Advantages of a “Tailor-Made” ERP Solution
Posted Monday, October 3, 2011 by Don Kapuscinski
When evaluating ERP systems, there are many things to consider. Usually the most important will be the core functionality. In this case, you will probably soon realize that ERP solutions will have similar features and functionality to support what you would expect to find in an ERP system. If you have been evaluating Dynamics GP as one of the options, you are probably aware of the large ISV add-on solution offerings available. This may be one of the key reasons you are placing a higher consideration to an all-in-one system. From your perspective, you will have a single organization to work with and you know it will all work together. You won’t be intimidated by multiple choices. You may however, get a more generic system with limited flexibility.
Did you know:
- The Dynamics GP network of add-on solutions has a long established history, known for being seamlessly integrated to the core Dynamics GP system?
- Many of the solutions available have an interface designed and developed with the same look and feel as GP. Had you not known, you would think it is part of the core system.
- Many other available solutions use Microsoft’s integration tools to follow the same business rules as GP and offer the same Microsoft support. Solutions using those integration tools are typically upgrade ready along with GP.
- Solutions offered are required to meet certain Microsoft specifications.
- Dynamics GP partners have established trusting relationships with the ISV network and use that network as an extension to their own resources.
Here is an analogy to consider:
If building a house, you would contract a General Contractor to oversee the project and make sure it is implemented to your satisfaction. (Think of this as the GP Partner). But the General Contractor is going to then contract specific experts: An electrician, a plumber, etc. (the ISV community). The General Contractor is your single point of contact and they will coordinate and make sure everything works as expected. That General Contractor understands all the basic requirements. As the General Contractor, his job is to put together and manage the team that will complete the job to meet or exceed the customer expectations. Just like the General Contractor, the Dynamics Partners work regularly and closely with the ISV community. They know many of the solutions well and can offer you guidance or the choices available. They will be the coordinator and the project manager for a seamless interaction.
Your industry and your organization is unique. By selecting an all-in-one out-of-the-box solution, you may be forced to make the system fit or you may end up with parts of the system you still need to customize. Will this end up scaling as you grow? If there are changes in how your organization or industry operates, will the system readily adapt? Will you end up locked in to doing things the same way, even if there may be a better option? With the large number of add-on solutions, many of them designed for a specific industry or to support a specific technology, your partner can put together a solution that is tailor-made to your industry or organization. In addition, you have now expanded the number of expert resources available to you. This network of experts can offer you suggestions and best practices that a single resource may not have. Your General Contractor isn’t going to necessarily know all of the most recent changes to electrical codes or know about the best energy-saving technology for doors and windows. His experts will.
With the offerings of add-on solutions, you now have the flexibility to manage your budget and your project as needed. You have specific features you need now and you may also have a wish list of others. Your partners can help you put together a planning budget or a phased roll out. You can implement and get the understanding of the core solution and then be in a better position to identify what other features you need or want and have the ability to evaluate the options available. For example, you know you want to add bar coding for better inventory management. Do you need a full Warehouse Management Solution? Will the core inventory management features available within Dynamics GP meet your needs and adding a bar code data capture solution will add the efficiency you desire? Do you have any specialized tracking requirements? You may not be in position to answer this right away until you have an opportunity to implement and learn what you can use within Dynamics GP. You may want to select from a variety of options available for the solution that will best meet your needs and fits your budget. In the end, will that single solution offering provide you the flexibility you need? It is easier to add packaged add-on applications than it will be to then have the solution customized. Packaged add-ons will be easily upgradeable along with your core GP system and you won’t end up potentially having a custom “one-off” system.
Dynamics GP is a solid core ERP system. You can make it your own with the large network of specialized solutions specifically developed for your industry or for a specific technology. In addition, your solution is now scalable. You always have the opportunity to add other solutions and technologies at your own pace. If your needs change, you have the options to change your system. In the end, you still end up with a single integrated solution designed for you.