Many manufacturers are moving away from heavily customized systems and toward those that can provide a large percentage of the functionality required, without significant modifications. The growing availability of cloud-based systems is driving the trend, along with the appeal for better functional fit, process flexibility and lower total cost of ownership.
If your operational team is discussing the pros and cons of modifying an existing ERP or implementing a new platform, you’ve likely heard the following – and we’ve got our own thoughts on the debate.
“We need modifications to match current business processes.” Every business has unique requirements, but if you’re automating a bad process, you’re limiting the value of your Infor technology investment. Implementing new technology is a great opportunity to examine existing processes, look for optimization opportunities and incorporate best practices. Keep an open mind – adjusting operating procedures to match the new ERP can result in productivity improvements and better processes.
“Customizations are good investments – we’ll get exactly what we need.” Customizations may address your business needs today, but technology advances, product lines get added, companies merge and other changes happen over time. Customizations are expensive to maintain and require specialized knowledge. Plus, the risk of continuous customization is an ERP implementation that is error prone, incredibly slow, and expensive to change.
“We’re not an off-the-shelf organization.” Think an off-the-shelf solution isn’t specialized enough to run complex manufacturing processes and multi-location businesses? Think again: Infor M3 is a purpose-built ERP solution offering the manufacturing expertise needed to run operations, whether they use MTO, ETO or complex mixed modes processes.
Buyers now have more choice and flexibility on the ERP front than ever before. Cloud-based deployments have become known for offering a greater level of security and uptime than most organizations can provide on their own, and they have the added benefits of delivering a lower TCO and being far easier to upgrade and maintain. You may not be able to foresee a new technology or market change, so choose a solution that is flexible enough to meet the demands of today and adapt to the future.
Amar Kulkarni is vice president of Business Development at Avaap where he works with manufacturing and distribution organizations to implement, upgrade and optimize Infor software investments. Get in touch to start your next project.