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Is It Best to Configure or Customize ERP Software?

Global Shop Solutions Customizable ERP

After an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform has been installed, decision-makers will enjoy uncovering areas of the business where they excel and develop solutions to strengthen any operational weaknesses that the system finds. The use of ERP software has benefited companies in a wide range of industries.

However, during the implementation process, while working with an ERP software vendor, an important question will need to be asked: Is it easier to customize the platform on the platform or reconfigure it as needed on the back end? This is a dilemma that requires a lot of thought to determine the best option for the business.

As a general rule, the more flexible an ERP platform is, the more likely a company will see positive outcomes post-installation. This is due to the fact that over time, an organization will experience change. In some instances, an ERP solution will allow a company to grow through improved customer satisfaction, which results in more revenue generation.

In other instances, decision-makers may feel that it is in the best interest of the company to scale back in certain areas as a way to conserve financial resources and improve efficiencies. In either scenario, the ERP software in place will need to be adjusted in accordance to the needs of the business. The easier this process can be carried out, the better it is for the organization as a whole.

The differences between customization and configuration
Although these two terms are very similar in certain respects, when referencing ERP solutions they are entirely different. According to IT Toolbox, Customization involves the creation of specialized codes that can be programmed into the system and given those tasked with engaging with the platform on a daily basis the ability to make changes as needed.

As advantageous as this sounds there is a cost. Not only must this step be taken on the front end, while the software is being installed, coding can be expensive and this can drive up the total cost of the implementation.

Configuration is much simpler to carry out and involves making changes from a pre-determined list of options that already exists within the platform. This can be limiting considering that there are only a finite number of possibilities available to choose from. In addition, anything that is needed which falls outside of the parameters of the existing platform may require the installation of an entirely new system. This, of course, will call for an even greater financial investment.

Enfocus Solutions offers a number of helpful suggestions for decision-makers considering which route to take in this process. The first, and arguably most important, is to clearly define and outline the needs of the business. Once these requirements have been established, the platform selection process becomes much easier. Leaders can be confident that no matter what changes take place within the company, the ERP software solution selected will be able to adequately fit the company’s needs.

Another good tip is establishment of project management protocols. When overseeing an implementation, the individuals or group assigned to oversee the project will need to make sure that during implementation, customization doesn’t take place without first assessing the impact on the business. In addition, it will also become imperative to outline certain criteria that will justify the need for software customizations to be made.

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful ERP installation. However, as long as organizational leaders, vendors and staff members are on the same page throughout the entire process, any challenges encountered should be easy to overcome.

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