ERP: Go For The Best Or Most Convenient?

PostedOn: 2016-04-21 12:49:07

In the traditional ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software world, a company would buy an ERP solution to handle the whole thing from accounting to shipping to sales to inventory, etc. They would pick the best single resolution based on affordability, overall fit, and convenience. With this being the case, some of the pieces are better fits than others, so there will be strengths and weaknesses.

Breaking institution, one of the most recent ERP software trends is the best of breed method. In this method, a company still purchases all the pieces of an ERP, but it is from different vendors so that each piece is the best fit. Meaning, there is no compromise on quality and any strengths and weaknesses. So, there will be multiple vendors and multiple pieces to learn. For example, a company would buy inventory and accounting from Provider A, HR and payroll from Provider B, and billing and shipping from provider C.

Let’s take a look at key advantages for both methods.

Best of Breed ERP

Advantages

Better functionality.

Since you’re selecting each piece based on your specific needs, you can select the best fit. This will make each piece strength and allow the business to perform at its best, eliminating any weakness that would prevent growth and success.

Not locked into a single vendor.

With multiple vendors being chosen, if one ends up not living up to the hype or is overly hard to work with, it is much easier to eliminate and replace that piece of the solution. Any changes made would be less costly, less time consuming, and make the transition easier given it is only a piece and not a whole solution.

Easier to implement.

Rather than take all of your data over to one large, comprehensive system, you take over bits and pieces to various different solutions. Breaking it down into chunks and working on it for cleanings and reformatting is often easier than doing it all at once. Also, getting a piece of software implemented with hardware and company processes in place is a quicker, less painful process than getting one solution to fit everything.

Better able to handle complexity.

With the better functionality, the more complex the business is, the easier it will be able to handle your changing needs. So in addition to helping you grow, it can also grow with you and continue to support as the company improves.

Traditional ERP 

Advantages

Less total cost of ownership.

Buying one system from one vendor with one maintenance plan and one implementation fee is much cheaper than having to do multiples of everything. It also helps open the door for negotiations and further discounts which ERP vendors would be hard pressed to give in the Best of Breed ERP method.

Smaller IT footprint & integrations.

The IT department will have much less work to do when having to cleanse and reformat data to fit in with one company requirements, as well as the hardware on site. The amount of time to both do the work and communicate back and forth is significantly less.

Easier to maintain.

With one system, you get the benefit of having to deal with one company. If something goes wrong, your main contact should be able to address your needs and get everything solved. If multiple things went wrong with multiple vendors, getting on the same page and correcting the problems becomes more troublesome.

Less time commitment.

From day one of the selection process, going into the evaluation looking for one solution takes a lot less time rather than having to evaluate bits and pieces of every part of the business. It also allows for a general team to evaluate, rather than needing to have someone from each part of the business taking a closer look to find the best fit.