What are some of the most common questions I receive?

Which ERP system is right for my company?

The long and short answer to this question is…  it depends!  Selecting an ERP system should be a methodical process.  Some systems are a very good fit for particular industries and should be at the top of the list.  Other systems can be easily customized or integrated with “best of breed” systems.  It’s very important to do a thorough analysis of your company’s current and future needs and then do a comprehensive search for the best system(s) to meet those needs.

What is a “cloud” ERP system?

The basic concept of a “cloud ERP” solution is that it is differentiated from the tradition on-premise, locally installed, company owned hardware and managed by your IT staff.  Cloud ERP is generally considered Software as a Service.  Meaning all of the infrastructure: hardware, software, integration tools, reporting, etc…  is provided by the vendor through a network connection.

Why can’t my team implement an ERP system without consulting help?

Of course, some basic systems can definitely be implemented by a competent (or even incompetent) accountant.  There are some very good, simple, inexpensive accounting packages available which work for most small businesses.  The key work is “simple”. Issues arise for internal teams when business processes, reporting, integrations with other systems, complex accounting, international accounting and reporting, etc… has to be done in your financial system. The reason a consultant, such as myself, is good to have on the team while doing a more complex ERP systems implementation is that without having been through many of these, you will not know where to start or what questions to ask, let alone manage the process of a systems implementation.

How much does it cost to implement an ERP system?

My initial answer to this is: “How much do you want to spend?”  There are many factors driving the cost of an ERP implementation.  In my 18 years of experience implementing ERP systems, the cost of software itself, especially when considering the functionality being purchased, has decreased significantly.  The meaning of cost has to be qualified.  Initial cost?  Total cost of ownership? Then, there is a direct correlation between all cost and the amount of business process complexity needed in the software to meet the needs of your business.  There is a huge difference from the needs of a local retail business to a multinational manufacturing and distribution business. Then there’s implementation consulting cost.  I have seen bids for the same software being implemented, with supposedly the same required functionality, bid by three different consulting firms.  The total implementation estimates, including first year licensing, were approximately $600,000, $1,900,000 and $2,600,000 respectively. This is just scratching the surface but as you can see, it can vary significantly.  I can help a company quantify, select, negotiate and contract to minimize these costs in any situation.