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How much will SAP Business One cost to implement?

Many successful SMEs eventually reach the point where basic accounting tools are no longer enough to support their business. Whether their biggest headaches are around cost, efficiency or decision-making, they realise they need to swap their spreadsheets for an ERP solution – and fast. In these circumstances, SAP Business One – SAP’s flagship SME product – is a popular choice.

But how much will SAP Business One cost to implement?

For a potentially cash-strapped SME without much first-hand exposure to large-scale software rollouts, this is a million-dollar question. And finding a definitive answer is difficult – many SAP partners and software comparison tools give unhelpfully wide price ranges on their websites, with little in the way of explanation as to why the cost of the solution can vary so wildly.

So, in order to unmuddy the waters, we’ve put together this list of factors you ought to consider before you sign on the dotted line for a SAP Business One implementation.

Upfront cost versus ROI

Firstly, it’s important to remember that rolling out ERP software is far from a simple process, and choosing the right partner is as important as the ERP itself.

Yes, some options are much cheaper than others in terms of upfront cost. But that may not affect ROI as much as you think – a bigger investment can deliver an exponential improvement to your efficiency, profitability and customer retention, whereas a smaller one might actually end up costing you money if the solution falls short of what your business needs.

Building ERP on a solid foundations

For an example of this phenomenon in the ERP world, look no further than business process optimisation. Many SMEs turn to ERP software because of problems like wasted resources and regular time and budget overruns, which may have as much to do with badly optimised business processes as limitations in their existing technology. The trouble is, ERP alone won’t fix this – the processes themselves need to be addressed, too.

As such, you should be prepared to put some resources towards reviewing and optimising their business processes at the outset of a SAP Business One implementation. Otherwise, there’s a chance that badly optimised processes will stay badly optimised in the long run – and the ROI of the project might not be what you originally expected.

Committing resources to SAP Business One success

You should also be ready and able to commit internal resources to the ERP rollout itself. Both the SAP partner and customer business have a lot of work on their hands to deliver a world-class ERP solution: outside of installing software, the rollout includes tasks like requirements capture, engaging stakeholders, data cleansing and importing, and so on.

Obviously, this results in additional costs on top of licence fees – but the end result should be more than worth the extra work.

Delivering a lifetime solution

Finally, remember that an ERP solution should be a long-term strategic investment that grows and evolves with your business. “Buy cheap, buy twice” applies – you can easily cut corners in the pursuit of a quick and low-cost rollout, but you’ll be heading back to the drawing board sooner rather than later when you realise your business has already outgrown your implementation.

Instead, commit to reviewing and optimising your ERP solution regularly. That way, you’ll stay working efficiently and profitably long into the future, making the most of your investment and maximising your business’ potential.

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