An enterprise application refers to software that supports company business processes. Generally the word "enterprise" refers to software that has a certain level of impact on the organization. Examples are Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). The need for an enterprise application is usually created by company growth combined with increasing lack of control over business processes.
Analyze current and future growth potential of the company in terms of units sold and revenues. Gain agreement from managers that growth has led to stresses and strains in certain areas of the business and even inability to pursue certain company strategies.
Identify business processes which are obviously not keeping up with the current growth and those which may suffer from future growth projections. Sometimes these are easy to identify as in the case of a sales person unable to take orders fast enough. Select the easily identifiable ones.
Analyze the selected business processes in terms of mistakes made and opportunities missed. Quantify, in dollars if possible, what each mistake and missed opportunity cost the firm. Gain agreement from the related managers in the area of the business process. Determine the number of times per year a similar-sized mistake or missed opportunity occurs. Identify a yearly cost of staying with the current business processes that are causing these errors.
Analyze how the software can improve the specific business processes and reduce or eliminate the mistakes or missed opportunities identified. Present the business processes, related errors, cost of errors and potential for the new business processes to reduce and eliminate the errors. Compare this with the cost of implementation of the new business processes; include cost of software, hardware, training, consulting, employee time and potential impact on the company during the transition to the new system. If the benefits outweigh the costs, you have explained the need for the enterprise application.
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