“Extracting full value from cloud ERP is not about flipping the go-live switch. It requires organizational will—and a fierce collaboration with the … consulting partner.” Jon Reed, Diginomica
Generating a return on investment (ROI) with your Sage Intacct implementation is what you promised stakeholders when you embarked on this endeavor, and a quick start to ROI is good for morale—and the bottom line. However, I’ve long been a believer that full cloud ERP value realization does not happen out-of-the-box. You have to work for it and go-live is just the beginning of what can—and should— be a long-term game. Over this and the next few posts, I’m going to unpack strategies and best practices to help companies build long-term value of Sage Intacct’s implementations, plus enjoy plenty of rapid-fire benefits to capture everyone’s attention and imagination.
There may not be an immediate big bang. And that’s a good thing.
Contrary to what some ERP software publishers and resellers will tell you, companies typically don’t see an immediate significant ROI on their business management software purchase. That’s not to say the solution doesn’t provide immediate value, it’s simply the fact that most measurable gains come over time, as business processes become more defined and user adoption gains traction.
There’s a methodology that’s helpful in understanding what I’m getting at. It’s called the Capability Maturity Model, or CMM. CMM is a five-stage model that can serve as the framework for new Sage Intacct implementations.
- Initial – the starting point for use of a new business process.
- Repeatable – there is enough understanding that repeating the same steps may be attempted.
- Defined – the process is defined and confirmed as a standard business process.
- Capable – the process is quantitatively managed and measured.
- Efficient – the deliberate focus on optimization and improvement of business processes.
Some companies never grow beyond the Initial and Repeatable stages, performing transactional tasks such as journal entries and payables processes in Sage Intacct, essentially mimicking what they had been doing before, but in a modern, cloud environment. And, I know this doesn’t sound glamorous, but this is not a bad place to be—in fact, transactional efficiency is a critical building block in your progression.
Spending time in these early stages helps companies identify additional areas that can be automated and become familiar with how Sage Intacct can help with that automation. Once you identify those areas and implement repeatable processes to accomplish them, you can move on to defining and confirming the tested process as a standard operating procedure. This is key as the only way to improve a process is by measuring its effectiveness. The early stages also provide excellent opportunities to promote super users and grow overall user confidence with the solution.
With a strong foundation in place, your organization is ready to move further along to the Capable and Efficient stages of the CMM model where you can begin monitoring performance data and results and seeking new opportunities to increase the initial return on investment, turning it into long-term sustainable results.
What about those rapid-fire benefits you promised?
Please don’t misunderstand me—while a long-term value of Sage Intacct is that it delivers a solution, it will begin delivering measurable benefits from day one. Our Sage Intacct clients report rapid cost-saving benefits, including:
- Reducing overall operating expenses
- Increasing productivity of accounting and finance staff
- Speeding the order to cash and procure to pay cycles
- Streamlining consolidations and allocations, and many more
These early benefits will snowball as your organization gains momentum with Sage Intacct, freeing additional resources for strategic initiatives and supporting faster, more agile decision making—turning short-term gains into the ultimate long-term benefits.
In upcoming posts, we’ll explore the targeted techniques, tools and industry best practices that will help you solidify the long-term value of Sage Intacct.