The Main Obstacles in Building Custom ERP and How to Overcome Them
Efficient resource management and planning is an essential component of a successful company. Any company’s growth comes with an operational routine that cannot be handled without the right tools and technologies.
During the last year, custom-developed ERPs allowed over 50% of companies to streamline their efficiency by organizing accounting, onboarding, logistics, HR and other processes, while those companies who didn’t implement ERP experienced a decline in their profitability and gaps in technological advancement.
In this article, we will define ERP, observe the key benefits of custom-developed ERP, review the main obstacles in developing it and advise how to overcome them.
What is ERP?
Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s look at the definition of ERP.
Enterprise Resource Planning is a system or software that combines various functionality for handling routine operations within one company or a group of companies. Depending on a company’s specific needs and operations’-related factors, this can be a web system, a mobile app, custom-developed software, or a ready-made solution.
Though the off-the-shelf ERPs have various advantages, many companies prefer developing their own systems, which is often justified by the cost and time-saving purposes, as well as agility of the system.
Benefits of Custom ERP Software Development
So what are the benefits of custom ERP software development?
Let’s point out some of the most critical ones.
One of the greatest advantages of custom ERP software is the ability to build custom modules for each company function or department. This capability allows for clearly defining specific functions, data, information and processes of the designated team. In addition, ERP modules prevent data leakage and contribute to enhanced security.
Easy to use and maintain
While developing custom ERP the development team will consider the corporate preferences and create a product tailored to the company’s needs. An additional advantage is the documentation that, in the case of a custom ERP, can be as detailed as possible for the sake of a seamless and linear learning process for team members.
Additionally, a custom-developed ERP system allows for easier and faster bug and error management. You won’t need to address a third-party company to solve an issue; all you need is to address a teammate developer beside you.
Whatever off-the-shelf solution you choose, you will have to adjust your processes. No matter how sophisticated and well-thought the standard ERP is, it will only be able to meet some of your business objectives. While on the other side, custom ERP can be initially prototyped and developed with each tiny nuance that comes to a developer’s and the management’s mind. To put it simply, you won’t need to change your stable time-honored workflows due to the new ERP system; right on the contrary – the newly developed custom ERP will adjust to your workflows.
Main challenges and how to overcome them
If you’ve thought while reading the previous paragraphs that custom ERPs are all about rainbows and unicorns, well, you’ve been mistaken. Like with any other software, building custom ERP may imply pitfalls and stumbling blocks.
Below we will list the most common obstacles in building custom ERP and some ways to overcome them.
Challenge 1. Costs
If you are not a large enterprise, developing a custom ERP system may become costly. Hence many startups and small businesses prefer to trust their resource planning and management to a subscription-based and often much more affordable solution.
However, with bigger businesses, such an approach wouldn’t work since a bigger business implies high-end customization, which most subscription-based systems cannot offer. So before deciding on developing a custom ERP system, you should have a clear view of the future expenses – this will include not only configuring the right technology stack but searching for and hiring talents.
Nevertheless, all these costs will be of slight significance once you count your cost savings in operating expenses. And the return on investments for larger companies remains really high regarding custom ERP development.
Challenge 2. Development time
Depending on your business specifics, developing a custom ERP solution may take longer, especially compared to implementing a ready-made product.
In this regard, one of the highest priorities for the C-suite is setting up a clear ERP development strategy so that the time allocated for the project would be used at maximum efficiency. Whether it is an ERP system logic, a prototype, or a testing stage – underlining strict deadlines would help keep track of the process.
Challenge 3. Training
At the final stages of ERP development, you need to organize group or individual training for the staff members for them to be able to use the solution properly. Besides the fact that training is time-consuming, they may require help from experienced mentors and technical experts, which means spending extra costs and resources.
However, this step should be considered integral during the ERP development, and proper planning may help reduce stress and minimize inefficiency.
Challenge 4. Complexity
When choosing the combination of technologies in developing and running an ERP system, the devil is in the details.
Only understanding the business objectives in all tiny details and seeing a larger picture of the processes and people involved can guarantee top management the balanced and proper tech stack choice.
Another guarantee is the right team, which includes the technicians and analysts, since taking the best of these two worlds would lead to the best results.
In this article, we’ve observed the key benefits and obstacles in developing custom ERP. Positive statistics of thousands of US enterprises who successfully developed and implemented custom ERP testify to the fact that despite all that, the hurdles are worth breaking when it comes to skyrocketing operational efficiency of your business and gaining a competitive edge.
However, apart from the aspects mentioned above, one of the vital concerns any top manager should address before starting ERP development is choosing the right partner.
Kanda is a premier full-service Custom Software Development, Cloud Engineering, QA and DevOps company specializing in developing time-sensitive and innovative solutions. To every project, Kanda brings a combination of domain expertise, exceptional engineering talent, and a rigorous approach.
Still don’t know who to trust your ERP development to? Talk to our experts!