So you’ve decided that your small business has outgrown its basic accounting tools, and that an ERP solution may be the answer to those common efficiency and visibility headaches caused information being spread out across different systems.
Let’s say you’ve also read that SAP Business One is designed specifically for your needs and will cure many, if not all, of your problems. Great, you think, so how much will it cost me?
Here at APH, we’ve discussed SAP Business One cost at length in the past but refrained from putting numbers against the cost of an implementation. This isn’t out of the desire to hide our prices from prospects and competitors, but because we prefer not to present SAP Business One as a one-size-fits-all solution – it’s unwise for a SAP partner to talk about costs before understanding the work required to make the project a success.
That said, you can easily work out from a quick Google search that other partners and consultants will talk about delivering SAP Business One for surprisingly low monthly fees – often less than £100 per month. So who should you believe and why?
What to expect from a low-cost SAP Business One implementation
If you’ve heard of ERP or SAP Business One before, there’s a good chance you’ll have some idea of the costs and have an inkling that a successful implementation won’t be cheap. Unlike more limited software, you normally won’t be able to get up and running for a small monthly fee alone, and factors like TCO and ROI take time and a high level of understanding to measure.
So what will a monthly fee of around £79 buy you and what vital parts are likely to be missing?
Firstly, you’ll most likely be looking at a single user licence at this price point, which generally won’t be enough for your business to get a great deal of value out of SAP Business One. Unless you’re planning on having multiple users across multiple departments, ERP implementation may be more trouble than it’s worth. So you should budget accordingly when it comes to licensing costs.
Moreover, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be paying your provider to offer anything more than a basic implementation. If a consultancy service is included in this fee, it’s likely only to cover the bare essentials such as the modules you need and how they should be implemented.
What you won’t get with SAP Business One for £79 per month
With SAP Business One as with all things in life, you get what you pay for. Costs will almost certainly start to increase if you need any of the following:
Add-ons and customisation
Whilst SAP Business One offer plenty of sophisticated features off-the-shelf, setting up the software in a way that works for your business takes time – and money. You may need to pay for add-ons such as SAP Business One job costing solutions, for example, or integrate the software with an existing system such as your ecommerce website.
Consultancy, implementation, workshops, training
A successful SAP Business One implementation should not look to paper-over cracks in your business processes. Instead, it should look to improve the foundations first with business process optimisation before your provider builds an ERP system that meets your business needs.
And, in order to get the most out of our ERP solution, you will need to ensure that your staff have the knowledge – and motivation – to get the most out of the software. This is where workshops and training come in.
Support and maintenance
When choosing between SAP Business One partners, you should factor in the level of support and maintenance provided. What are their support desk hours like? Are they flexible with telephone, email and remote support? And are they sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable to handle questions around your particular implementation of SAP Business One?
And, most importantly, are they on hand to review your business needs regularly to ensure that the software grows in line with your business requirements?
We’ve written before about how much you should pay for SAP Business One support fees. Generally speaking you should expect to pay around 25% of your annual licence fee, which covers both fixes and updates from SAP and support from your SAP partner. Some providers charge per hour or per ticket for their support services, but this can be a false economy – your costs can rapidly spiral out of control if a major issue ever occurs, while smaller problems may be left unaddressed only to turn into bigger ones a little later down the line.
So yes – it may be possible to implement SAP Business One for just £79 or some other surprisingly low monthly fee. But if your only concern is how little you can implement SAP Business One for, instead of how to implement ERP in a way that maximises ROI and really allows your business to grow, you may be looking at the wrong family of software in the first place.
To find out more about the TCO and ROI of an ERP solution, click the link below to download our free guide.