With so many benefits companies can reap from introducing an ERP suite into their business life, there is one important dilemma to be resolved: build a custom ERP solution from ground up or shop around for an existing suite.
While off-the-shelf ERP solutions have their pros, a custom implementation is growing in popularity among many business organizations. Here is why.
Probably, the key advantage of building a custom ERP system from scratch is its complete adaptation to particular business requirements. At the start of the development process, all of the people involved gather together to discuss specific details of the future platform, making their suggestions how to make it fit their needs in the best way possible. As a result, when the solution is finished, the staff will need very little training: all the business processes have been considered. By contrast, a prepackaged solution may require much more time for customization and training of the personnel. In large ready-made ERP systems, users may neglect up to 70 percent of the available functionality. In a custom system, on the other hand, every feature is created with the end-user in mind.
It’s true: with a custom ERP suite initial investments can be huge. You’ll have to form a team of developers, rent office space, and purchase equipment. All that takes time and money. For instance, developers may spend up to half a year on creating a standard resource management module and 2 more years on its testing and adjustment. Also, a general ERP system may cost in the range from $25k to $75k.
However, all that pays off later. Any business worthy of its name has plans for growth. There will be more staff, offices, and customers. The number of ERP system users will grow, too. In the case of an off-the-shelf solution, new licenses will have to be bought. A custom ERP suite doesn’t require it. In addition, software manufacturers that sell boxed applications offer costly support services, in contrast to those that create custom ERP systems. Besides, you’ll have a dedicated support team from a custom-made ERP system provider, which means fast speed and high efficiency of the service.
A cost-saving technique with custom ERP system is “start small and grow meat later.” That means only developing the most basic, essential business features first and add others, more advanced, later. This is something that’s not always possible with turnkey ERP solutions. This approach helps save money and at the same time streamline and automate the most crucial business processes such as accounting.
ERP systems represent a valuable tool for making business processes more efficient. While the choice of prepackaged systems available on the market is wide, many companies prefer building their own custom solutions. Platforms developed in-house allow businesses to save money in the long run thanks to no need for new licenses, cheap support, and excellent scalability. They also perfectly fit specific business needs and require almost no training from employees.
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