As the last in the current series, Solutions for Tough Times, it was a difficult decision to decide which topic to choose. I am very lucky in my daily work that I am able to help organisations find solutions to their process, reporting and data visualisation needs.
I have addressed this issue before, but with the current financial climate, revisiting the topic of downsizing ERP solutions to one that is more affordable, offers better functionality and is a closer fit to the client’s true needs is important. There’s no need to use a sledge hammer to crack a nut.
Organisations are currently looking for two major things:
- Firstly, true solutions that delivers more value in their business. This could be better customer relationships, improving process to ensure higher quality of delivery and service, better understanding of what is actually going on in their business, how to drive more profit to the bottom line, etc.
- Secondly, they are looking to do this with smaller budgets with the objective of delivering more more for less and in the world of large ERP vendors, being agile is very hard.
In the past six months, Kinetic has seen firsthand how clients are moving away from some of the large ERP vendors to look at more agile players in the market, such as Greentree. To see clients focus on solutions to their problems, rather than looking at software functionality first, is always refreshing. I personally have been working with three organisations that admitted their implementations over-promised and dramatically under-delivered in matching solutions to their problems.
Comparing solution fit and functionality flexibility, our clients are often staggered how much closer Greentree gets them to the right solutions and easier it is to deliver to their needs. I have to confess, over the year looking at some of the larger ERP solutions this is no surprise to me!
Prospects are left staggered at the solutions we can deliver quickly and cost effectively to their organisation, as well as the savings that can be delivered to them on an ongoing basis.
More often than not, the promise of ERP often gives way to the reality: the ‘out of the box’ capabilities of their new ERP solution ended up being a stamp sized delivery of the promised envelope.
Here are some recent examples that have left me flabbergasted:
- An organisation with 180 users of a system that includes finance, distribution and asset maintenance is costing the client $759,000 per year. WOW! Like for Like, the equivalent modules of Greentree could be delivered at $56,000 per annum – with bags more standard useful functionality.
- A report in this system to be written for them was $30,000 per report. WHAT? Again using Greentree ERP alongside QlikView, the client could write their own reports or ask Kinetic to write it for them for an estimated $1200 to $2000.
- Getting a consultant onsite to support their ERP could take upwards of four months’ notice, which suggests a lack of resources here in Australia. Additionally, a senior consultant was $3250 per day. CRIKEY!
- A critical ERP capability, that is the ability to use custom workflow and BPM processes to visualise and deliver efficiencies, could easily come in at a cost in excess of $100,000 per process. That’s INSANE. Within Greentree, you can write your own or ask us to do it at a fraction of the cost!
These are just a handful of some of the issues we see time and again. Bigger bucks for an ERP solution doesn’t necessarily guarantee better functionality.
Organisations need to give careful and considered attention to the selection of a new or replacement ERP solution, but almost as – if not more – important is a true understanding of the costs beyond initial implementation. Businesses need to be able to manage those costs in both good times and bad, which means really understanding whether a big cost solution is suitable and scalable for businesses.
Technology alone will not deliver the all solutions to all problems, particularly if business fundamentals aren’t right. However with time, effort and working with vendors in a partnership, it’s possible to get the right solution for the right price, with the ability to scale cost-effectively as the business grows.
Previous Articles from Solutions for Tough Times
Scott Graham is one of the Directors of Kinetic Information Systems. He started his career in the UK as an accountant in practice and then industry. Scott has been in the software industry for over 18 years in the UK and over the past six years down under. You can connect with Scott via his LinkedIn profile linkedin.com/in/scottgrahamkinetic