What is a vision statement?
Most people have heard of a mission statement, but a vision statement is typically less well known. While there is some overlap, there is a distinct difference between the two. To put it simply, a mission statement describes what a company is doing to achieve its goals today, and a vision statement describes what a company wants to achieve in the future.
How is a vision statement related to ERP?
An ERP implementation is a lot of things. It is a complex project. It is a lot of work. It is all-encompassing, involving functional and technical resources, power users, end users, consumers, and beneficiaries.
A decision to purchase and implement ERP is an assertive move. At its very core, a decision to implement ERP is a company saying it wants to achieve more and improve itself. But a lot of times, the people on the front lines of evaluating the software are focused on the details of how the ERP fits, or doesn’t. (For an exhaustive look at ERP evaluation advice, click here.) If a company has a solid vision for what role their ERP system plays in their business, then they can use the statement as a bedrock to come back to should that become necessary.
What is an example of an ERP vision statement?
This is a solid, although generic, ERP vision statement example:
“The Acme Corporation’s ERP system will benefit all stakeholders, both internal and external. It will support Acme’s mission statement of providing the best widgets in the aerospace industry. As an organization, Acme Corporation will ensure that the data, processes, and people related to the ERP are prioritized at all times. Acme Corporation’s ERP is the backbone of our success and will be invested in so that it continuously improves.”
You may come up with something different for your company, but there are two important elements included in the statement above that shouldn’t be excluded from your vision statement: continually prioritizing and investing in the ERP.
As I mentioned before, an ERP implementation is aspirational. Once a decision is made, everyone is excited because they feel like things are going to get better. And, they often do. However, companies won’t sustain the improvement that they worked so hard for, and processes degrade over time. This degradation typically manifests when employees leave, leadership changes, priorities change, and so on. The ERP simply was a “project” that is now complete. Well, it is never complete. Once you go live on your ERP, it is the beginning, not the end. It should be invested in like anything else, so that it continues to provide value. This should be part of your organization’s vision for the ERP.
A vision statement helps improvement
Most companies set out with the best of intentions as it relates to an ERP, but a lot do not sustain their focus on improvement. A vision statement can help a company place the ERP’s priority properly in the overall business strategy. The ERP is used every day. The data, people, and processes associated with it should reflect the company’s culture and mission. Having a vision statement will help if the newness of the ERP wears off, and you drift away from your long-term aspirations for the software.
If you are looking for ERP and not sure where to start, how about talking to an expert who is not a sales person? Click here to learn more about Jack Shannon, and sign up for a free phone consultation to discuss your situation.