August 3, 2023
ERP software is a robust tool that helps companies achieve real-time visibility in business processes, increase operational efficiency, and ensure cross-organizational data integrity, sharing, and collaboration. However, not every ERP platform can effectively address your business needs. Moreover, there are cases when none of the current off-the-shelf enterprise resource planning systems can offer the capabilities you seek. That’s when a company turns to ERP software development services for custom-built solutions with features tailored to their business workflows.
The choice between building a custom ERP system or implementing a one-size-fits-all solution, such as NetSuite or SAP, should only be dictated by the company's specific needs.
Here are some weighty reasons for building your own ERP system:
For convenience, the following architectural levels can be distinguished:
From this perspective, the technologies used to build custom ERP software can be grouped into front-end, back-end, and databases, which can be deployed either in the cloud or on-premises. Some commonly used technologies are:
Design and technology selection
Deployment and launch
Post-launch support (L1-L3 support)
To calculate the cost of building a custom ERP application, you have to factor in:
how many workflows a solution can cover; the number of functional modules (financial management, supply chain management, sales and distribution, procurement, order management, etc.)
the number of integrations with internal and external systems, pre-built connectors for future integrations, the openness of the solution’s architecture
data cleansing, reformatting, and migration activities
the cost of third-party solutions used to build an ERP platform, licensing fees for storage and computing, and hardware-related costs
a standard team composition includes a project manager, a business analyst, UX/UI designers, solution architect, back-end/front-end/full-stack developers, QA engineers, and a DevOps engineer
training sessions and support documentation/materials/manuals for end-users
any maintenance activities to ensure the smooth operation of the software, regular updates and upgrades, and user support
Custom ERP adheres to all your business requirements. You can choose your ERP system’s environment, programming languages, features, and integrations. As your ERP mirrors your business operations, there is no risk of overpaying for unnecessary functionality.
As the ERP platform was designed following your functional and non-functional requirements, with proper documentation and comprehensive user onboarding, the platform is much easier to learn and use and promises tailored user experience.
A custom ERP solution can seamlessly adapt as your workflows, user base, and business needs and requirements change. The development team scales and adjusts the solution accordingly.
Being tailored to a company’s specific business processes, custom ERP promises higher productivity and efficiency, and as it entails no subscription fees, the TCO will be lower in the long run compared to packaged solutions.
With custom ERP software you do not have to wait for updates or bug fixes from the vendor, as your support team performs any changes or maintenance activities once a need arises, minimizing the risks of business process disruption.
Custom ERP systems are built following the company's specific security needs and compliance requirements. You can include advanced functionality such as end-to-end data encryption, authorization controls, multifactor authentication, and compliance management, which is not always available in ready-to-use solutions by default.
Custom enterprise resource planning is a valuable IT asset, so building it is a complex process fraught with potential barriers. To create a high-quality custom ERP, beware of the following:
Custom ERPs are usually associated with a higher price because of the heavy initial investment for the hardware, software, and human resources required to build the system. In this scenario, sticking to a third-party solution may initially seem cheaper. However, as your business scales, you will be charged more for a larger number of users, new functional modules, and integrations. Thus, building a personalized ERP solution can be more cost-effective in the long run.
With custom ERP solutions, you must assemble a team, create a business logic, design the solution's architecture, draw up the technology stack, and develop, test, and deploy the software. The more complex your business workflows are, the more time you need. Additionally, poor project management can incur delays and increased costs. Custom ERP development also requires excellent technical expertise and a niche skillset, which becomes a roadblock. However, with ready-to-use ERP software, once you’ve chosen and configured it and paid a license fee, you are ready to do business.
When building an enterprise resource planning solution, you can be tempted to stuff the ERP system with all possible capabilities. To avoid ending up with a boundless functional scope, we recommend you start by interviewing your critical stakeholders for their requirements and expectations for the system. Then, elaborate and split all the elicited requirements into groups, for example, 'must-have,' 'beneficial,' and 'nice to have,' to make sure that the first two groups lay the solution's foundation.
An experienced ERP partner helps ensure that your ERP solution mirrors your business processes, is implemented within the time and budget, and has high ROI and adoption rates. When choosing an ERP consultant, check if it has a strict and proven ERP development process, a portfolio with an ERP implementation for companies similar to yours (same industry, size, tech maturity, etc.), and a deep understanding of your business, strategic goals, and needs.
Custom ERP is an expensive endeavor. Many companies do not opt for it for fear that their investments will not pay off because of the frequent technological changes. To create a long-lasting custom ERP system, we recommend getting a comprehensive ERP strategy carefully mapped to your business development strategy in the first place. Being a transformative technology for any company, an ERP solution is not an endpoint but the next step to automation and digital transformation. To execute it safely and achieve your objectives as quickly as possible, you can rely on Itransition’s certified ERP consultants.
ERP consulting services from certified consultants to help companies with ERP implementation and optimization, from tech selection to after-launch support.
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