Choosing the right ERP solution for your business can sometimes be a choice between going for an off-the-shelf solution or for a tailor made one. The lure of a tailor-made ERP solution rests on the flawed premise that the enterprise requirements are unique and therefore the solution has to be built around the processes and structure of an organization.
However, going down the route of building a customized solution opens up a Pandora’s Box, which might end up creating more problems for the enterprise than the solution was intended to solve.
7 reasons why a tailor-made solution may not be the best fit for your organization.
- Time to deploy: Murphy’s second law of computer programming famously states: “Any given program costs more and takes longer.” So you know you are going to overshoot the deadline and the budget…including the 30 percent contingency. An off-the shelf product is ready to deploy almost instantly, thereby saving you time, money and increasing productivity. It will not only slow down the implementation, will introduce new bugs into the system and make upgrades difficult and costly.
- Maintenance/Support: A Custom software solution is the child of its creator. The problem is exacerbated as documentation for custom solutions is inevitably lacking or grossly inadequate. What do you do, if the developer has moved on? What are you going to do for maintenance and support? What about adding new features to the product? These are problems that you don’t have to answer with an off-the-shelf solution as there is an organization that constantly maintains and updates the product based on the latest developments. In most cases, they will have the solution ready before you need it, as you will not be the only client needing it.
- Manpower Utilization: Would you rather manage your own business or worry about manpower utilisation? Customization in ERP needs to be understood by different people, the customizations may be initiated by one person but he/ she may move to pursue new opportunities, leaving the organisation in dire straits. This constant movement of talent will have a serious impact on development timelines. It will also impact your ability to easily add new features or functionality to the product. Eventually the hassles of managing the manpower churn, that is inevitable, will result in a solution that creates more problems than it solves. Also a customized solution, demands that your key personnel be involved in different stages from designing, developing to testing & implementing the solution. Consuming most of their bandwidth beyond the regular tasks, this is not productive. With a tailored solution they will need to spend lesser time, as most of their requirements are already factored into the solution.
- Scalability: Custom software is developed keeping in mind the current business scenario. It involves a set number of modules. What happens when the business grows and expands beyond its initial scope? Will the software be able to scale easily, or is a rewrite required every time there is a change in the operating environment of the business? With an off-the-shelf ERP solution, especially a cloud-based one, you can easily plug in the modules your growing business requires. Your software will aid your growth, not hinder it.
- Industry Standards: As an ERP vendor we build in the best practices of a sector into our tool. You might have a process that you think is working, but you might also be surprised to know there is a more efficient process for your sector, that saves time and money.
- Off-the-shelf customization: The key to a good ERP implementation is one that can be quickly deployed, is intuitive to use, can scale with the needs of the business, has industry-best practice processes and has the flexibility to adapt to the unique needs of a business. So basically an off-the-shelf product that has a degree of customization.
- New Trends & Technology: An off-the-shelf solution is almost always updated to incorporate the latest trend or technology. Even after the software has been deployed, it will be updated to reflect any changes. Some solutions can seamlessly integrate with other software, are IoT, mobile/ cloud ready & compatible with a wide range of Operating systems and devices. As and when new operating systems and devices come in, compatibility can be built with them as well. With a tailored solution, it is always a challenge to keep up with the trend. It is more expensive to change to newer technology.
Finally, the choice between off the shelf solution and a Tailor made solution depends upon the application area. For transactional systems, standard solutions make more sense and for planning solutions based upon mathematical algorithms, customization/intelligent plugins around standard solutions are more suited. EPPS-ERP has been built around the core philosophy that we are running partners of our customers, not a software vendor. So giving you an innovative solution to your problem is actually in our DNA. Our solution incorporates the advantages of an off-the-shelf product, while at the same time having the flexibility to meet your unique requirements.
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