Given the cost of consultants, it can be hard to see how an ERP consultancy saves you money. If you are already spending money on an expensive new ERP system, then it can be hard to find the budget to bring on an ERP consultancy.
Many people think that the cost of consultants will be out of their reach. But the truth is an ERP consultancy saves you money by providing a level of safety and protection that would otherwise be missing from your project. Experienced project managers can mitigate risk and keep the project moving at the right pace to ensure things are completed on time and within the pre-agreed budget. Let us take a closer look at how an ERP consultancy saves you money.
What Does an ERP Consultancy Do?
The work that an ERP consultancy will do depends on what stage of the project you are at. Often, they will start out with a Blueprint that is designed to look at your current ways of working, often called your “As Is”. This helps to define how your People, Processes, and Systems operate now and find areas that can be improved, called your “To Be” future state. An ERP consultancy will help you map this out so that you understand what to look for in a system when you move onto the next stage – Selection.
Selection is where you meet with vendors to see demos of what their ERP can do and ask for examples that are relevant to your business needs. This can be a very difficult stage of the project as many options share the same feature set, so how do you know which one is right for you? An ERP consultancy will help you score and identify the best option and save you money by ensuring the system you go for will work within your business.
Implementation is the next stage and will be the longest part of any ERP project, often taking months to complete. This is an area that poses a high degree of risk as old systems are switched off and new ones brought online. Business as usual has the potential to be disrupted and costs can spiral if they are not controlled properly. It is here that utilising the skillset of an ERP consultancy can make real sense for many companies. The cost of failure is high and not keeping things moving will lead to undue stress on teams who are also juggling their day job.
The last section of an EPP project can also be done as a separate exercise for existing systems without a replacement taking place. Optimising an ERP system to deliver a better ROI is a great way that an ERP consultancy can save you money. They can make sure things are working as they should be and that your ways of working are supported in the best way possible. This will help boost efficiency and can cut down on manual and repetitive time-consuming tasks.
When to Consider an ERP Consultancy
As we seen in the section above, the time to consider an ERP consultancy is at any stage of a project! Different skills are needed for different risks that exist as you move through the project which means help can be required at any time.
It is always worth taking the time to talk to an ERP consultancy about any problems you are having in your current stage as they will be able to advise on the best approach. They might even be able to offer a few days support per month that keep costs low while helping deliver your project successfully.
How Much Can I Save?
While it is impossible to say exactly how much money you can save by working with an ERP consultancy, the larger the project the larger the potential to save is. For a rough idea you can do some envelope math and look at the resource cost of the project and how that increases due to timelines slipping or the cost of operations being disrupted during the project. Unfortunately, the true cost of a slip up cannot be calculated until it happens, but at that point it is too late. That is why we always recommend working with an ERP consultancy like ourselves, to reduce risk and ensure you deliver on time and in budget.
Consultancy vs. In-House
Relying only on in-house resources to deliver an ERP project can look like a tempting proposition. No one knows your business better than those who work there, and they can clearly point out what does and does not work.
The problem with this is it leaves a gap in knowledge of what the best practice for your industry looks like. It is easy to believe that how your company’s processes are right for what you do but you cannot know this for sure without seeing what is out there. Often, in-house resource will lack the broad range of experience needed to fully appreciate what offerings are on the market and how they could benefit your company.
Another issue with using in-house resources is they often must juggle their day job with the added responsibility of an ERP project. This leads to oversights and a dilution of responsibility that can have an impact on the success of a project. Working with an ERP consultancy allows you to have a dedicated consultant that focuses on managing your project and ensuring nothing slips through the net.
There are many ways that an ERP consultancy saves you money, especially in the long run as they provide safety and stability to a complex project that can disrupt your business. Even if you decide to go down the route of using in-house resources, it is always worth talking to an independent ERP consultancy to see the value they can bring to your project.