Client objections to including an Analytics component in their ERP solution usually fall into one of three categories:
- “I don’t need Analytics – the ERP app’s standard reports will do.”
- “I can’t afford an Analytics solution.”
- “We don’t have the technical expertise to support an Analytics solution.”
Objection #1 (“I don’t need it”) can be answered through a combination of the ERP module-specific questions (listed in the previous section), and a discussion of the difference between “standard reports” and analytics. Keep reminding your client that the only way to ensure that they make the best business decisions for the future is to use tools that enable them to get the most insight out of what has happened in the past.
Standard reports – without drill-down, interactivity, and (perhaps most importantly) predictability – simply cannot derive the same amount of intelligence out of historical activities. That’s the very reason “BI” technologies exist today.
And standard report designing tools are made for consultants, not for business users. This means that new questions from managers and C-level staff get added to a ‘report queue’ but don’t get done on time, resulting in either delayed decisions or decisions based on incomplete data. Users need to be able to find answers to their questions anytime and anywhere.
Objection #2 (“I can’t afford it”) is no longer true. With DataSelf starting as low as $399/month, analytics are very affordable. You’ll also often find that the ‘price issue’ has less to do with the license price and more to do with concerns over total cost of ownership. Organizations are rightfully concerned over the amount of time and consulting that an analytics solution will entail. And beyond that is the concern over the cost of designing their needed reports.
With DataSelf, these concerns are alleviated. DataSelf’s Analytics solution is typically deployed within a single day. And, with a huge selection of out-of-the-box reports, organizations don’t have to create most of the reports they’ll need.
Objection #3 (“We don’t have the technical expertise”) is a recurring refrain for any new app. Proprietary technologies tend to be difficult; they tend to follow their own rules (as opposed to industry standards), and history is littered with the remains of such solutions that arrived in a flash of glory . . . only to disappear a few years later.
DataSelf avoids these pitfalls in two ways. First, it provides natural language querying (NLQ) that let users create their own analytics with plain English commands – such as “sales by salesperson, this year versus previous year”. And second, DataSelf embeds the best-of-breed (& Gartner Group endorsed) BI and data warehousing technologies – tools that have been around for years, are proven, and can be counted on to still be around years in the future.
Lastly – if it all finally comes down to “cutting costs” on the ERP solution quote, be sure to ask your client about the potential costs of NOT implementing an Analytics solution . . . the cost of writing off just one A/R invoice a month . . . the cost of having insufficient stock to fulfill just one order a month . . . the cost of missing just one AP early payment discount a month . . . or the cost of missing a sale because you didn’t see the opportunity.
They add up. Quickly. Take your customer thru the math. They’ll soon see that adding Analytics to their ERP solution isn’t a cost. It’s a cost savings . . . and a revenue-generator.