Coding or customising: properly adapting ERP software
23 Jan

Coding or customizing: Correctly adapting ERP software

There are two methods for customising the processes of an ERP. Customizing is the method of adapting the system within the possibilities that the system offers.

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In the course of the digitalization business processes have become more and more individual. This has also increased the difficulty of mapping them. Although most modern ERP systems many standard functions are integrated, but the software usually has to be adapted to the company. This makes sense as far as it supports their competitiveness, i.e. strengthens their individuality. A portfolio of super-unique workflows does make a difference, but brings you in the Optimisation of your company but little.

Customizing vs Code Basis

Coding is, of course, the method that requires greater expertise. This is usually associated with money, which is why many companies like to Standard solutions on the ERP market that promise to work completely without customisation. The customising variant is therefore still more common. Depending on the complexity of the software, this offers a different number of home-made options for customisation. Some systems keep it very simple, while others allow you to modify every single step. On the user interface, these steps are usually represented by simple boxes so that the user is guided through the customisation process. However, as the complexity of the software increases, the adjustments become more far-reaching - meaning that one click may affect a much larger process. In this case, it is worthwhile to have an advisor at your side who can carry out the adjustments together with you.

Advantage and disadvantage of customising

The great advantage of the customising variant is and remains that it is quick and easy. However, you are again limited to the customisation options that are integrated in the software. With a specified industry software, this can already be sufficient. However, young companies in particular stand out by combining sectors (e.g. Retail and service), which is why their needs are not optionally mapped in prefabricated ERP software.

Everything feasible at code level

The alternative is to adapt the system on a code basis. In doing so, you can add functions and expand processes. The advantage: you get a system that is tailored to you. The disadvantage: the more specialised, the more expensive. That is the rule. Because very few companies have an in-house programmer who specialises in ERP application software. Customised software also costs money each time it is installed. updates extra, because the system does not automatically jump to the next version, but the modified source code must always be taken along. This can lead to complications if there are many adjustments. Because of the delays, an update is often postponed in order to save time and money. Meanwhile, the system slowly but surely becomes outdated.

The middle does it

But enough of the horror stories. The bad reputation that precedes customisation programming ultimately helps no one. And neither does the cheap version of customising ERP software. Because the functions depicted are rarely sufficient in a standard software to really accompany the processes in a company in the long term. However, dead-optimised ERP giant systems are also more of a burden than a help.

The solution - as is so often the case - is mediocrity. Processes that you need to map, but are flexible enough to adapt to a system without limiting the individuality and thus the competitiveness of your company. On the other hand, the applications that you definitely need in order to assert yourself on the market may be individualised - and you are also welcome to reach into your wallet for this, because it is worth it. If, for example, your company sells products (retail) on the one hand and puts them together in a personalised way (service) on the other, you have to map different processes here and link them with each other. If you stand out on the market through the service aspect, you should also strengthen it functionally accordingly.

Interfaces and Know How

ERP solutions such as SAP Business OneThe use of software solutions that, despite the depiction of many tried and tested standard functions, make it possible to link different systems through interfaces can be of great advantage here. Before adapting the ERP software, it may be possible to achieve the desired result by connecting additional specialised software. In this way, you can also solve temporary requirements without having to bend your ERP system forever.

Coding and customising in the cloud

ERP systems are also increasingly being operated in the cloud. The adaptability of these systems is often already more or less limited because of the cloud logic. However, there are some differences here, depending on which concrete cloud scenario is hidden behind the cloud. Private cloud, hybrid cloud, puplic cloud or PAAS and SAAS. There are many variations and, depending on this, also customisability. One thing is logical and clear: the more the software is shared by several parties, the less it can be customised.

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