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What does success look like following a Business Central implementation?

It can sometimes be a difficult thing to admit but not all Business Central implementations go to plan and deliver the level of success required. If you make the wrong choice of ERP solution, work with the wrong Business Central partner or don’t get the necessary buy in from your employees, unsuccessful ERP implementations can have a detrimental impact on your business by costing you time and money as well as future customers. 

So, what can you do to protect your Business Central implementation against such failures? And how can you measure how successful it’s been? Being able to have a firm understanding of what a full-service ERP solution such as Business Central can do for your business is the first step you need to take towards ERP implementation success. From the outset, clearly defining the overall goals for the ERP project to ensure that everyone in your business is on the same page enabling individuals to take accountability of their specific objectives. This will enable you to make better decisions on which technologies to adopt for your business.  

Outline your overall business goals 

It is pretty simple really to identify whether or not your ERP implementation project is a success if it meets your overall business objectives. The project must be delivered on time and within budget and successfully become adopted by your workforce.  

The best practice for this is to make sure that you identify your exact KPIs to allow you to gauge progress and the necessary outcomes required. We’ve put together a list of some of the so-called reasons for choosing to implement a Dynamics Business Central solution: 

  • Better customer experience 
  • Improved sales performance 
  • Enhanced productivity 
  • Higher profits 

Better customer experience 

It goes without saying but your business is only as good as the customers you have. If you didn’t have them, technology couldn’t help you to keep your business trading. When thinking about how you can deliver a better overall customer experience, ask yourself where you are currently when it comes to customer satisfaction levels and where do you want to be following the implementation of Business Central. This is where you could use metrics such as customer ratings, repeat business etc to establish this. Having the right ERP system and a smooth ERP implementation should help your business to improve the overall experience across all different areas. 

If you are looking for more comprehensive feedback you could always use a customer survey to achieve this. From here, you will be able to track success by reviewing the number of return customers. Fingers crossed, you should see a marked improvement. If you don’t see any positive improvements, you may be missing something such as training to make sure that your employees are using the system in the best possible way. 

Improved Sales Performance 

It is safe to say that most sales businesses understand how important a Business Central solution is in helping them to take their sales capabilities to the next level. Any solution that can measure sales metrics will help to demonstrate an improved performance. To provide a few examples of this, indicators may include increased order sizes or increased or decreased lost sales. This is where feedback can be vital in helping to not only understand these areas but to also determine if processes need to be adjusted. 

If you find that your sales and profit margins are increasing and your percentage of lost sales decreases, this will mean that your Business Central implementation has helped to drive success for the business. If on the other hand, the opposite is true, it means further analysis will need to be undertaken to establish any possible failures in the way that the ERP is used and its functionality. 

As well as the above, it is a good idea to also evaluate your existing processes as well as your training. From this, you might need to design more intuitive processes to enable employees to adopt the system and benefit from the data. 

Enhanced Productivity 

It is often the case where streamlining business processes to enhance productivity are some of the many reasons for implementing a new ERP system. The use of the word ‘productivity’ has different meanings across different businesses and industries when it comes to goals.  

We’ve put together a list of some metrics you could use to identify whether your ERP implementation has been successful for enhancing productivity: 

  • Growth in the number of sales calls 
  • Average task completion rate 

You will find that if your Business Central ERP implementation is successful, your employees and teams won't need to worry about creating workarounds to complete their day-to-day tasks. This means that they can complete their tasks much faster than before. As well as this, the system should reduce much of the manual processes such as collating data and building reports. Having real-time data at your fingertips will enable your business to make better decisions. This sort of productivity is pivotal as it impacts on other areas of the business so it’s of the utmost importance that they get the right tools and training they require. 

Therefore, your business will need to make sure that suitable time and resources are given to train and support employees with the new ERP system. As well as this, make sure that you clearly define your expectations and update the evaluation criteria. Be sure to seek feedback from your employees via surveys both before and after the Business Central ERP implementation to gain an understanding of their experience and satisfaction rates. 

Higher Profits 

Business growth is also another benefit of a game-changing ERP such as Business Central. A new ERP implementation should in theory provide your business with a decent ROI and allow revenues to increase and profits to grow. The use of an ERP will also make it easier for you to make better decisions based on real-time data. Furthermore, it will also help you to highlight any areas for improvement within your day-to-day operations. Through the use of a cloud-based solution such as Business Central will enable you to save money on both hardware and IT infrastructure. As well as this, it will also enable you to highlight your most profitable activities, products or services. 

We’ve put together some metrics you could use to measure this specific part of your business: 

  • Gross profit margin 
  • Average invoice processing cost 

Outline your KPIs for ERP implementation 

It is important to note that the best KPIs to help you measure the success of your ERP implementation largely depend on your overall business goals and some might be sector related. You may be looking to improve profit margins, resource management, order management, timelines and much, much more. Work with your Microsoft ERP partner to determine which metrics matter most to your business. 

Don’t underestimate the fact that a new ERP system is a significant project so it is important to plan accordingly. The best thing that you can do as a business is to find the right partner to help take you through this process end to end. 

Next Steps? 

If you are a business that is looking to implement an ERP solution such as Business Central or wanting to discuss your specific ERP requirements with one of our ERP experts then please talk to us today

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