Businesses looking to select and implement a new ERP system have a critical decision to make right off the back. Do you go with a large generic ERP solution that provides the “one size fits all” type functionality? Or, do you look at a more industry-specific ERP solution that will provide the functionality that meets your needs?
A generic ERP system is simply a general software solution that is made for companies across various industries. The features and functionality of generic software applications are general in nature. They typically address accounting and finance but do very little for operations. These types of systems may have a lower cost for the application but require a lot of modifications which drastically increases the cost and risk. Implementation costs are also high because it takes time for the implementer to learn your business. Businesses like chemical distributors or process/batch manufacturers will find these systems very limited in functionality and will have to do a lot of customization and/or add-on integrations to make it fit their business operations.
Industry Specific ERP
As with the generic ERP system, industry-specific ERP systems provide essential functionalities for accounting and finance. However, an industry-specific ERP system will offer additionally functionality specific to your industry and operational needs that generic ERP systems don’t offer. For example, a production planner can utilize an integrated batch scheduler to assist them in planning and scheduling production of products without using a third party software product.
Choosing the Right System
Selecting a new ERP solution is a difficult process, but ultimately the first question one should consider is whether a generic ERP system or an industry-specific ERP system is the best fit for your organization. Carefully look at your business processes and see which type of system will ultimately provide you with the accounting and operational functionality that you need. Investing in the right ERP system will enable your company to function successfully, reduce costs and grow.