Are designed ERPs right for manufacturing?


Enterprise resource planning implementation best practices dictate that adopters avoid pursuing solutions that require significant customization. An estimated 54 percent of the organizations that installed ERP platforms in 2017 followed these standards, putting into place software containing custom code modifications that encompassed one-quarter or less of the end product, according to researchers from Panorama Consulting Solutions.

The reasoning behind these guiding principles is sound: The more customization, the higher the implementation cost. However, a recent development has forced some to second guess this conventional wisdom.

In recent years, a growing number of businesses navigating the ERP implementation journey have turned toward so-called “designer” solutions, Clause Jepsen, an ERP architect and member of the Forbes Technology Council, explained in a recent article for the publication. These unique products are developed and deployed by internal information technology staff and include customized modules coded by third parties for use in specialized industries. As a result, many of the businesses looking into this technology function in the manufacturing space, where sector-specific ERP features are essential.

With that said, are designer ERP platforms really right for modern manufacturers?

Understanding the low-code revolution
Designer ERP solutions are products of the burgeoning low-code development movement, CIO reported. Programmers or software providers using this methodology leverage specialized platforms that give them the power to create applications and software suites in-house via visual tools instead of hard-coding techniques.

This methodology not only saves time and money but also supports the integration of custom, third-party solution modules that can enhance the user experience and lay the groundwork for further return-on-investment optimization.

In his piece for Forbes, Jepsen even previewed a potential future in which established ERP providers work with independent programmers to cultivate one-off solutions to meet the needs of organizations that require software designed to perform very specific functions.

Designer ERPs in manufacturing
For enterprises in the manufacturing space considering new ERP technology, many of which are also in the midst of digital transformation, this approach sounds pretty appealing. ERP deployment time and potential ROI are major concerns for these firms.

If designer solutions assembled through accelerated low-code development workflows and equipped with industry-specific components can have a positive impact on both of these variables, why not pursue them?

One good reason: an overwhelming lack of proof of concepts. Designer ERP solutions are still in the experimental stage, meaning few companies have even embarked on implementation, much less seen results.

While this methodology might prove fruitful in the future, manufacturers embarking on ERP adoption today should stick with reliable providers with proven records of success. Here at Accent Software, we help organizations in the manufacturing space do just that.

As a certified Microsoft Business Solutions partner, we provide vendor-vetted Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementation services, which allow businesses in the manufacturing space to put into place best-in-class ERP software designed to facilitate organizational growth.

Connect with us today to learn more about our products and services.