Budgeting for 2017: What’s Your Support Plan?
If you’re like many of us here at ArcherPoint, you are in the midst of creating, refining, and updating your budgets for 2017. Otherwise known as budget hell. A necessary evil.
One thing that I’ve added into our budgets for next year is support for the various marketing systems we use. Technology helps us get our jobs done more efficiently, but what if something goes wrong? What if something doesn’t go wrong, but we want to expand our capabilities of an awesome tool we currently use? Both scenarios have come up in 2016, and as a result, we now have a plan for 2017.
Support for your ERP System
ERP systems and their reliable functionality can have a company-wide impact. Have you included support for your ERP system in your budget? I know many companies are on older versions of ERP and are quite comfortable with the functionality, and are confident the environment is stable and reliable. But, if you are planning an upgrade, will be adding to your staff, or see your business expanding in the next year, it may be in your best interest to earmark funds to ensure you have the ability to put a support plan in place when you need it.
ERP Support Plan Types
There are many plans available to companies when it comes to ERP, but the two basic types are:
- Time and Materials – pay as you go, as you consume support time and resources.
- Annual Contract – pay a fixed monthly fee for a set number of hours (or unlimited) for support incidents per month.
Time and Materials is a best fit for companies that are in a stable environment with well-trained users that don’t expect many changes to their business (and therefore the need to adapt their ERP) and are not planning to upgrade their software, nor servers.
Annual Contract is a best fit for companies that have high turnover, are planning major projects or changes to the business that will (or should) have an impact on the ERP system. One benefit of the annual support contract is that you have a set fixed cost every month, no surprises in your accounts payable. Most vendors offer various levels that can include priority handling of support cases, free services, and dedicated support representatives; all important factors when talking about the software that runs your business.
Now is the time. Get a quote from your ERP partner on their various support plans and rates, including exactly what is included in each, and budget appropriately for your business growth. Cheers to an amazing 2017!
Learn more about ArcherPoint support services.