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Replacing SAP

By Choppit ·
A certain amount of history is necessary to explain my predicament. The company I work for has had its share of ups and downs, and has just barely recovered from yet another low. In the last 3 years turnover has fallen from ?8M to ?2M and employees from 125 to 32. Around 1987 the company contracted a programmer to write an application to manage the business. As the company grew,the application grew, but the business was still relatively simple having only a handful of processes. When operators frequently made mistakes, the programmer was drafted in to make the system more foolproof.As the system became more foolproof, the calibre of the staff reduced. In 1998 the programmer decided to retire, leaving our application without support, and with Y2K looming it was decided to move away from our bespoke solution and prepare for the business to grow. A contract IT manager was hired to manage this transition and the decision made to implement SAP R/3. An implementation team of 6 was set up and R/3 implemented. Within 6 months the IT manager realised that the implementation did not match the businesses requirement and left, closely followed by the remaining 5 members of the implementation team who could now command higher salaries elsewhere. R/3 is now crippling the company both operationally and financially and needs to be replaced before December 2006 due to end of support. The difficulty I have, as IT Manager is that due to the need to stay in business, our business is now much more complex than it was in 1999, more processing errors are made and the business really needs a system that can pull everything together, be supported and adapted, with minimal external assistance. I've looked in detail at Navision and SAP Business One, but the cost of bespoking to cover just a handful of our processes is prohibitive (not to mention the problems this may cause for implementing upgrades). Has anyone had experience of a similar situation or words of wisdom to share?

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All too common

by Black Panther In reply to Replacing SAP

It's such a common story how many companies go broke with the high costs of the consulting and implementation of SAP compared to the actual cost of the Software Itself. It is also common with most Tier 1 Software Packages where you actually pay for the name more than the capabilities and flexibility of the package.

Basically the absolute minimum turn-over for companies even to consider being able to afford SAP is 50million.

There are alternatives out there which cost more than 1/3 of SAP but with almost equal functionality and flexibility without costing a fortune for implementation.

If you are in Australia then all the Better but one package worth considering is Pronto

Over 1000 Customers in Australia, Papua New Guinea, resellers in North America, Canada, Asia etc
More info at

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Replacing SAP

by bulls2 In reply to Replacing SAP

No one can actually give you a good advise unless they know your business process in details. Canned software like SAP, PSFT, ORCL and others are designed to provide general accounting, distribution and MRP functions. They often require heavy modifications to be useful to the ever changing and competitive business environment. Unfortunately, when all the changes are finally made, a new version of the software is announced forcing you to upgrade and the same nightmare starts all over again. I often recommend to my customers to implement changes outside the canned packages and use an interface through user objects, transactions or postings.
My advise to you is to seek a consultant who will be able to study your business and recommend the best possible solution. Few weeks of his/her time will save you plenty of expenses, headache and pain going forward. Chances are as an IT manager, you don't have the time to conduct these studies on your own.
Don't hire the big firms, beside their outrageous fees, they often have alliances with companies they recommend.
Feel free to e-mail me if you have specific questions.
Good luck.

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