People often ask how much it costs to have SAP Business One (SAP B1) in a small or medium-sized business. Having performed hundreds of SAP B1 implementations, our experts agree: the cost of SAP B1 depends on how prepared a customer is for implementation.
With system implementation being the majority of the cost, your company can control how much you spend on SAP B1 by preparing for the implementation before you let your SAP consulting partner in the door.
There are three high-impact cost factors you should address before engaging your implementation consultant: process documentation, data cleansing, and training.
One of the advantages of a modern ERP system like SAP B1 is its ability to help companies standardize information and methods of operation. SAP Business One reinforces process rules and eliminates workarounds at all stages of the product value chain. But perhaps surprisingly, B1 creates neither the standards nor the processes – you do. You must create and document them by defining your company standards and reinforcing them via processes and workflow rules. Your ERP consultant can’t do it for you because only you can say which standards and processes are critical to your success.
To save even more on B1, consider performing process exceptions outside the ERP environment, but remember that each new exception requires custom-built business logic and, often, new workflows.
In the event of several industry-specific processes and information requirements, don’t assume you need your consultant to create workflows from scratch. There are many industry-specific add-ons to SAP B1 that extend the system well beyond its standard functionality or configurability; leveraging these solutions will minimize costly industry-specific customizations.
Finally, it’s easy to add functionality within B1, so keep costs low at the outset and add functionality as your needs evolve.
Even the most seasoned ERP consultant doesn’t know if your data is accurate or not – only the teams from your departments will know good data from junk data. You and your departmental teams must cleanse the data and format it correctly before implementing your ERP system.
Common junk data includes:
- Duplicate customer records
- Blank fields related to product descriptions
- Orders detached from customer records
- Unnamed generic items
- Obsolete product codes
- Incorrect price quotes that should have been deleted
- Information stored outside the main legacy system
We recommend learning how to cleanse data far in advance of system implementation, as doing so requires diligence.
Training is a crucial, critical, vital, essential, necessary (get the idea?) element of ERP implementation. If everyone isn’t fully immersed in SAP B1, you won’t realize its full tactical and strategic benefits. Luckily, you don’t need to pay to have everyone trained by SAP or your B1 consultant. Many companies use a “train the trainer” approach, which works well in this case due to the intuitive nature of B1. When adopting this approach, don’t assume your super users will be your trainers – they’re often too busy as members of the core deployment/user testing team, so identify staff members who have more time but still have a strong grasp of the software as well as the patience to teach others.
Another way to save on training costs is to create a training map. To do so, determine who will be trained, about what, where, and how. Renting an off-site facility in multiple geographies could be expensive – can you save money by performing online training? Will you have location-specific training needs? Answering such questions allows you to identify ways to save time, resources, and aggregate training as much as possible. But do not underestimate the need to train users well. Employees must be comfortable using the system as soon as it goes live.
At MTC, we’re skilled at preparing our customers for an SAP Business One implementation. To learn more, contact us today.