How to estimate and minimise the total cost of ownership of your ERP? Why do you need to know it? | SEIDOR

July 27, 2023

How to estimate and minimise the total cost of ownership of your ERP? Why do you need to know it?

Why do you need to know about ERP TCO in the first place and how can you manage it?

ERP systems enable organisations to streamline their processes, increase productivity and efficiency, and drive growth. However, the cost of implementing an ERP system is often a major concern for businesses. In this blog, we’ll explore how to estimate and minimise the total cost of ownership of your ERP and why it’s essential to know this.

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the total cost of an asset over its lifetime. When it comes to ERP systems, TCO includes much more than just the initial purchase and implementation costs. It also factors in key components such as upgrades, customisations, staff training, maintenance, support, and other indirect expenses that arise over the lifetime of the ERP system.

ERP systems have a wide range of functions and features, which can make it difficult to estimate the total cost of ownership. But, knowing the total cost is crucial for any business that wants to manage its resources effectively. The total cost of ownership includes both direct and indirect costs, such as:

  • Software licenses
  • Customisation and integration
  • Hardware and infrastructure
  • Maintenance and upgrades
  • Training and support
  • Internal resources and labor

Ignoring these costs can lead to unexpected expenses and a significant financial burden on your business. By estimating and minimising the total cost of ownership, you can create a realistic budget and avoid any surprises down the road.

How to Estimate and Minimise the Total Cost of Ownership

Estimating the TCO of ERP Systems

The first step towards minimising the TCO of your ERP system is to estimate it accurately. While estimating TCO can be a complex task, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the costs involved. In most cases, TCO estimates should take into account the following elements:

  1. Upfront Costs - Upfront costs include the cost of software licenses, hardware, and any other associated costs required to implement the ERP system.
  2. Customisation Costs - Customisation costs can vary significantly depending on the level of customisation that the business requires. If the business needs a highly customised solution, the customisation costs will be higher.
  3. Implementation Costs - Implementation costs usually involve third-party consultants or in-house teams. These costs include project management, configuration, and software installation.
  4. Maintenance Costs - Maintenance costs refer to the ongoing cost of updating and maintaining the ERP system. Whether it’s technical support, bug fixes, or software updates, you’ll inevitably be calling on your vendor to assist you.
  5. User Training Costs - User training costs involve training employees on how to use the ERP system effectively.
  6. Support and Upgrades Costs - Support and upgrade costs refer to the additional support required after the system is implemented, including software updates and technical support.

Ways to Reduce the TCO of ERP Systems

Once you have an accurate estimate of the TCO, the next step is to identify ways to reduce it. Here are some ways businesses can minimize their TCO when implementing an ERP system:

  1. Choose SEIDOR Portugal – Choosing the right ERP partner is crucial to minimise the TCO. SEIDOR has an extensive experience in implementing ERP systems and have worked with businesses similar to yours.
  2. Use a Cloud-Based System – Cloud-based systems, such as AWS or Google Cloud, are much more cost-effective than on-premise solutions. They eliminate the need for expensive hardware and reduce maintenance and support costs. Also, to scale the business and innovate
  3. Target Customization Carefully – Remember that customisation costs can add up quickly. Target customisation carefully and ensure that any customisations align with your business goals.
  4. Schedule Timely Training Sessions – Schedule regular training sessions for your employees to ensure they are up-to-date with the system’s capabilities, features, and benefits.
  5. Optimize the Number of Users – Optimise the number of users who have access to the system. Determine who needs access to the system and the level of access required to minimize licensing costs.
  6. Choose an Implementation Strategy - Choose an implementation strategy that aligns with your business goals and minimises costs. For example, implementing the system in phases may be more cost-effective than deploying it all at once.
  7. Select a Suitable Deployment Method – Choose a deployment method that suits your organization's needs. Cloud-based solutions are a popular choice, but organisations might also consider on-premise or hybrid solutions.
  8. Consider Software Maintenance and Upgrades – Consider the cost of software maintenance and upgrades, and ensure that you have a plan in place to manage these costs.

Hence, estimating and minimising the TCO of an ERP system is essential for businesses. An accurate TCO estimate can help organisations plan and budget for the costs involved in implementing and maintaining an ERP system. By using cost-effective strategies such as cloud-based systems, targeted customisation, and timely training, businesses can minimise the TCO of their ERP system, and in turn, reap the benefits of a robust and efficient ERP system.

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