5 Easy Hacks To Cut Your ERP Costs

 In Resources

Ask anyone and the top two reasons they’ll give you for putting ERP in place will be increasing efficiency and cutting costs. With costs being such an important factor, are you doing the best you can to make sure your ERP implementation/upgrade is coming to you at the best possible value? Because the truth is, maintaining an ERP system once you’ve installed can be just as expensive as installing it. Why? Because companies change, they offer more, they expand, they have new people… All this has an impact on your systems.

So here are some hacks to keep your costs down – at implementation and beyond.

1. Choose the right software
As evident at this sounds, it bears thinking about. Planning and thinking ahead are the key here. Where will you be in five years, ten even? Choose a system that is intuitive to your company’s way of working. Yes, change is good, and efficiency must be achieved but trying to force everyone to change direction completely is not a good idea. Buy only the functionality you need now but make sure your software is scalable. Pick the deployment option that is right for you as well. Do you need cloud? Does your staff need mobile access? Some options allow you to do all these things for a pay-as-you-go fee (SaaS). Other options require an upfront investment, but you then own it and need to take care of it yourself. When your solution is tailored as closely to your needs as possible, the costs will be lower.

2. Keep an eye on your licensing
Often companies purchase licenses that they don’t use. Keep an eye on what you are using. Are there members of your staff who have left and haven’t been replaced? Are some of your people contract staff that pays their own way? Would concurrent licensing fit you (it often will for manufacturing facilities with shift workers for instance). When you think outside the box like that, you can save yourself a lot of money.

3. Keep customization down
The more customization you’ve had (at a system code level, not to suit your needs as we discussed above), the more complicated and expensive upgrades to your ERP will become. Out of box ERP options are pretty sophisticated today and can achieve a lot. Pay only for the customizations that support your USP and are not available in the market at all.

4. Consider a service contract for maintenance and support
Managing complex systems is not cheap. Dealing with errors, bugs and updates is a specialized job that requires either qualified full-time staff or a service arrangement that has a cap financially. Calling in external support on a need basis can be expensive and will derail the best-laid budgets. Having a service provider who keeps your systems up to date and focuses on proactive fixes and making sure you get the best out of your tech can drastically cut your downtime and keep you productive. If you go the external service route, there are various levels with different costs and finding one that suits your needs is relatively easy.

5. Save on training by adopting ‘train the trainer’
Training is a big part of getting the most out of your ERP. Unless your people know what the system can do, your adoption won’t get to where you want it. Taking a ‘train the trainer’ approach where your vendor/service provider trains some of your people who then train the rest of your people has significant cost benefits and the added advantage of getting people involved at the start in a meaningful way. It also means you can schedule things to your convenience and pass the opportunity to receive ‘formal’ training on to more people.

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