Mastering Your ERP Strategy: Guidance for Long-Term Success

SGH News


It’s an age-old question: How can you make the most of your business technology resources without losing control of the process?  

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a set of integrated solutions designed to assist businesses in meeting this goal. ERP systems offer powerful tools for managing and analyzing information, streamlining processes, and making better decisions. But for these benefits to be realized, your company must have a well-thought-out ERP implementation strategy in place. 

So, let’s delve into the world of ERP – and see how you can use it to ensure long-term success. In this article, we’ll provide you with the guidance you need to take your ERP strategy from concept to reality. Let’s get started! 

What Is an ERP Strategy? 

Have you ever wondered what an ERP strategy is? ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and it’s a system that helps organizations streamline processes, optimize operations, manage data, and increase efficacy. 

A successful ERP strategy is a plan to take advantage of the features and benefits of an ERP system, while focusing on long-term success. It requires careful planning and consideration, ensuring that all the unique needs of your business are addressed.  

The key components of an effective ERP strategy include: 

  • Alignment – aligning the objectives of your organization’s departments with the goals of the overall business. 
  • Communication – communicating clearly between departments for increased collaboration and understanding of organizational goals. 
  • Optimization – optimizing performance to develop cost efficiencies, improve customer service, reduce waste, increase productivity, etc. 
  • Deployment – deploying resources in an efficient manner throughout the organization by leveraging existing technologies and tools. 
  • Documentation – documenting processes to ensure consistency and accuracy in data collection and analysis. 

Building a robust ERP strategy won’t happen overnight. It requires dedication to creating a plan that can help steer your organization in the right direction while also preparing it for success over the long term. 

Steps to Assessing Your ERP Needs  

Having a comprehensive ERP strategy requires assessing the current state of your business, identifying any short-term needs, and pursuing a long-term solution. Here are the critical steps to take when evaluating your ERP needs: 

  • Define Business Objectives – It’s important to first identify the goals of your ERP implementation. What problems does the ERP system aim to solve? Your objectives should align with those of the company and set clear expectations for all stakeholders. 
  • Evaluate Current Systems & Processes – Once you have identified your business objectives, you need to review current systems and processes to understand what needs improvement. This assessment will help determine what type of technology is needed, as well as any additional resources required for implementation. 
  • Prioritize Challenges – With a clear view of where improvements can be made, prioritize challenges and determine which ones need to be addressed right away. 
  • Solution Screening – Once the priorities are established, researched solutions should be analyzed in order to determine the best fit for your business needs. The chosen solution should meet both short- and long-term goals while allowing flexibility for new initiatives or processes. 

By following this process and taking intentional steps toward building an ERP strategy, you’re ensuring that it will provide cost savings, increased efficiency, and improved customer service over time—setting your business up for long-term success 

Evaluating ERP Vendors and Solutions 

Considering the multitude of ERP vendors and solutions out there, it can be a challenge to evaluate each to find the one that’s best for your business. But it’s a crucial step in crafting an effective ERP strategy. 

Fortunately, there are several factors that you can use as criteria for making your evaluation: 

  1. Cost: You’ll want to understand the full costs associated with each solution—including licensing fees, implementation costs, and ongoing support and maintenance contracts. 
  2. Security: Vendor security measures should be up-to-date and compliant with industry standards, otherwise they won’t hold up against today’s cyberthreats.
  3. Scalability: Look for an ERP vendor whose solutions are easily scalable as your company grows over time—since onboarding employees will undoubtedly require new user licenses and other services over time.
  4. Support: What type of customer service offerings exist? Are training sessions available? Do they offer help if something goes wrong? All these things are essential components of an ERP system that can help ensure long-term success for your business. 

By evaluating vendors in terms of cost, features, security, scalability, and support services—you’ll know have a better handle on which one is right for you at any given time as part of building an ERP strategy for long term success. 

Steps to Implementing an ERP Strategy 

So, how do you go about implementing a successful ERP strategy? The process isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Here are some simple steps to get you started. 

Step One: Identifying Your Business Goals 

The key to a successful ERP strategy is having a clear understanding of your business goals and objectives. It’s critical that your team is on the same page when it comes to what business needs and wants from the new system. This helps ensure that your implementation is tailored specifically to your needs and expectations, driving long-term success. 

Step Two: Analyzing Your Data 

Once you have identified your business goals, you must analyze and quantify the data associated with those goals. This data will show which processes require automation and determine if an off-the-shelf or customized solution is necessary for certain objectives. 

Step Three: Making an Informed Decision  

After analyzing all of the data, you can make an informed decision on whether an ERP system is right for you. If so, there are several things you need to consider when choosing an ERP solution provider such as cost, scalability, integration capabilities, and customer support. 

By following these steps and putting in the hard work upfront, you’ll be well on your way to implementing a successful ERP strategy that helps drive long-term success. 

  • Gaining Stakeholder Buy-In

Having a great ERP strategy is one thing — getting your stakeholders on board is another. Many ERP initiatives fail because of a lack of stakeholder buy-in. Without it, you won’t have the understanding and resources necessary to see your efforts through to success. 

  • Demonstrate Value 

When it comes to gaining stakeholder buy-in, you need to show them the value of investing in an ERP system. You should provide evidence that your plan will be worth their effort, time and money by helping improve efficiency, accuracy and ultimately achieve their goals. A good way to illustrate this is by comparing how the current process works with how it will work after the ERP system is in place. 

  • Optimizing and Maintaining Your ERP Strategy 

When it comes to your ERP strategy, you don’t want to just set it and forget it — you need to optimize and maintain your strategy to ensure long-term success. 

  • Instilling Ownership of the System 

To start, assign ownership of the system and all its components. From managing security protocols and looking out for possible data breaches, to optimizing the benefits of your ERP system and making sure all new processes work seamlessly, having an in-house team dedicated to that responsibility is key. 

  • Establish a Maintenance Program 

Next, establish a maintenance program with checks and balances built in that can be used as a benchmark for ongoing improvements. This will form the basis of your ongoing optimization efforts, allowing teams to review processes regularly and make improvements as needed. 

  • Establish Strategic Objectives 

Finally, create objectives that are tied to measurable performance goals so that progress can be tracked over time. This will help management make data-driven decisions about how best to optimize their ERP strategy for long-term success. 


As with any long-term strategy, success requires planning, research, and execution. The path to an effective ERP strategy is the one that takes both time and dedication. It’s important to assess the current state of your business and develop a plan that meets the needs of your specific industry and company. 

When it comes to ERP, the process doesn’t have to be complex or time-consuming. Taking the time to understand the most important elements of ERP and how they will impact on your business will help ensure success in the long run. Ultimately, having a clear roadmap and well-thought-out strategy in place will give you the confidence to move forward with your ERP implementation.