What is a Turnkey Solution? Pros & Cons, Example, 10+ Facts

Turnkey solutions provide a cost-effective answer to a variety of business issues, such as the CRM requirements of the CX and operations teams. Because turnkey solutions are pre-existing, they tend to be easier to execute and need less expertise, and they are also tried-and-true.

In many instances, turnkey solutions are a wonderful alternative to costly and time-consuming bespoke software that performs the identical function.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

A turnkey solution is a sort of system that is designed end-to-end for a client and can be readily adopted into their present business process.

It is instantly available for use upon deployment and is meant to fulfill a specific process, such as manufacturing (in part or in full), billing, website design, training, or content management.

A turnkey solution system is distinct from a custom-designed or manufactured system. A turnkey solution may be a cost-effective and straightforward alternative for a firm or organization that isn’t seeking additional bells and whistles.

In a turnkey solution, a corporate buyer only has to “turn” a “key” to begin company operations in a freshly constructed facility. As economies grew more service-based, the turnkey idea expanded to include the term “solution.”

What is a Turnkey Solution?

As opposed to building a process in-house or utilizing a custom-built system, a potential disadvantage of this approach is that the solution may not adequately incorporate critical characteristics for a given organization.

The intricacy of a business process is considered while deciding between in-house or custom-built vs turnkey options.

Due to the fast advancements in software and hardware, turnkey solutions are attractive among organizations that need speedy market entry.

Other Types of Turnkey Terms

Traditionally, turnkey refers to construction projects such as warehouses, other purpose-built structures, and homes. The goal is for the building contractor to complete a product that can be utilized immediately by the buyer.

Typically, a turnkey property is a recently refurbished and upgraded apartment complex or house that is move-in ready. Real estate firms, property sellers and purchasers, and real estate investors frequently refer to newly constructed homes or structures as “turnkey ready.”

A turnkey business may refer to a business that may be acquired without the need to modify the business plan or the items sold. A franchise like Taco Bell, for instance, is an example of a turnkey business.

How Does a Turnkey Solution Work?

Turnkey solution is a marketing term for a product that is pre-packaged and ready to use. If something must be modified before it can be used, it is not useful.

For instance, if you received a cross-country job offer with a start date the following week, you would need a place to stay immediately. You might hire a furnished flat temporarily as a complete answer.

The fully-furnished apartment would have all necessary items. You would just need to pack your clothing and purchase some food to be completely self-sufficient.

On the other side, rent may be more for a furnished flat. The furnishings and decorating might not represent your taste. You would have to make these sacrifices.

You may pay more for a turnkey solution with stainless steel appliances, a bright, refurbished basement, and an updated bathroom and kitchen. Alternatively, a cheaper fixer-upper may need an investment of cash and effort, but it could represent your personal style and preferences.

Pros and Cons of Turnkey Solutions

A turnkey solution may be the most cost-effective method to create an end-to-end system that is advantageous to various users. However, prepackaged solutions may not account for the unique requirements of an organization.

A third-party company’s turnkey solution for content management software may be less expensive, but it may not meet all of the purchaser’s requirements.

Example of a Turnkey Solution

A corporation wishing to install an online billing function on its website may utilize third-party suppliers to process each transaction and manage all technical aspects of this procedure.

In this instance, the usage of a readymade solution enables the business to avoid the hassles involved with establishing a billing system from start and programming the tool internally.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

Before Opting for a Turnkey Solution

A turnkey solution is a lightweight digital approach that provides a corporation with the capabilities it requires fast and cost-effectively. Nonetheless, before choosing a turnkey solution:

  1. Analyze your company’s strengths and weaknesses: Will this solution complement the first and alleviate the second adequately?
  2. Study the processes that will change: Does this solution exhibit scalability, or will it need to be changed when an organization expands or contracts?
  3. Consider the employees or users who will primarily use this solution: What impact will it have on their work? Are you able to provide them with enough training throughout the implementation phase?
  4. Calculate the long-term costs of the solution: Despite the fact that it may be less expensive initially, are there any hidden fees or other costs that may arise later? For instance, are you contemplating a SaaS solution whose beginning prices are cheaper, but whose scaling expenses exceed what you’re ready to pay?

Is a Turnkey Solution the Best Option?

A turnkey solution may be suitable for a certain firm, especially when:

  • You are not required to address a specific need. It is doubtful that a small- to medium-sized e-commerce business would require a custom-built customer relationship management (CRM) system, as the choices presently available on the market are likely to meet this purpose satisfactorily.
  • Saving money is a top priority. Turnkey solutions are typically significantly less expensive than custom-built ones.
  • The business need a tried and true approach. Established vendors of turnkey solutions will have a mountain of case studies and evaluations for their product, and you will be familiar with it.
  • Full-scale digital transformation is not achievable or desirable. A turnkey solution may suffice if you are only dipping your digital toes in the water or if you need a reputable industry solution.

In general, turnkey solutions are cost-effective when a business need a solution that requires minimal customisation.

For many expanding SMBs, this may be sufficient. If your digital transformation strategy focuses on modernizing your technological infrastructure, for instance, turnkey solutions may be suitable.

An application like as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an apparent example of a turnkey solution that will meet the demands of the vast majority of firms out of the box, as it is built to support a vast array of commonplace professional requirements. ERPs, like as Dynamics 365, are excellent examples of turnkey systems.

They are designed to service nearly any firm, regardless of industry, by definition.

So, when you deploy an ERP, you can normally anticipate to discover the broadest range of features of any digital system, including:

  • Finance & accounting
  • Sales management
  • Customer service
  • Operations
  • Project management

Thus, it makes perfect sense to choose a turnkey ERP for businesses of any size.

A further example would be a public cloud service for data storage.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

While many businesses, such as law firms and hospitals, require a more customized private data center for security purposes, the security of modern public data centers means that the majority of businesses are content to use them for their sensitive data without the need for a private data center’s customization.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should be aware that turnkey solutions and full digital transformation programs can be challenging partners for a variety of reasons.

When are turnkey solutions the best option for your business?

Existing ‘plug-and-play’ solutions exist in many instances for organizations to use in resolving issues. Creating bespoke solutions may be costly and time-consuming, therefore it is always advisable to investigate existing readymade options prior to developing a plan. If:

The requirement you have is generic: in most circumstances, businesses will not require custom-built software for digital concerns. A retail operations team, for instance, is unlikely to require a custom-built CRM given the availability of other alternatives.

Cost containment is a priority: Generally speaking, turnkey solutions are less expensive than custom-built solutions; however, this does not guarantee they are more effective.

Your organization does not seek a full-scale digital transformation: A complete digital transformation may not be achievable for your organization or is now undesirable. In such situations, a turnkey solution enables partial digitization without total immersion.

Your organization needs a proven solution: Turnkey solutions have been tried and tested to address problems, which means less time is wasted trying ways that will not work for your business or solve the problem.

What You Should Consider Before Opting For A Turnkey Solution

Although adopting a turnkey solution is simpler than adopting a custom solution, there are always factors to consider prior to implementing one throughout your whole organization, including:

  • Consideration of your processes: Consider how your procedures may be enhanced and search for a turnkey solution that can address this demand without negatively impacting your existing processes. A solution should be applicable to your process without requiring you to reinvent the wheel; adjustments need be made, but the costs should not outweigh the benefits.
  • Your company’s strengths and weaknesses: Will the turnkey solution complement the first and relieve the second? Look around for a solution that suits your needs.
  • How the solution will be adopted by your employees: Consider how your staff will operate with the new solution, just as you did while evaluating the present method.

As with the implementation of any program, a strategy will facilitate a more seamless transfer.

Digital Transformation and Turnkey Solutions

While it may be enticing to install readymade solutions to facilitate an overall digital transformation, they might become troublesome over time and may not meet the specific requirements of some firms.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

Turnkey solutions might restrict the digital transformation process and be unproductive for a developing SMB, particularly in specific industries.

As you endeavor to expand or contract the scope of your solutions, what may be effective in the short-term may pose problems in the future.

1. Digital Transformation tends to be highly customized

The digital transformation plan of a corporation should be highly suited to the organization’s particular needs.

34% of businesses have a digital strategy in place, 31% aim to implement one, and 35% have no such plans.

In comparison, a turnkey solution has a cheaper initial investment because it is a single product mass-produced.

Reduced customizability necessitates more modification in other areas to ensure the solution is appropriate.

As a result, you may wind up with a solution that doesn’t fulfill all of your requirements, necessitating you to return at a later date and design a customized integrated solution.

This may be a concern for certain firms, but not for others, particularly if they are time- or cost-constrained, have a pressing need to get a system up and operating, and are willing to reassess their configuration in the future.

2. Turnkey solutions encourage businesses to adapt to technology rather than adopt the technology needed for their goals

A digital transformation should be directed by the CEO’s and CIO’s vision for the process’ objectives.

The digital transformation is likely to fail in the absence of a clear executive strategy for tech change.

Seventy percent of businesses fail with their digital transitions due to a lack of a clear, comprehensive plan.

Frequently, implementations of digital technologies and digital strategies in general fail due to the absence of a unified vision from the top.

In this scenario, if what was envisioned is not materializing because employees are required to utilize a new system or tool that is ineffective in achieving that goal, then this is a major issue that might result in a loss of faith in new digital technology.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

As a result, it is crucial that your digital transformation objectives—particularly changes to work processes and organizational culture—based on the chosen turnkey technology meet or exceed expectations.

Always begin by identifying your organization’s objectives before deciding whether tools or techniques are required to attain them.

A digital transformation should not constrain you; rather, it should propel your firm ahead.

3. Turnkey solutions can inhibit integration

Sometimes, ready-made solutions lack the integration capabilities required for the software or technology to function effectively with other business processes.

This is especially true of older legacy systems, and it is one of the reasons why cloud-based solutions are gaining popularity.

For instance, a turnkey payroll system may lack the capacity to integrate with a printing environment to optimize the flow of documents such as invoices and bills.

If a corporation is capable of digital transformation in its entirety, it is unlikely that prepackaged solutions would be sufficient in the future.

If you want to install turnkey solutions that your business requires alongside other systems or solutions, ensure that they can be efficiently connected and that data can be exchanged between them.

The last thing you want is to get a brand-new set of tools for the task, only to discover that you’ll be establishing data silos in your organization since your data won’t be united.

The Benefits of ERPs

We’ve discussed the importance of enterprise resource planning solutions in modern businesses.

ERPs have become a need for modern SMBs as a result of their widespread business applications and the popularity of cloud technology.

Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of an ERP and why so many firms are investing in them in order to better understand why so many organizations are investing in them.

ERP depends on a range of modules to centralize the administration of a process.

They offer various benefits, including:

  • The capacity to act in real time
  • Assistance for all business applications
  • Consistency in its visual design throughout modules
  • Deployment flexibility. There are both on-premises and SaaS solutions
  • Implementation of best practices in accordance with every business process
  • Inventory and procedure standardization
  • The capacity to link and assess the efficacy of current procedures.
  • Possibility for more customisation as required

When ERPs are built and deployed with certain organizational processes in mind, they perform most effectively.

Impact Networking conducts an in-depth analysis of a company’s operations in order to determine how to adopt and configure the proper tools for your needs at a set charge.

When working with an MSP for ERP deployment, ensure that they have a thorough comprehension of your needs and provide you with the appropriate tools for the job.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

Be aware of MSPs who provide solutions from a small number of suppliers, since this indicates that their vetting process for solutions may not be exhaustive, and the solutions they offer may not meet your requirements.

There are MSPs that provide off-the-shelf solutions, but we feel that our strategy of offering a tailored solution for a fixed monthly charge that also includes support is the most efficient technique for tech adoption and maintenance.

Thus, the customer is aware of precisely what they are receiving, receives all they require, and does not need to worry about hidden fees or additional hours for future deployments or service.

This is the strategy that has proven successful for our customers over the course of several years as they change their digital capabilities as organizations.

A Word on Custom App Development

Today, we’ve discussed enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) extensively; nonetheless, we should mention bespoke applications briefly.

When turnkey solutions fall short of a given demand, it is frequently a custom software solution that might improve a process.

These solutions are prevalent in the majority of workplaces, whether in the office or on the warehouse floor.

Developing software involves time and money, neither of which is very enticing to a small to medium-sized business.

Low-code

Low-code is a method of software development that use a visual interface (thus “low” code) and “no code” platforms, allowing users to construct programs by dragging and dropping widgets.

The market for low-code development was estimated at $5.6 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $52.3 billion by 2024.

Low-code enables firms to create apps and solutions for practically any conceivable business function, while drastically reducing development time and costs.

In the context of turnkey solutions, low-code is a particularly helpful tool since it increasingly enables small and medium-sized organizations to create their own applications and integrate them into off-the-shelf ERPs with a great deal less effort than traditional software development techniques.

Choosing Between Turnkey Solutions vs. Custom Built

The majority of firms, especially those just beginning their digital transformation journeys, are suitable candidates for turnkey solutions.

So that their goals don’t fall short, it is crucial for SMBs to have a comprehensive grasp of the digital tools and systems they need to meet their specific requirements.

Organizations should recognize that for many applications, there is no either/or choice. As long as the integration of any future bespoke solutions is a realistic possibility, there is no reason why you cannot have a completely streamlined system comprised of both.

What is a Turnkey Solution?

Alternatives to a Turnkey Solution

If you believe that a readymade solution is inappropriate for your needs, you have two major choices.

Do It Yourself

DIY is always an option if you have the time and skill to manufacture the item you need. Despite devoting extra time and effort to the project, you will end up with something customized to your specifications.

Get a Custom Solution

If you lack the time or ability to design a unique solution yourself, you may pay a firm to do it for you.

Using the example of a fixer-upper, if you desire a home that reflects your aesthetic sensibilities but lack the skills to do it, you may engage a professional to remodel the property into your ideal home. You’ll pay a premium, but it’ll be uniquely yours.

Conclusion

A turnkey solution is a solution that can easily be implemented based on the resources already at the disposal of a company or individual.

In most cases, it is one of the more desirable ways to effect a solution, but may not be an option regularly. The imagery devised by the phrase turnkey solution conjures up that of turning a key to start a motor running.

FAQ

A complete system of hardware and software delivered to the customer ready-to-run. In other words, just “turn the key” and go.
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Pat Moriarty
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