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Maximizing Return on Investment Using ERP Applications by Frank J. C. Andera, Thomas R. Weirich, Arthur J. Worster

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A BETTER WAY

So, what can be done about this situation? The answer lies in viewing the ERP platform as a high-performing asset that should be leveraged through a continuous improvement program that increases spending on the continued development of functionality, but is based on Return on Investment cases that are believable and routinely achieved (clearly, a different cultural expectation). When this occurs, businesses will start to look at the IT function as a business partner and a dynamic part of business performance. Four changes to the mind-set (contextual) need to be adopted in order to achieve this goal, including

1. Stop viewing ERP as purely a cost center, rather than an asset.
2. View ERP as a tool that is expected to produce continuous business benefits (ROI).
3. Eliminate the “cool tools” approach to technology tools.
4. Flatten the investment curve.

There will be technical components of upgrades that by themselves won’t produce measurable benefits; however, if the stream of tasks becomes part of larger projects where there are Return on Investment commitments made to functional changes, the upgraded components become part of the work stream that keeps the technology platform current, while using new functions to improve the business and produce tangible benefits. As discussed in Chapter 4, Return on Investment should be looked at as a potential asset of the business, and the investment that produces tangible results can offset some otherwise necessary costs. ...

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