How to Calculate ROI on an ERP System

How to Calculate ROI on an ERP System

Authors: Ashim Choudhari

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Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) for an ERP implementation involves assessing the costs incurred during the implementation process and the resulting benefits over a specified period. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you calculate ROI for your ERP implementation:

Identify Costs:

Begin by listing all the costs associated with the ERP implementation. These costs can include:

  1. Software Licensing: The initial cost of purchasing the ERP software and any ongoing licensing fees.
  2. Implementation Services: Expenses related to consulting, configuration, customization, data migration, and training provided by the ERP vendor or third-party consultants.
  3. Hardware and Infrastructure: Costs for purchasing or upgrading hardware, servers, networking equipment, and other infrastructure required to support the ERP system.
  4. Internal Resources: The time and effort spent by your internal IT team and other employees involved in the implementation process.
  5. Maintenance and Support: Ongoing costs for software updates, technical support, and system maintenance.
  6. Downtime and Disruptions: Account for any potential productivity loss during the transition phase.

Estimate Benefits:

Determine the various ways in which the ERP implementation will deliver benefits to your organization. These benefits can be tangible or intangible, such as:

  1. Increased Efficiency: Expect improvements in operational efficiency, streamlined processes, and reduced manual work.
  2. Cost Savings: Identify potential savings in labor costs, inventory management, and other operational expenses.
  3. Enhanced Productivity: Consider the impact of better collaboration and real-time data access on employee productivity.
  4. Improved Decision-Making: Anticipate better insights and data-driven decision-making capabilities.
  5. Reduced Errors and Waste: Account for the reduction in errors and material waste resulting from streamlined processes.
  6. Business Growth: Factor in the potential for increased revenue and market share due to improved customer service and faster order processing.

Assign Monetary Values:

Convert the estimated benefits into monetary values. Some benefits, like cost savings and increased revenue, are relatively straightforward to quantify. Others, such as improved decision-making or customer satisfaction, may require more complex assessments or customer surveys to derive a monetary value.

Calculate ROI:

Once you have both the total costs and estimated benefits in monetary terms, you can calculate the ROI using the following formula:

ROI = (Total Estimated Benefits – Total Costs) / Total Costs * 100

For example, if the total costs of ERP implementation amount to $500,000, and the estimated benefits over a three-year period are $800,000, the ROI calculation would be:


ROI = ($800,000 – $500,000) / $500,000 * 100

ROI = $300,000 / $500,000 * 100

ROI = 0.6 * 100

ROI = 60%


A positive ROI indicates that the ERP implementation is expected to generate more benefits than the costs incurred, making it a financially viable investment.

Monitor and Adjust:

Remember that the ROI calculation is based on estimates and projections. Once the ERP system is implemented, monitor its performance regularly and adjust your calculations if needed. Keep track of actual benefits and costs to ensure that the ERP system delivers the expected return on investment.

Calculating ROI is an essential step in justifying an ERP implementation and making informed decisions about technology investments. It helps organizations assess the financial impact of the ERP system and determine its overall effectiveness in improving business processes and profitability.

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