After the first part our ERP costs series, we looked at the basic direction of an SAP Business One implementation. AddOns and their ? also financially sensible ? use in B1. Now we move on to a part of the topic that is particularly close to our hearts as a provider and consultant: the cooperation with the customer in the SAP Business One project.
Customer & provider cooperation: Relevant to the costs?
But yes! If all the attention in the SAP Business One project is on licences and service costs, the own efforts are quickly forgotten. Own commitment from the customer is not a choice here, but is necessary for the Project success. Here, one hour of the time invested by the consultant comes to two hours spent for the client. However, this calculation is only applicable to projects of a certain size ? the larger the project, the less.
Questions also cost: Evaluation can be expensive
You already invest in your ERP system when you are still looking for it. Selecting the right offer requires many hours of work, which must also be remunerated. All relevant colleagues should also be present at the meetings and presentations of the providers. This also costs money. You can save money if you make it clear at the outset that the priorities for the new system go hand in hand with the company's goals and that 'nice-to-have' wishes cannot necessarily be taken into account. wishes cannot necessarily be taken into account (see Part 1). This will save a lot of time, effort and thus costs on your part.
Tip: Determine the procedure and evaluation - e.g. questions - for the presentations beforehand. This makes it possible to compare the offers.
The reality is that personal sensitivities always play (too) big a role in the selection. That is why it is important to process analysis It may make sense to get external help. This costs money, but is often more effective for selecting processes that are crucial for the company.
Furthermore, you should not be too hasty in choosing a provider. Often it is only during the elaboration of the Specifications clearly what your requirements are and who can best fulfil them. Here, too, you should be guided by the company's goals. Specifications based on the current state are simply not useful for the ERP project ? but they cost time. Here, too, the following applies: An external consultant may save money, as utopian requirements are often recorded in the specifications, which can lead to the wrong ERP partner being chosen.
Our tip: Involve your favourite providers in the creation process. They know best what extended possibilities await you in the new software and what expectations you can have.
Focus: specifications instead of contract negotiations
The implementation of the Specifications is required from the customer. The processes you want must be brought into line with the existing processes in the ERP system. It is only in your interest to cooperate in this. In this way, you can check whether the implementation makes sense and correct any misinterpretations of processes. The investment of time and effort is also worthwhile at this point. The more realistic and detailed the specifications are, the greater the chances of obtaining a fixed price that can be implemented.
In return, you can step back a little during the contract negotiations. The rule is: concentrate on the essentials! If you want to regulate everything contractually, you often end up with a hedging reflex. This increases the size of the contract immensely and soon requires the cooperation of a lawyer ? on both sides. It is better to rely on a partner you can (and want to) trust. In the long run, this is the only sensible way.
Tip: It is better to put off drawing up service contracts. Especially if you rely on a trusting cooperation in the project, it is better to define the service conditions in a contract afterwards. Then both parties know each other better and know what to expect from each other.
Invest correctly and avoid hidden costs in the SAP Business One project
We have reached the implementation stage. If you look at the efforts up to this point, you can imagine what you will have to face. Therefore, it may be necessary to assign one or more employees to the implementation, depending on the size of the project. After all, you are not doing yourself any favours in any cost plan with workers who can only half devote themselves to various tasks. In addition, from a certain company size onwards, it is advisable to employ one key user per department. These key users can not only create realistic user documentation, but also serve as internal support for their colleagues. However, this should not be a reason for the management to withdraw from the project. Decisions or short-term changes can only be understood if one is part of the process. Moreover, it does no harm if someone keeps an eye on the project as a whole.
An important topic in every ERP implementation is the processing of legacy data ? often a ?hidden? cost driver. cost driver. The effort is often underestimated by customers, even for an SAP Business One project, because the data records usually do not correspond to the standard for transfer to the new system. Those who try to assign staff here in order to perform miracles in the short term using Excel usually end up on the nose. Better: bite the bullet and manually transfer the data into the new system. Software Convict ? or have them convicted ?
Training should not be skimped on either. There are two options here. Either you try to get all employees around one table and have the corresponding coordination effort. Or you simply invest in more training. It also makes sense to invest in sufficiently trained employees, as only they can test the software.
Tip: The same applies here as with the providers' presentations. Before testing, draft a guideline on how you want to proceed: How to test, how to document and when...