Fixed Fee Dynamics CRM Implementations: No Gimmicks, No Games

Ryan Plourde
| 8/8/2016
You may be wondering how any company could offer a fixed fee CRM implementation, and indeed we would caution you to be careful of such claims unless they can be backed up by expertise and experience. Crowe has been implementing CRM projects for over a decade and has worked on projects of varying complexity. During that time, we have developed a formula for successfully estimating the costs associated with CRM implementations. We call it Fixed Fee, and here’s how it works:

Phase 1: The Discovery Process (Free)

An important first step, for us as well as for you, is to conduct a brief but thorough investigation into the workings of your business processes. We want to know the most important relationships (e.g. people, money, or other) that your business wants to track with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

We will want to know about your business processes and goals in order to determine the suitability of Microsoft Dynamics® CRM and what it can do to help you meet your short-term as well as long-term goals.

The discovery step is free for you although it requires time and resources on our part. It’s crucial that we understand just how to best help you and how to budget your CRM implementation. We have gotten this process down to a science as well as an art and can perform this step relatively quickly.

Based on this discovery phase, we will give you a loose estimate for your project. and we will outline what we found and what we propose to provide.

An example might be an estimate of 100 to 300 hours for implementation (plus software licensing) Yes, that is a wide range. But this figure will help both you and us to see if we are playing in the same ballpark. If you imagined that the implantation would take 10-20 hours and we foresee ten times that, I think we would both agree that we are not a good fit.  But if you like our approach, and agree with the range, then we start getting specific.

Phase 2: Functional Design Phase (Paid – Fixed Cost)

In this step, we provide a fixed estimate to go through a functional design phase. For example, if the initial estimate was 100 to 300 hours, within that time we might schedule a fixed 30 hours as a paid engagement for the functional design process.

Keeping in mind your specified business processes and requirements we will work through the functional design. We will ask questions; will explore specifics that you may not have thought of. For example, you may tell us that you want to send invoices to customers. We’ll ask, what are your common terms? What do you need to capture? Where is your data coming from? Do you have standard templates for services and products? How do you calculate sales tax? What is your output?

We dig into the details so this is not a quick process. Collaborating with various users and decision makers in your company, we figure out exactly what you need and exactly how it will work. We’ll make sure you are thoroughly knowledgeable as to the benefits and capabilities of your proposed CRM solution.

During this functional design phase, we will only be covering our own costs. If we estimate 30 hours for design documentation, we will stick to that.  We may spend 100 hours on it because it so critical to us that everything be correct. After all, this is what we will hold ourselves to during the fixed fee

At the end of these 30 hours we will provide you with detailed documentation for your Dynamics CRM implementation. By then, we will know exactly what we need to provide and you will know exactly what you will be paying for.

Phase 3: Implementation (Paid – Fixed Fee)

When all parties have agreed and signed on to the design documentation, we will confidently provide you with a fixed fee proposal for the completed Dynamics CRM solution implementation. You will know not only the bottom line price but also exactly how long the implementation will take. If for unforeseen reasons it takes longer than expected, you will not pay extra.

There should be no surprises. Once the budget is fixed, we stick to it and that is what you will be billed for. If you later decide you want something in addition to what is included in the blueprint, you can choose to pay extra.

Our approach is designed to provide realistic expectations for both parties. We don’t estimate high just to give ourselves a buffer zone. We don’t underestimate or take shortcuts just to win the deal. We’ve developed our well researched approach to be sure that the fixed fee implementation is fair for us and for you. We don’t like unexpected surprises and gimmicks any more than you do. Unexpected situations sometimes come up, but we will provide exactly what we agreed upon, even if it takes us longer than we estimated.  Once the blueprint is agreed upon, anything that you would like to change or add would be handled as a change control process. This means it would be a new project, with an additional fixed fee.

I think you would agree that fixed fee CRM implementations, without gimmicks and games, can benefit both parties and provide a professional approach to the project. Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementations are at the core of our business. We know how to keep surprises out of the equation.