One of many things to consider is whether you are interested in a generic solution and whether you want a specific solution for your particular industry.
Until recently, any quest for an ERP solution has resulted in a choice between an industry-specific ERP solution or a more flexible "generic" ERP solution. This debate has actually been underway for decades. Since ERP solutions and strategies have changed, including a change to the ERP cloud, it is time to change the discussion for industry-specific ERP vs. the generic ERP as well.
Emerging technologies such as the cloud, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and the Software as a Service (SaaS) model have caused the MegaSuite ERP to be moved to Automated ERP. ERP now offers the most advanced approach for management applications of businesses. These developments enabled companies to invest affordably in highly specialized applications, which are sometimes industry-specific, and flexibly integrate with other applications. As a result of this change in the industry, other sellers started to rearchitect their solutions into a core series of applications that could serve as a record system with distinctive processes and activities supplemented by pre-configured or API-enabled integration.
The Industry-Specific vs Generic ERP debate has continued throughout all these changes. Let's look at the differences between these two options and how to proceed with the ERP selection process.
A generic ERP system is a general software solution designed for businesses across different industries. Generic software applications have a broad set of features and functionalities. They usually deal with accounting and finance, but they do very little for operations. These types of systems may have lower application costs but require a lot of modifications that increase the cost and risk dramatically. Implementation costs are also high because learning your business requires time for the implementer. Many businesses will have to make a great deal of customization and/or integrations to make these systems work for their business activities. These systems are extremely limited for them.
Industry Specific ERP
Like the generic ERP system, industry-specific ERP systems provide key accounting and financial functionalities. However, industry-specific ERP systems will provide additional functionality specific to your industry and operational requirements not offered by generic ERP systems. An integrated batch planner, for example, can help a production planner planning and scheduling the production of products without using a third-party software product.
Selecting the Right System
Selecting a new ERP solution is a challenging process. However, the first question to ask is whether your organization is best adapted by a generic ERP system or by an industry-specific ERP system. Look closely at your business processes and see what type of system you ultimately need for accounting and operational functions. Investment in the proper ERP will allow your company to efficiently work, reduce costs and grow successfully.
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