There are many ERP systems that you can use within your business. However, I’ll make the assumption that you have already decided that Sage 300 ERP will be your next ERP System of choice.
The key to implementing Sage 300 ERP correctly lies partially within the “pre-flight” work. Therefore, before embarking on a Sage 300 ERP implementation, please consider the following:
Understand Your Objective
You need to understand what you want to accomplish before purchasing the tools to accomplish that objective. Imagine, knowing that you want to purchase a house, but you don’t know why you want to purchase a house.
Do you want the house as your principal residence?
Do you want it as an investment property?
Either of these objectives will result in a house, but the house may not fulfill your objective.
It is similar when deciding on implementing a Sage 300 ERP System. The following “objective” examples may help you establish your specific business objective.
Knowing your objective will be key in selecting the correct functionality that you require within Sage 300 ERP:
- Reduce operational costs
- Have better flexibility in creating operational reports
- Need to shorten billing cycle
- Need to manage cash flows better
- Need to address mobile audience
- Need to address mobile workforce challenges
- Upgrade to newer technology
Develop Sage Business Partner Selection Criteria
Most ERP Systems require specific expertise and skills to install, configure and support it correctly. However, no two business partners are the same. Some may just resell the software and leave the installation up to you; Others may help you with the installation; And some provide full installation-to-support services, as an Authorized Sage Business Partners.
In order to short list your Sage Business Partner, know your selection criteria. A simple spreadsheet, with weighted criteria, will probably be sufficient.
The following may help you to prepare your selection criteria:
- Types of references (large, medium, small)?
- How long Sage Certified? How many Engineers on staff?
- Are they truly committed to helping you (even during the evaluation stage)?
- Do they have a solid implementation process?
- Do they work after business hours?
- Are they located in your area?
- What post implementation support do they provide?
- Can they develop customized reports?
- How do they price products and services?
Take your time during this stage to select your Certified Sage Business Partner. You should find a partner who closely matches your selection criteria profile.
Return On Investment
Now that you’ve found the correct Sage Business Partner, they would have helped you:
- Identify the software modules you require (based on your objective) and
- Presented the various cost options.
Having this information, should place you in an excellent position to perform some math, and establish your Return On Investment (ROI).
Return on investment, or ROI, measures the amount of return on an investment relative to the cost of the investment. The ROI can vary significantly, depending on the modules, the type of configuration, and how you intend to book the entry on your financials.
For example, a cloud based Sage 300 ERP solution will require a lower capital investment that a server based solution. Thus the ROI may have a shorter payback period.
You may need to work through different configuration scenarios with your Sage Business Partner until you come up with s ROI that has a payback period that you are comfortable with.
Get Upper Management Buy-In
Typically, management buy-in is the first step in the entire process. However, we feel that it is important to get everything lined up before you even approach management for their buy-in.
Knowing your ROI, total cost of ownership, recurring fees, the Sage Business Partner, the installation to go-live process, required people resources, implementation time-lines, etc. will help your cause in presenting to your management, with the intent of getting their full buy-in.
It’s easy to lost in the Sage 300 ERP world. Getting lost typically results in higher costs, and not getting what was expected.
We feel it is exceptionally important that you accomplish the “pre-flight” tasks before embarking on your Sage Software initiative:
- Understand your objective
- Develop Sage Business Partner Selection Criteria
- Return On Investment
- Get upper management buy-in
It is, in essence, your due diligence towards implementing a solid Sage 300 ERP Software Solution.
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