There are tremendous benefits for organizations that use enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. A key success factor in business today is the ability of an organization to keep their information arranged in a way that allows easy sharing between departments and the ability of management to mine their data, discover new information and ultimately make smarter decisions.
The advances of enterprise resource planning systems providers over the past decades have allowed them to offer powerful, out-of-the-box solutions for businesses with tens of thousands of employees to small businesses with barely a handful of employees. No matter the size of the business, enterprise resource planning systems provide great benefit and value, but not all businesses have the same needs. This is why many ERP providers offer the ability to customize their products.
Implementing an enterprise resource planning system can be quite an undertaking. Business processes need to be uncovered, explored, talked about and debated. This aspect often leads companies to question whether certain business processes are actually best practices or if they can be improved upon. This is undoubtedly one benefit of implementing an ERP system. Getting employees on board with a new system is another challenge faced in ERP implementation. Sometimes employees are resistant to change. This is especially true when they have a good way of going about a certain business process. Fortunately this is what customization is all about. Not all businesses are alike. Industries vary, industry best practices vary and not all out-of-the-box ERP solutions will fit all organizations.
Customizing an ERP system is often a great way to get more value out of the software, but it is important to keep a few things in mind that the experts have discovered. We are reminded that progress happens fast these days and update cycles are regular. When considering a customization, find out if this is an innovation that is already on its way. Customization can increase costs, and if the feature is already in the ERP vendor’s pipeline, be patient.
Learning the features of the ERP systems you’re considering is also important. Knowing the capabilities of the available systems will allow you to choose the right company with the most appropriate solution. Once you have your solution, a sound knowledge of its capabilities will help you align the system to your current business processes. In analyzing your business processes and how they fit in with the enterprise resource planning systems structure, you may find ways to trim the fat of your processes. Should you come across incompatibilities, then you can consider options for customizing your software.
No matter what ERP solution you choose, customization is an option. Just be sure to stick to the basics. Know your business processes, explore your ERP systems options and choose the best fit for your company. This will put you on the right track to getting the greatest value from your investment.