Customizing ERP Software: Pros and Cons

Going Beyond Off-The-Shelf ERP Software

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software plays a central role in streamlining your business’ operations. From product development planning to human resources management to supply chain management, you can integrate the key forces in your company into one centralized system and view data to inform and support your decision.

Today, there are plenty of off-the-shelf solutions available to meet your ERP needs from brands like Oracle, Microsoft, Infor, SAP, IQMS, Sage, Epicor, Netsuite, and many others. For some companies, the software that comes out of the box is perfectly satisfactory. Others, however, elect to have their software customized by a specialized development company such as BairesDev.

Custom-built or customized ERP software is sometimes capable of solving issues off-the-shelf software can’t, given the particularities of each organization. You can incorporate features unique to your business and how it operates.

Customization is the answer for some organizations but not to all. Wondering if it’s right for you? Here are some important pros and cons to consider.

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The Pros of Customizing Your ERP

Let’s take a look at the bright side first.

  • You have absolute control over your product

    The very purpose of ERP software is to meet the needs of your business. One-size-fits-all software may not actually align with your requirements. But when you have BairesDev or a similar software development company customize your platform, you have maximum control over what it does and what it provides. You can ask the developer to configure a solution that’s tailored to your specifications — exactly how you want it to be.

    Some off-the-shelf software may have features you don’t need and not enough of the ones you do. Customization can address this, leveraging only the features that are important to your organization and industry and how it functions. You’ll be able to survey your leadership team and departments to determine the best components to maximize the success of the entire enterprise.

  • You’ll achieve flexibility

    In this day and age, flexibility is paramount. When you partner with a custom ERP software development team, they will work with you to build software that can be adjusted to what you want. If your company changes, your developer can adjust the software to accommodate new demands and different times. This is more difficult with standard software.

  • You’ll gain a competitive advantage

    Because no standard ERP system can address all of your organization’s challenges in full, customizing your software is often the answer. After all, the end goal is to achieve a competitive advantage in your industry, and if you don’t strive to create a system that will allow you to see a clear, bigger picture and see all the data surrounding your processes, then you’ll be missing out.

    Meanwhile, if your competitors are using ERP software that capitalizes on their potential and helps them meet their goals, you could be left behind.

  • You can scale and change your ERP system when your needs change

    Companies grow all the time. As you bring on new employees and implement new processes and procedures in your organization, you need an enterprise-wide system that will grow with you. If you use a customized approach, you can rest assured that your software development team will scale the solutions to meet you and your team where you are, adjusting the software accordingly to accommodate new users, services, and demands.

    Even the design and infrastructure can be altered to change the ERP system as your needs increase and evolve.

  • You’ll own your software

    When you use routine, off-the-shelf software, the license belongs to the software company. If you’re using a SaaS model, for example, you'll most likely be paying a subscription fee to utilize the ERP system. But when you have a platform custom-created just for you, the software and its license will belong to you. You won’t have to continually pay for the service of using it within your organization.

    This also means that you’ll be able to keep adjusting and adding new features to further personalize the software.

The Cons of ERP Customization

The other side of the coin.

  • There’s a risk of “over-customizing”

    Customization is all well and good, but there is such a thing as too much. Sometimes, businesses get so caught up in adding personalized features that the software becomes unrecognizable and no longer achieves the objectives they set out to accomplish in the first place. This could force you to scrap the solution completely since it might no longer serve its purpose.

    That doesn’t mean you should only rely on off-the-shelf software, but it does mean you need to be careful about going down a customization rabbit hole. Establish objectives, and once you’ve met them, avoid the temptation of continuing to add unnecessary features.

  • You could miss out on core features of off-the-shelf software

    To the same end, if you’re so focused on customizing your product, you might overlook core features of your existing software and obscure them with unnecessary bells and whistles. It can also become difficult to install regular upgrades and updates, which are often necessary for keeping the platform functioning smoothly. This could interfere with the basic functionality of the software.

  • You could introduce bugs

    This is less of a risk if you’re working with a respected, quality development company like BairesDev, but the more features you introduce into your product, the greater the potential is for introducing defects. This is simply the nature of software development: the “fancier” and more involved the product is, the greater the likelihood is for errors to surface.

  • It may be costly

    It stands to reason that adding more features to an existing product will be more expensive than simply using the software as it came. Generally speaking, the extent to which you choose to customize the ERP software will correlate to the fee you pay. That means that if you want extensive customization and an amalgam of new features, you could be looking at a hefty price tag.

    Of course, a developer worth its salt will work with the business to ensure they’re getting what they pay for.

    ERP software could be the system you need to bring your business to the next level. Whether customizing that software is the answer depends on what you’re looking for in your platform and how you intend to use it. Consider these advantages and disadvantages as you devise your ERP software strategy.

    Don’t forget to contact BairesDev to learn how we can help you customize your ERP software and tailor the product to your business!

Build your ERP Software with BairesDev

With so many procedures, resources, and data going around, enterprises surely have a hard time keeping track of everything. To prevent that from happening to your company, you can always build your own custom ERP system with BairesDev. We can develop a comprehensive ERP system to integrate all your data, processes, and resources into a single platform. Plus, our engineering teams have the skills and know-how to perfectly accommodate your specific requirements and needs, regardless of the industry you’re in.

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Developing a Custom ERP With BairesDev: Step by Step

To be sure that we’re building the ERP your enterprise needs to succeed, BairesDev follows a strict and proven development process consisting of 5 main steps.

Requirements gathering and planning. During this stage, we meet with you to understand your needs, goals, market niche, values, current IT infrastructure, and overall strategy. With all of this information, our engineers can begin planning the ERP, from picking the right tech stack to ideating the core features for the system.

1

Design and prototyping. After you agree with our plan, our designers, software architects, and developers turn your requirements and specifications into the product’s blueprints. During this stage, we don’t just consider the ERP’s functionality but also its look, feel, and entire user experience. All of that comes to life in a prototype where you can check whether we’re on the right track.

2

ERP development. With your approval on the prototype, we move on to backend and frontend development. Backend engineers will work on the core of the ERP (basic functionality, databases, inner logic) while frontend developers will focus on everything the users will interact with.

3

QA and Testing. Depending on the methodology we agreed upon at the beginning of the project, this can be a separate step or a continuous effort conducted throughout the development. Either way, our QA engineers and testers work tirelessly with your ERP to identify bugs and issues that might hinder performance and functionality. The goal? To make sure that your ERP works as intended.

4

Production and Maintenance. Once we get to a high-quality ERP, we deploy it into production, integrate it with your infrastructure, and release it to the end-users. After that’s done, we monitor its use to deal with any potential bugs that appear post-launch. We also work with you to expand the ERP’s functionality and update it whenever needed. 

5

Things that we pay extra attention to

Building a high-quality ERP is a complex endeavor where the engineering team has to pay attention to multiple aspects and requirements. As an experienced ERP development company, BairesDev knows about the pitfalls and potential issues waiting ahead, which is why we are extra careful with the following aspects.

  • 1_soak_BDev_SRP_Numeros
    ERP's Interior
    An ERP is as good as its core functionality. That’s why we focus on developing the highest-performing code to meet your business’s most pressing needs and requirements. We stick to the key problems you’re trying to solve and work tirelessly to build a system that addresses them with efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, we always develop ERPs in such a way that they are easy to scale later on to ensure they can grow with your company.
  • 1_soak_BDev_SRP_Numeros
    Functionality
    As the main benefit of implementing an ERP lies around automation and governance, it’s easy to forget that the system’s functionality also has to be aligned with your needs and operational goals. That’s why we develop relevant functionality based on the information we gather in the requirements and planning phase. Thus, we aim to power your current processes while also paving the way for reimagined workflows to boost your productivity and improve your efficiency.
  • 1_soak_BDev_SRP_Numeros
    Must-Have Capabilities
    When creating an ERP, it’s easy to feel tempted about the many things you can do with it. Truth be told, aiming for all of them at once is impractical (and close to impossible). That’s why we always start understanding who you are and where you’re headed. Using that data, we can better design which features are critical and which are nice-to-haves. Of course, we always bridge the gap between the 2 devising a roadmap through which you can build the latter on the foundation of the former.

ERP System

SAP is one of the most widely known ERP vendors in the world, offering different modules and subscription-based solutions for a variety of industries, all of which leverage cloud capabilities. Being a top alternative, SAP guarantees scalability, on-and-off premises power, and countless features. That’s why integrating SAP ERP solutions in your business is such a smart choice – it can take it to the next level.

Naturally, integrating such a vast system into your digital environment isn’t an easy task. That’s when BairesDev comes in. Our ERP developers can ensure a smooth transition to a new SAP ERP without data losses and making sure that all tools are properly managed and upgraded.

Oracle is another top ERP vendor that services nearly every industry. Through its JD Edwards, ERP Cloud, and NetSuite solutions, the company provides businesses with ERP systems that streamline their operations, automate processes, and reduce costs. You can enjoy all of those, too, with the help of BairesDev.

Our ERP development team can help you implement Oracle’s cloud-based solutions in no time and without hiccups. We can also aid you with upgrades, support, custom Oracle ERP development, and even special projects that have Oracle’s solutions at their core. 

Being a system capable of servicing an entire enterprise, you might think that an ERP is only worth it if you want an extensive management system. However, you can implement an ERP in your organization to boost a particular department. You can do that with virtually any company area that has to deal with large data volumes but few can benefit from an ERP as much as the HR department.

Through its implementation, you can automate administrative tasks and speed up your internal HR processes, such as basic employee, payroll, and training management as well as recruitment and reporting. Naturally, that requires a custom ERP solution that BairesDev can develop for you. Our team can collaborate with you to understand your HR needs to build a tailor-made ERP in no time and with the highest possible quality. 

ERP implementation can also benefit financial teams, as it helps to gather reliable data for financial planning and forecasting. Using an ERP allows you to streamline your financial processes, saving you time and money. You can use it to configure actuals into financial planning models, create forecasts automatically, and provide financial training. 

BairesDev has the necessary financial expertise to build an ERP that helps you achieve all of those things. Our engineering teams have vast experience with the financial industry, which translates into valuable insights that let them develop relevant ERP with powerful features for deep data analysis and management.

Frequently Asked Questions

ERP software development is the process through which a software development team builds an ERP system for any given company. An ERP is a complex system that handles the management of many business processes in an enterprise, meaning it works as some sort of mediator between core processes.

The main objective of an ERP is to ensure the proper data collection, process governance, and automation. Thus, the development team needs to have the necessary expertise and know-how to build a complex software system that lies at the heart of an enterprise with multiple areas and teams working together in real-time.

The development process for an ERP system isn’t that much different from a regular software development process. That means that an ERP is developed following basic development stages, including the requirements gathering and planning, design, development, testing, and deployment stages.

Naturally, a system as complex as an ERP introduces some nuances in the development work. That usually means paying attention to complex core functionality and to the seamless integration of the ERP system with a larger and equally complex infrastructure where the system will insert itself.

ERPs have been increasingly growing in demand since the 90s, which means that there are many ERP solutions available in the market. Probably the most widely known include Oracle’s solutions (such as JD Edwards and ERP Cloud), SAP’s systems (such as S/4 HANA and Business One), and Microsoft’s applications (such as Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV). All of them are good choices but to properly pick one of them it’s essential to consider certain factors, such as company size, departments that will use it, and pricing, among others.

An ERP developer is a software engineer that develops and maintains Enterprise Resource Development (ERP) systems. As such, this professional builds the solution itself but also works with it to develop new reporting features, customize its components, adjust its interface, and update it. ERP developers are highly analytical and have wide experience working with business database systems.

Companies in today’s business landscape need to be able to collect and analyze data to get actionable insights from it. Thus, an increasing number of companies are resorting to ERP solutions to do just that. That’s because ERP software can provide the following benefits:

  • Streamlines workflows and automates operations
  • Provides support to financial planning
  • Improves data accessibility and security
  • Improves communication between teams on an enterprise-wide level

As beneficial as it might be, an ERP isn’t without its drawbacks. Some of the most important ones include:

  • Expensive to build and maintain
  • Challenging to implement
  • Can create further complexity in an already complex environment

If you want the benefits without most of the drawbacks, then you need to trust a reputed ERP software development company. At BairesDev, we have more than a decade of experience in developing these systems for companies across different industries and verticals. We can put our agile-driven approach to development to work for you and provide you with a comprehensive and efficient ERP solution in no time.

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