Every business has a unique combination of needs, systems, processes, and culture that nearly guarantees some level of customization will be needed within your ERP system. Commercial-off-the-shelf ERP products rarely offer all the needed functionality.
If your company uses PeopleSoft, you’re likely familiar with the need for, and frequency of customizations. But did you know that your PeopleSoft customizations could be costing you thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year?
Customizations are expensive for many reasons. As with any technology, the more customized your platform is, the smaller the available talent pool is, meaning you’ll pay more when hiring for open positions. And don’t forget about upgrades. When an upgrade is released for your module, those customizations (if they aren’t out-moded by the upgrade) will need to be incorporated into the upgrade, (as this article notes, every time a bundle or upgrade occurs these customizations will have to be reviewed and reapplied, increasing the cost of ownership). This takes time, and the more time it takes, the more money it costs.
To prevent ballooning costs, consider conducting a regular review (quarterly, semi-annually, or annually depending on your needs) of your customizations to ensure your are only supporting the customizations your business truly needs. Don’t have the in-house expertise to conduct a review? Contact us and we’ll complete your review and deliver a final report in 2-3 weeks.
Here are a few questions you should ask every time you review your PeopleSoft customizations. Doing so will not only save you time, but may save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
1. Why was the customization needed initially?
Consider why your company needed this customization in the first place. Was it intended to be a temporary fix? Was the customization needed to support a particular process in your business that has since been made obsolete? This is a particularly important question to ask if you haven’t reviewed your customizations in some time.
2. Is the customization still needed?
Business needs change constantly. Re-organizations, the introduction of new technology, business process re-engineering efforts could all eliminate the need for a particular customization. This is why it’s critical to regularly review your customizations. Additionally, the need for a particular customization is frequently canceled out by a bundle or upgrade release. Which leads to the next question you should ask…
3. Has a recent bundle or upgrade release removed the need for the customization?
When a new bundle or upgrade is released it’s important to conduct a thorough review of the new offering, even if you don’t plan to immediately undergo an upgrade. Why conduct a review then? That release may contain changes eliminating the need some of your customizations. The fewer customizations you have, the more money you can save in the long run (but you’ll have to get through the upgrade first).
4. Is the customization so significant that it would be better managed through a bolt-on, or work-around process?
Some customizations are so cumbersome or intensive they would be better managed by either a bolt-on, or a work-around process. Bolt-ons are a custom application that live either in PeopleTools or the database of a particular module (HCM, or FSCM). Bolt-ons are often not affected by upgrades, which reduces the testing load when undergoing an upgrade. Custom bolt-ons can be developed in-house (though you’ll need solid tech analysts to translate requirements into code), or you can purchase various readily available bolt-ons from vendors. If a bolt-on isn’t the right option for you consider, consider another work-around process that might alleviate the need for a customization.
Can’t conduct a review in-house? Contact us for a full PeopleSoft assessment report delivered in 2-3 weeks. Not only will we provide recommendations on which customizations you can ditch, we’ll also provide a cost-savings estimate so you can see just how much $$ you can save by reducing your customizations. And who doesn’t like a chance to save some cash??