Convincing the Corner Office to Invest in an ERP Project

ERP projectThere are many, many important steps that go along with an ERP project but the first step must be to get approval from the company CEO/owner. Whether it entails ERP upgrade, migration, or the implementation of your company’s first ERP system, it is important to approach the conversation from the right angle. Sure, you have your reasons for wanting to start the project, but unless you can present it in such a way that shows upper management how it will help the company as a whole, you may not get the approval you need to move forward. Here are a few tips to help you outline your talking points.

Cut to the chase: CEO’s and C-level execs are incredibly busy, just like you are, so don’t tap dance around the topic, jump right in to the issues at hand.

Address their goals: While you surely have your reasons for wanting to start this project, frame the conversation in terms of your Owner’s goals; for example, increasing efficiencies, improving profitability, faster decision making, global expansion, etc. What is your company’s mission statement? That is another place where you can get some insight into how best to touch on the points most important to the company as a whole.

Address their concerns: Your company owner is always concerned about one thing- how to maintain and improve cash flow. While they will surely be interested in how the project will help drive business and increase efficiencies, overall ROI and total cost of ownership will be #1 on their mind during the conversation. So go in prepared. Here are a few resources to help you learn more about discussing these particular areas. Keep in mind that the overall cost and ROI will be determined by the project you’re pitching, but this will help you get through that initial conversation.

Outline problems and solutions: What problems are going on across the organization that can be addressed by this ERP project? Are managers from other departments talking about issues such as inaccurate or cumbersome reporting? Is inventory management getting too expensive? These are the types of problems to bring up because they speak directly to the concerns of most business leaders – efficiency, profitability, and strategic decision making. Don’t just bring up the problem though, follow up right away with how the ERP project will alleviate these frustrations and their related costs.

While you will need to make some tweaks and changes to tailor this conversation to your particular situation, these points will get you well on your way to delivering a project pitch your company leaders will have a hard time saying “no” to. Learn more about nailing your ERP project in the white paper below.

ERP selection

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