Less than 40%! That means 60% of their investment is sitting idle and not delivering any return on investment that justified their huge expense.
The author goes on to explain that 100% utilization is impossible. I agree. I consider myself reasonably competent with Microsoft Excel–and yet I’ll admit I learn new stuff every time I work with it. Some of the functionality will never appeal to me and likewise some of the ERP functionality may not be suitable for deployment at specific companies.
The author further alluded to the fact that ERP solutions are, by nature, a huge deployment project sometimes spanning multiple months. By the end of the deployment period, there is little energy left in the team to raise the utilization from “meeting minimum requirements” to “take it to the next level” and exercising the real power of the system.
The article’s single most important takeaway reminded me of the cartoon of the embattled warrior too busy fighting his war with bow and arrow to acknowledge the pestering salesperson pushing an evaluation of a machine gun.
Your ERP solution may have an awesome “machine gun” lurking just below the surface, eager to be deployed–which, in turn, will drive efficiency, improve productivity, reduce risk or provide other benefits. All too often, staff will create external solutions to issues using desktop tools such as Microsoft Excel without the knowledge that a better answer currently exists within their own ERP solution.
ERP software developers, like Spitfire Management, continuously deliver product enhancements and new functionality through updates of their software to clients on maintenance. This too can lead to the reduction of utilization of the application. If the installed clients are not supplied a list of these new features or don’t have ongoing education programs on how to deploy and use these new features, they quickly fall behind the curve.
What YOU DON’T KNOW about your software IS the ugly truth!
Spitfire Management encourages every company using a system installed for more than two years to conduct bi-annual evaluations with their vendor. Reviewing standard operating procedures and business workflow against the current ERP functionality will uncover opportunities for improvement.
Increased system utilization will drive greater return on investment!