ERP Implementation Costs – How to Trim Them Down

Graphic showing a hand tracing the cycle of ERP Implementation GodlanThey say that you get what you pay for. That’s important to remember when keeping your ERP implementation project in mind. There’s a myriad of benefits, but it is costly, and sometimes unforeseen costs wreak havoc on your budget.

However, there are ways to keep your ERP implementation budget on track, and on schedule, if you plan accordingly.

  1. Communication

One way to do so is through early and open communication with your teams in order to get them on board with the process. Employees, and really all humans, tend to resist change. ERP systems are a lot of change and bring a good amount of disruption to the “normal”, or old, way of doing things. It is natural for your employees to be leery of and resistant to the changes, especially if they do not understand the benefits that come from the change.

While some employees may be excited from the get go, it’s importantly to get everyone on board as quickly as possible. If not, the employees resistant to change may heavily, and negatively, impact your implementation. They may not even use the system at all, and therefore, just waste the money altogether.

From the top to the bottom of your organization, you need to build excitement and curiosity about the potential the ERP will bring to the business and to each player on the team. Consider having one-on-one meetings or town hall meetings, or even letting your employees know they can email with questions or concerns at any time. Let them feel as though they are part of the process so that they have buy-in to the new technology.

If you don’t have leaders on your team that can build this interest and energy, consider adding a change management specialist to your ERP implementation team.  These specialists can help you find the employees who need a little more prodding to get comfortable with the idea of change versus those who will easily deal with it. Once the team members who need more encouragement are found, the change management specialist can provide you with strategies to assist those employees with moving past their fears or concerns regarding the change. It’s important to note that some of your employees may be concerned that this change will make their positions obsolete.

It may not be in your initial budget, however, if a change management specialist resolves problems before they arise, it would be a cost well worth it.

  1. Training

Another way to keep costs on target is through your training costs. This is one area that gets overlooked when planning for ERP implementations, however, it is a crucial part of the process.

In order for your staff to utilize all of the amazing benefits of an ERP system, they must know how to do so.

Training costs may vary because some people on your team will need little training due to minimal ERP input, or they may be naturally fast learners or tech savvy, but others will require extensive training. Perhaps their daily tasks will be greatly changed, and they will have varied responsibilities. Some people, though, are just not as comfortable with new technology and need a little more time and practice.

Your implementation team should create notes for training during the entire implementation and testing process. These notes can be passed out to the staff for reference. In addition to this, investing in training is key. Having an ERP consultant for training can answer all the questions your staff may have. If they do not understand how to use the system, they may not use it to its full advantage, or worse, they may not use it at all.

It’s important to plan ahead for future employee training as well. ERP implementation can take extensive periods of time, and if you have any employee turnover, it will be necessary to invest the time and money to train them, too.

Even if the cost of training is more than what you hoped to spend, the rewards will far exceed the cost in the long run.

  1. Process Re-engineering

This is another step that businesses attempt to remove from ERP implementation. Yes, time does mean money, but rushing through your implementation will not guarantee faster or better results. In fact, it will often cause you to spend more time and money trying to correct inefficiencies.

Your new ERP tool will already be prepared with best practices, and since you are implementing an ERP due to your business’s inefficiencies, it makes sense for you to revise your processes to match the tool’s best practices. You can pay to customize your ERP; however, why not try a new process if your previous one was not working?

From sales floor to the shop floor, your ERP can benefit your entire company, making each member of staff more productive and efficient, but you will need to use the system with new, more efficient processes.

Another option is to hire an ERP consultant. Yes, this costs money, but the consultant can help you to find better results faster. Either way, take the time to do things the right way the first time.

Is an ERP system a costly endeavor? Absolutely. In addition, it’s time consuming and disruptive. However, it can undeniably change your business for the better and pay for itself over time. Even small businesses can benefit from ERP systems in a cost conscious way. For instance, instead of implementing the system in all areas and changing all business processes at once, focus only on the most problematic areas and implement the specific ERP modules for that problem. Then you can improve what is most needed and set your own timeline for the rest.

At the end of the day, every company will have its own unique needs. At Godlan, implementation is worked around your choices; our consultants can be as hands on or as hands off as you chose. Our goal is to help you find the success you are looking for. To learn more about Godlan and Infor Syteline ERP, visit Godlan.com today, or give us a call at 586.464.4400.

 

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