There are a lot of ERP solutions available in the market, but not all of them can be the right choice for you. You have to think diligently and chalk out a list of problem areas specific to your domain and industry before making the final purchase decision.
Traditionally, ERP solutions were built, keeping in mind the needs and requirements of a wide range of industries. During the implementation process, the IT team would conduct a rigorous study of the client’s specific challenges and then decide the features of the ERP system.
Generic ERPs were costly to purchase, difficult to implement, and required a whole team of IT specialists to maintain and update. It is why most companies took a considerable amount of time before going forward with the final implementation.
As time progressed, technology evolved. Today, ERP software provides industry-specific solutions, thereby saving time and money in the long run. The plus point of industry-specific ERP software is that businesses no longer require IT specialists to configure it as per the industry’s needs. Also, it takes care of all business processes with minimal or no customization required.
Research also indicates the same. A recent survey of over 200 business executives reveals that they require ERP software specifically built to deliver solutions particular to their industry.
With improvements in cloud technology and their easy integration with ERP systems, industry-specific ERP software is gaining momentum. In 2018 alone, cloud-based ERP systems had a 20.7% enterprise application growth rate. Leading research institute Forrester has estimated that by 2020, the cloud subscriptions for business applications will account for $170 billion in revenue.
Let’s see some benefits of the industry-specific ERP software and why companies invest significant time and money.
Generic ERP solutions entail huge costs. Apart from the significant license fee, companies have to pay for features that they may never use. Consider a company that specializes in providing excellent customer service on behalf of its clients. Seeing an increase in work, it decides to implement a generic ERP solution. What benefit will it gain from features specifically meant to help sales, marketing, and supply chain departments? On the contrary, it can save a massive amount of time and implementation cost with an industry-specific ERP solution solely built to assist support agents.
An industry-specific ERP software will already have many built-in business-critical functions that will significantly reduce the implementation time. It also allows for essential integrations to other necessary software such as Finance and Account Management, Supply Chain Management, Retail Management, Customer Service, Business Intelligence, and Field Service Management. Such instant API connections will further pull down the implementation cost.
The best thing about an industry-specific ERP solution is that you can readily take help from domain experts in your field. They will identify problems, diagnose bottlenecks, and eliminate errors as soon as they encounter them. This strategy will help you get quick solutions and will significantly lower your maintenance costs.
There is no doubt that generic ERP solutions provide a wide array of functionalities that can simultaneously support multiple operations. But not many companies need all those functionalities. They require help in a few areas and would prefer to pay only for them. Customizing generic ERP solutions is a costly affair, and quite often, it doesn’t attune to the company’s goals and objectives. In contrast, an industry-specific ERP software provides an all-encompassing solution that requires low cost and less time to implement.
Another vital feature of industry-specific ERP software is that it is truly customer-centric. It is designed keeping in mind the end user’s demands and needs. All the elements — including monitoring, functional control, process orientation, action on customer feedback, customer segmentation, forecasting sales trends to name a few — are designed to provide better control and resolve the industry’s specific challenges.
Further, it helps companies to gain visibility in their processes and determine the problem areas. This activity prevents manufacturing quality from falling and puts an end to delivery delays.
For the business to make profits and outperform its competitors, it has to ascertain customers’ needs and fulfill their desire. It’s also critical to fix competitive product prices and maintain adequate stocks and supplies of essential goods. An industry-specific ERP software will help you locate the exact pain-areas and provide to-the-point solutions.
For instance, of the many leading ERP solutions, Sage X3 ERP software is designed specifically for the Pharmaceutical industry. It is designed to provide pin-point solutions for supply chain management inefficiencies, strict regulatory compliances, and rigorous quality assurances faced by Pharma companies to operate efficiently. It streamlines daily tasks, allows data sharing across the organization, maintains a consistent chart of accounts, and enables all business stakeholders to work as a cohesive unit.
As a leading manufacturer, you should lay out a detailed plan before making the final purchase. The three points that top the list should be — smooth implementation, a minimal investment of time and money, and easy maintenance.
If you are planning to invest in an ERP solution, keep your mind open. A generic ERP software is not explicitly bad, but it may fall short of providing industry-specific solutions. On the contrary, it can be customized to offer a wide range of functions that cater to multiple industries’ needs.
The final decision rests upon your shoulders.
Industry-specific ERP software is gaining wide recognition because of its ability to provide pinpoint solutions. It is more affordable, is easier to maintain and upgrade, and requires relatively less implementation time. Thus, it can give you the necessary impetus to grow quickly in less time.
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