The goal of every Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) selection project is to identify the ERP solution that best suits the company’s needs, gives the company a competitive advantage, and provides the level of flexibility to support changes in strategy and growth. With today’s modern ERP solutions it is now possible to achieve ERP tailored to fit your needs.
ERP is not a software application, but a process of planning resources across an enterprise. This process is commonly supported by one or more software applications including: ERP software systems, customer management systems, maintenance and quality applications, and many more. Most manufacturing environments today rely heavily on 2 or more applications to plan resources across their enterprise. It is not uncommon to see 5-10 core applications in a mid-market manufacturer and as many as 100 in a global enterprise organization. More times than not, the main reason for this is that their last ERP project was completed in an era where manufacturers needed to supplement bare bones ERP functionality.
Modern ERP systems come in all shapes and sizes, and many offer solutions that create a cohesive, single-point system for managing your enterprise. You can find ERP applications that are prepackaged, coupled with implementation services offered at heavily discounted prices. These solutions typically offer little to no flexibility, not even the option to define your own general ledger chart of accounts. On the other end of the spectrum, you can invest in an ERP application that provides baseline functionality and requires heavy customization, but at a premium price. These systems give you tremendous flexibility with the ability to create a solution unique to your manufacturing environment.
When it comes to customizing your ERP project, moderation is usually the key to success. By selecting a system and solutions that align with your business requirements as closely as possible, you minimize the costs associated with customization. It is important to closely examine your requirements to determine what you truly need in an ERP solution. This will guide your decision making and help you select an ERP system that best meets your needs.
That being said, don’t ignore the potential to add in customization. Your ERP system selection is a key component, but be sure your ERP solution provides your company the option to customize – from simple reporting requirements to complex process applications or integrations with other applications. As your organization matures and gains experience in your new ERP environment, you will begin to see opportunities for continuous improvement and recognize where your ERP boundaries should be expanded or extended.
It is possible to expand your ERP system by building functionality on or around the ERP platform, closing the small gap between your ERP system and business requirements. You can also extend your ERP system through integration with best in class applications such as CRM, HCM and ecommerce solutions. Today’s modern ERP systems include multiple methods to customize reporting data and build business intelligence. Modern ERP also provides easy to use application programming interfaces (APIs) combined with representational state transfer (REST) services that facilitate efficient and reliable development environments.
One of our current projects highlights a very typical business case for customized development. A Tier I Honda supplier has negotiated certain Minimum Process Requirements (MPRs) over the years with their buyers at Honda plants. These MPRs were specific to the way the Honda supplier does business and interacts with Honda plants. The company landed on an ERP solution that out-performed others and most closely aligned with their business requirements. During the project, the company determined that these specific MPRs were important to the manufacturing process and valuable to the customer relationship. So, a concurrent customization project was initiated to ensure the requirements were part of their new ERP solution.
Revolution Group offers extensive customization and integration services for manufacturing ERP solutions. We’ve been expanding and extending ERP applications for over 20 years. Our skilled developers have worked with hundreds of customers to craft custom solutions to their unique business problems. If you would like to learn more about Revolution Group Development Services, call us at 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below.