ERP Implementation Calculator

Traditional ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems require a big effort to properly implement. There have been thousands of case studies produced by businesses over the last 20-30 years about the best process for implementation.

With years of enterprise software development and ERP system experience, our team put our knowledge into an ERP implementation calculator that distills the common input gathered very early on in the ERP implementation process to produce some rough figures for businesses to understand what they are getting into.

The ERP Implementation Calculator will provide estimate ranges for general complexity, timeline, implementation cost, and ongoing recurring costs.

The number of physical buildings or facilities that your business owns.

The number of employees who will access the new system.

The number of unique roles in the business, relevant to this system. This would mean roles such as Sales Manager, Salesperson, Engineer, Team Lead, etc.

The number of current software systems that you use and expect to be replaced or integrated with. Think about everything from Excel, to Access, to your CRM, to your Accounting system. It's important to consider every system that will be eventually replaced by your new ERP system or that will need to be integrated with your ERP system.

The amount of data in GB that you currently store as a company and that will need to be migrated to a new ERP system.

The place where you plan to store your ERP data. The data will either need to be on a local, on-site server at one of your facilities or stored through a cloud service provider.

The general complexity of your business operations. Some businesses work in a standardized industry with standardized operations/processes. Describe where your business is at.

Depending on your ERP vendor of choice, you might need to pay per user license costs. Estimate how much you are going to need to pay on a monthly basis for each user.

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Estimated per hour support, implementation, and consulting cost of your ERP vendor or consultant.

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How many people are you going to have assisting with project implementation on your side? This would involve project managers, team leaders, executives, etc.

Generally with larger systems or software implementations you have 2 options for the implementation process. You can try to migrate everything at once if you have a highly coupled system that will be difficult to break into pieces. Or you can approach a single subsystem/business function at a time in phases.

Depending on your ERP vendor, you may need to deal with major version upgrades. How often do you expect to perform a major upgrade?

Select all of the business functions that your ERP system generally needs to handle.

A Traditional Process

ERP has had a long history and evolution. As ERP transitioned from its early days of MRP to MRP II to ERP to the more modern cloud ERP systems today, the implementation evolved as well.

Up to a certain point.

Traditional ERP and software vendors earn revenue through a set of services provided to companies. These services almost always follow a general framework:

  • Discovery / Requirements Gathering
  • Infrastructure Creation
  • Data Migration
  • Software Configuration
  • Customizations
  • Training and Support
  • Project Management
  • Quality Control
  • Recurring License Fees
  • Recurring Support Fees
  • Recurring Upgrade Costs



Each one of these services is associated with an hourly rate charged by the project implementer or consultant. ERP systems today take a lot of work to get moving properly and a team of implementers standing behind the project pushing it along.

ERP implementation has remained very consistent with this pattern for a while.

Targeting big businesses

The reason ERP vendors, even today, use a detailed implementation process is because they are still heavily targeting larger businesses and even modern ERP software is complicated. To get the software to bend to the needs of the business, it takes many hours of configuration/customizations on top of making sure that hundreds of employees understand how to use it, old systems get replaced/migrated, and that every business use case is covered.

This doesn't always make sense for small business ERP systems.

For larger, more complex businesses, the calculator above should be an extremely valuable start to your implementation process.

What about small businesses?

For small businesses, a full implementation process might just not make sense given the right cloud ERP system. Small businesses, especially ones that keep things as simple as possible, can get away with following more modern, agile approaches to ERP software using SAAS (software as a service) systems like Buster. This reduces overall cost and risk for small businesses.

Have a question?

If you have any questions at all about planning, estimating, or implementing ERP systems then reach out to holden@bustererp.com.