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blog | November 17, 2015

When The Boss Says No…

How to Convince the Boss to Approve a New ERP When you believe your current ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software or the current processes your company uses are not...

By WorkWiseSoftware

How to Convince the Boss to Approve a New ERP

When you believe your current ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software or the current processes your company uses are not enough to make the business thrive, and a new ERP solution is needed, fight for your beliefs. Knowing the business is running inefficiently or the cost of getting a new ERP solution will save more in the long-run should be discussed and shared throughout the company. Generally, the final decision on whether or not to move forward comes down to one person, or group of people.

This could be the owner, president, CEO, board of directors, or a combination. Often times, they do not know the full details of the company’s processes and day-to-day issues of the business. They are looking high level at numbers and data related to what the final results or products are, not necessarily how they get there. Knowing this, and that there are many ways to approach this process, here are some tips for getting your bsss to approve a new ERP project.

1: Understand the Boss.

Before trying to convince the Boss of anything, it is important to know what motivates him/her to get up every morning. Do they live for numbers and statistics? Do they live for continuity and ease of flow? Do they like to keep things simple and organized? Or do they see value in more complex operations?

Any information can be important when trying to get your message through. Speaking to coworkers who have firsthand experience working with or trying to convince the Boss can be insightful. Anything you can pick up on in emails, during company meetings, or in general conversation can be beneficial as well.

2: Grasp the business thoroughly.

This can be very difficult depending on how large your company is, what the company offers as a product and/or service, and if there are multiple locations. However, the more you can understand about the business, the better. The more thorough you can be in justifying an ERP solution, the better.

There are many ways to help learn more if your knowledge is limited due to work experience or the area of the business you work in. Talking to others in different departments or sections of the business to gather their insights and views is a great start. Reviewing any internal documents on processes and systems can also be a big help.

It’s important to focus in on any differentiators between your company and competitors, as these are often strengths that seem even better when bolstered. Even so, finding weaknesses and turning them into strengths (or at least making them not weaknesses) might be of equal or more importance. Honing in on these key areas could be make or break in convincing the Boss on whether or not to make a change.

3: Convey problems of your current system or methods used.

Many issues can arise in using an ERP or a different method of tracking information for the company. It is important to know what they are so that you can relay this to the Boss. The area you work in will be your expertise, so be sure to thoroughly review as much as you can. You may find later when talking or writing about it, it is the area you are most passionate about replacing since you work in it often.

Some of the potential issues include: double data entry which increases the chance of human error and is cumbersome, a lack of transparency and easy accessibility to updated information, tedious reporting or gathering and centralization of data for report and/or analysis, and having to use multiple systems or methods because the one system you do have can’t handle your needs.

4: Seek support from other parts of company.

After getting your area pinned down, reach out to others that work in other areas of the business and get their insight on the current system or methods. They might be able to offer insights on other parts as well, perhaps even the one you are in, that you and others may not have thought of.

At the very least, they can elaborate on what is lacking in their departments and where vast improvements could be found with a new ERP. If you have frustrations, it means they probably do too and can elaborate on many of them as well. The more employees and areas of the business you can cover, the stronger your case is for a new ERP.

5: Create financial support for a new ERP.

This is where knowing the Boss can really pay off. There are many things you can put to support a new ERP, financially. You can put the total ROI, break it down by department or area, show money saved on labor, reporting on data and processing information, and much more.

Determining how many details and numbers to put in the financial support depends on the Boss. Some bosses might want a breakdown of total ROI and then departments. Other might want ROIs by department broken down into further detail down to different job functions or employees. Key in on which your boss is more likely to respond to and keep your financial data consistent to it to get the best reaction.

6: Get help from the outside.

If everything previously mentioned seems overwhelming or too time consuming, there is outside help available. There are consultants and companies who can come in and evaluate the current processes and procedures for the company to find weaknesses and strengths, areas requiring more attention, and suggestions for improving the business. One of these suggestions could very well be a new ERP solution.

Although it costs money to hire another person or company, it could be more cost effective to outsource this process rather than do it yourself, and it certainly would be less stressful. This is a little more risky, however, if the Boss does not think it is necessary or does not agree with the results for whatever reason.

7: Explain competitive advantage.

Outside of the specific in-house and financial benefits, there are also larger, company-based benefits to consider as well. One being that should the company want to come up with a new product or service, or launch a new part of the business, this large growth will be easily handled under an ERP solution. A company without out, or with one that does not work well, cannot say the same and could struggle mightily to keep up.

Another key advantage is that it gives you an edge on or puts you on the same ground as your competitors. You will be able to run the business, track data, and provide equally or better customer service. The better you are able to do these things, the better and more profitable the business will be.

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