out, requires a strong involvement of the general management.
What are the benefits of ERP for senior management?
The management tool offers the general management centralized control of their business and an overview of all the operations carried out: from the purchase of raw materials to invoicing, including customer relationship management. , production, stock volume or even distribution, the whole chain is managed by the ERP system.
This management tool allows decision-makers to identify efficient processes, those to be improved and to guide them in their decision-making. The software gives the possibility to the general management to follow financial, business, production or sales indicators in order to measure the productivity of the different activities. This precise vision, based on data from the various departments, represents a major asset for discovering new levers of differentiation and potential growth opportunities on the market.
The level of involvement of the general management for the success of an ERP project
The implementation of an ERP project is crucial for the growth of a company. In this case, it is the responsibility of the general management to instill a dynamic within its organization. For this, the involvement of decision-makers in the choice and deployment of the management tool is essential for the success of the ERP project, at several levels.
Define the strategic challenges of the project
Whether it is the deployment of a first management solution or the replacement of existing software, the initial scoping of the ERP project is an essential step. In this case, it is the responsibility of the general management to assign specific objectives to the project concerning at the same time the data, the processes, the resources, the expected return on investment… These objectives can be as well at the industrial level, financial or performance related. The more the scope of software implementation will be clearly established and measurable, the more monitoring and understanding will be facilitated by the project teams.
Decision makers must also ensure that this project is part of the company’s DNA. Indeed, during a change of the information system, it is necessary to ensure that the new orientations chosen respect the current trades, the future needs, the organization and the development prospects of the company.
Determine an expected level of requirement
From the beginning of the reflection, the general management is committed alongside the project teams on the methods of the choice of the ERP and the level of commitment expected: the drafting of the specifications and the realization of a comparative study. Various criteria will be decisive in the choice of the solution such as functional coverage, technology, positioning, modularity and scalability of the solution, in order to make this investment reliable in the long term.
Securing funding for the project
The average lifespan of an ERP tool being estimated at more than 10 years, it therefore represents a significant investment. It is important that the general management estimates the budget of the ERP project in terms of acquisition of licenses, configuration and training, but also of specific developments, maintenance and updates. Depending on its size, its IT infrastructure and its ambitions, the company must make a coherent choice between an On-premise or SaaS solution, respecting the planned budget while being able to bring value to the improvement of working conditions and to the structure’s capacity for innovation. Care must be taken not to fall into the trap of equipping yourself with financially attractive and poorly maintained management software.
Build a “win-win” partnership with the publisher-integrator
Because the chosen software solution is likely to last within the organization, it is also the responsibility of the general management to validate the profile of the editor-integrator. Faced with a multitude of solutions present on the market, the company must choose between general publishers, specialized industry publishers, small publishers or newcomers, the partner who will be able to meet the specifications and the strategy. WHETHER.
Au-d Beyond the solution it offers, this service provider positions itself as a pilot capable of understanding the DNA of the company, its businesses, its challenges in carrying out the project. It is therefore important that the general management works to select the right partner and to create a lasting relationship organized around clearly defined responsibilities. A relevant choice of the future publisher-integrator will be based on its expertise, its methodology, its support, its financial solidity, or its customer references in your sector of activity.
The place of general management in change management
To take full advantage of the ERP, the involvement of the general management is necessary in the management of change. It must be able to mobilize all resources in order to adhere to the project and generate a visible return on investment.
Maintain your presence during the project
To support this change management, the general management must get involved in the management at all levels of the project. Indeed, it must grant the human resources as well as the financial resources related to the project, arbitrate the various decisions to be taken, manage the unforeseen, identify the brakes and communicate on the progress of the project and the respect of the objectives.
Ensure employee involvement
Integrating a new management solution involves changing work habits and adopting a new tool. To promote the integration of ERP in the daily life of your employees, continuous communication is the key factor for the success of the project. Communicating before the launch of the ERP project to employees in order to explain the objectives and expected results helps to avoid possible resistance to change. The general management must therefore set up a regular exchange with the teams in order to maintain maximum involvement throughout the duration of the project.
Upgrade your software solution
An ERP project requires a long-term human, financial and time investment. Indeed, an ERP project does not stop the day the tool is in operation. To ensure the sustainability of the software solution over time, the general management must be able to develop the tool by integrating new functionalities or specific developments. The objective is to adapt the ERP system to the strategic orientations of the company with a view to performance and growth.
The responsibility of the general management is then identified as decisive in the success of an ERP project. From the definition of strategic objectives, to the selection of the solution, including the adherence of all the stakeholders to the project, the general management steers and guarantees the proper implementation of the initial project, which is essential to the governance of its business.