At the time of reading this, there are high chances that your business already has an ERP system. Or you have made up your mind about a solution that is best suited to your business. And are now looking to add functionalities or processes that are unique to your business. Which has led you here to learn about ERP Customization and how it helps in getting the most out of your ERP solution.
Differentiation always peaks our interest. And it is no different in the case of an ERP solution, which in this case, comes by the way of customization. You see, the solutions are made uniformly to take care of all the routine functionalities and processes of all businesses. But one size doesn’t fit all, and so it is in terms of ERP software as well. Coming back to the point of differentiation, it is important to stand out from the competition in today’s ever-changing business landscape.
ERP Customization accomplishes both, by making the solution truly your own and giving you the competitive edge to rise above the competition. How? For starters, customization doesn’t mean a complete overhaul of the software. It doesn’t need to as the solution already covers the common bases. Customization of your solution is entirely dependent on your specific business needs.
No ERP solution will be 100% compatible with your business right out of the box. It will require fine tuning at every level to truly adapt to your business. And that fine tuning is ERP customization. Is that all there is to customization? Definitely not, as it can be:
- Integrating ERP solution with third party applications, like POS, Computer Aided Manufacturing systems, etc. to support core functionalities.
- Integrating it with websites, portals or eCommerce websites etc.
- Cosmetic and design changes in the User Interface of the solution.
- Adding Custom workflow, layouts, formats, etc. within the solution for various departments & functional areas.
- Getting Add-ons to add or enhance specific processes & functionalities to the standard solution.
- Creating web and mobile based solutions such as Apps that are integrated with the ERP solution.
One thing that makes customizing the ERP solution all the more practical is the fact that it is done to fully adapt to your business flow & processes. It is done to assimilate your business needs into the ERP solution to give you more freedom, functionality, and to use it at its peak.
ERP solutions such as SAP Business One
and others are made to meet the needs of your business. And due to that, it has a uniform set of processes & functionalities which work for all. But it doesn’t give you a sense of true and complete control due to lack of other functionalities that might be integral to your business. Customization helps in adding & modifying the said integral processes, as and when required by your business. It moulds the software around your business rather than the other way round and gives you complete control over all aspects of business and the software. Such degree of control helps in using the ERP solution to its full potential and maximizing efficiency and achieving success.
Enhanced User Interface & Experience
At times, the end users might find the user interface of an ERP solution confusing. Rightly so as it has a plethora of functionalities and adapting to a new system takes time. This can hinder the user experience as well. With customization, you can tweak the user interface to your liking to allay such issues as well as improve the user experience, especially when complex processes come into the picture. In a software like SAP Business One you can easily add, remove, and align the home screen as well as others thanks to customization. This results in a user interface that is both, easy to understand to new and old users as well as provides then when an enhanced user experience.
No Changes in Workflow
Often, businesses have to customize or change their workflows in order to better assimilate the ERP solution into their processes. Customization helps solve this problem by automating manual operations without the need to change or customize the existing workflow. Your existing infrastructure, networks, databases, & more remain the same as customization is done in line with the customer specifications down to the last detail. Workflows are a major part of those specifications and hence require no changing. In fact, any gaps that existed between the company systems & the solution are fixed due to customization.
Customization helps in providing you a comprehensive visibility across your business, its processes & different departments. This helps in automating work between departments and improving efficiency, spotting gaps in communication & processes and rectifying them. This is vital in improving the cohesiveness & communication of your organization as a whole which results in a competitive advantage in the long run. In terms of reporting as well, customization helps in building a system that is extensive and analytical in nature. It provides you with critical business intelligence as well as a single reporting system for all your reporting needs, down to its formatting option to ease report generation.
The aforementioned are but a few advantages of customization that can help you get the most out of your ERP solution. Since customized solutions are designed & built according to your specifications, they often deliver better performance as compared to the base software. You are in complete control from day one and have a system that has completely adapted to your business & helps you succeed & outsmart the competition.
If you are considering of going for one then do take a look at SAP Business One. It is one of the easiest & most customizable ERP solutions out there.
There are two important questions that pop up every time implementation is about to begin:
- How long does a typical ERP implementation take?
- What is the process?
The answers to these important questions isn’t simple. You see there is no standardized implementation timeline as it varies from business to business
depending on multiple circumstances & scenarios.
For some, it may take as little as 6 months and for others it can take up to 2 years. Of course all of this is dependent on the circumstances, choice of ERP as well as the partner you’ve for implementation. Factors like size of the company, no. of users, system complexity, customizations, add-ons, type – cloud based or on-premises, all come into play.
The most important thing to note is this – Not rushing through the process
. For a successful implementation that integrates with your business seamlessly & provides the desired ROI, understanding the process is equally important as the timeframe.
And we are here to give you a clear get you familiarized with the ERP implementation process. It’ll help in determining the “How Long?”
for your business and give you a clear understanding of the process.
Here’s a brief description of the ERP implementation process; from the start to end and beyond
You and your chosen ERP implementation partner start assessing & devising a strategy for implementation. For example, you chose us for SAP Business One implementation. Our team gets in touch with you to understand the unique and specific business requirements, analyse them and come up with a timeframe for your implantation once the initial analysis is complete.
Documentation, Blueprint & Defining Requirements
Documentation takes places after analysing and finalizing the requirements to avoid any future inaccuracies. The documentation includes processes, approvals, reporting, document printing requirements, etc. A timeframe is then decided and the Blueprint is devised for the development & execution for your business. With the help of the blueprint a plant is defined to make the implementation as cost-effective & practical as possible.
Building, Configuring & Testing
During the building & configuration stage all hardware and software necessities are taken care of. Customizations, data migration, development of reports etc. all happen in this stage. Once complete, the testing phase commences where the ERP compatibility & functions with your system is double checked and User Acceptance Testing takes is done.
Training & Going LIVE
The users you had assigned at the time of planning and defining are thoroughly trained on the basis of their roles. They’re given a complete run down of the software and how to use it. Once that’s out of the way, your partner initiates the “Go-Live” phase where your business starts using the ERP solution to its full potential.
Support & Maintenance
The story doesn’t end at Go-Live. Proper Maintenance of the solution is essential to keep it running at its peak. The support and maintenance that your ERP partner provides is as important as all the stages above. Hence, choosing the right ERP partner is quintessential for a successful ERP implementation.
Hope this blog has given you a comprehensive insight into ERP implementation, and both the timeframe taken and the process to implement an ERP solution. If you are looking for an ERP solution that is both easy to implement and has a short time frame then consider SAP Business One. It is one of the most user friendly ERP solutions out there that is both easy to implement as well as learn