Continuing the Discussion - previously on the cost of Inventory Management Software
A common problem when searching for a software system is setting a budget. After all, there are so many options and they range greatly in price. In this post we will determine some strategies for setting a budget depending on your needs and what “software tier” you are seeking.
3 Major Software Segments
The first step in setting a budget is determining what major software segment you are considering. At a macro-level there are 3 main segments:
- These systems typically accommodate one business process but on the upper end may accomplish several.
- They are not true ERP systems and often must be integrated with many other systems to offer solutions across business operations
- Examples include: QuickBooks, Fishbowl, Simply Accounting
- Price range: $100-$10,000
- These systems offer full ERP functionality across business functions (i.e. inventory management, accounting, CRM, eCommerce etc.)
- Examples include: Blue Link
- Price range: $10,000-$100,000
Top-tier (Blue Chip)
- These systems offer full ERP functionality on a scale necessary for vast organizations with global operations. The complexity of their operations necessitates a significant capital spend
- Examples include: SAP, Oracle, Infor
- Price range: $100,000-Many Millions
These tiers offer a basis for determining a budget based on the following factors:
Introductory systems offer a great solution for many start-up companies or small “mom and pop” businesses. In order to facilitate growth, a proper middle-tier package will be needed at some stage. Middle-tier systems allow a vast amount of growth – allowing a company to transition from an introductory system far into the future. A top tier system may never be required, but if so, it will become readily apparent that it is necessary (multiple global divisions, vast numbers of employees etc.).