Justifying Your Investment in Dynamics GP (Great Plains) – Cost vs. Return On Investment (ROI)

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There are many reasons that you are looking for a new system to run your business. Whether your company has grown or the business processes have changed, or the system you currently use is old and no longer a fit, you want to make sure the right system is chosen. My next blog will discuss ways to insure that you get what you need, but for now let’s discuss the ever important cost versus return.

As with all capital purchases, you are going to hear a lot on the features and functionality of the system and how it will help meet and exceed your needs. The sales team will indicate that their system will invariably be the right one to lead you into the future. All this information will be given and you will be wondering the age old question of “How much is this going to cost?” When you are finally given a number, it will be broken into many pieces: Software, Hardware, Implementation, Training, Customizations, Maintenance, Managed Services and so on. Ideally the ground work will have been laid properly and no one suffers the dreaded sticker shock.

At this point in the process, you don’t want to be deciding if you can afford the system based on price. Trying to fit a system into a budget will cause more problems. I don’t mean to suggest you shouldn’t negotiate, you should, but not at the expense of features or services. It will cost you a lot more in the long run if you do not do the implementation properly from the start. As with any large purchase, taking the time up front to do some research will provide you the luxury to base your decision on business value rather than price. The research up front should be around the return on investment of the project. There are plenty of ROI tools available on the internet, my favorite is an Alinean tool. When looking at ROI, do some digging outside of the standard areas of personnel, time saving and hardware costs. Your business partner can help you identify some additional areas of ROI that you may have overlooked.
When done properly, the ROI on a project can help you make the go/no-go decision properly and leave you feeling better about your choice.

By Meritide, Minnesota Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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