The market nowadays is diverse, but every company, be it big or small, faces one common challenge: it needs a reliable way to gather and store information. Inventory or finances – the data should be properly documented to keep you on top of things. Luckily, ERP solutions can help you out.
According to the report, 95% of respondents improved their business processes by using ERP software. Sounds fantastic, right? But bear in mind that there is no ideal system for everyone – it should serve your business goals and requirements. That is when custom ERP applications come into play.
Why is custom ERP development the fastest way to push your business forward? Continue reading – we have this and many other questions answered below.
An Enterprise Resource Planning (abbreviated “ERP”) system is a set of digital management instruments that can be used for all business departments and help control data flows within the organization.
In its simplest terms, ERP systems provide an overview of all business operations through a set of modules. The most popular ERP modules are
- finance and accounting,
- warehouse and inventory,
- supply chain,
- tasks and workflows,
- customer relationship management,
- human resources.
As you can see, ERP apps contain several vital business tools in one.
What benefits do you get with an ERP app?
So, you have these business instruments gathered in one place. These are the main reasons why you should implement an ERP system:
- Saved time: ERP tools have all the modules you need inside, which means you do not have to spend time on synchronizing several apps and building up their structure for your organization.
- Visibility: The work of any department and its processes are accessible within one solution, which makes the whole company visible for the senior management and improves the collaborations of different departments.
- Automation: You will be able to identify how to automate the company’s workflow and, subsequently, enhance the team’s productivity and efficiency.
- Reporting: ERP apps provide the best insight into the company’s overall progress because all of the departments are brought together under the same roof.
- Improved customer services: Information on each client will be stored in one system with no need for sales managers to create numerous spreadsheets for customers’ profiles.
If you consider using an ERP system any time soon, you might want to know the best options offered on the market. Here are the most well-known examples of ERP products.
Microsoft Dynamics is a good fit for many industries including retail, finances, or manufacturing. Among other advantages, this solution has an in-built predictive analytics module and lots of options for third-party integrations.
Odoo contains a unique inventory management system: you can follow the product from the manufacturing stage up to the final customer. Besides, the tool offers advanced customer portals that store information about your clients and automatic stock adjustment for ecommerce companies.
Infor is built on an AI platform suitable for businesses of any size. It provides analytical insights into business activities. For example, managing assets goes hand in hand with predicting failure and providing preventive measures for that.
SAP Business One is among the market leaders and a better fit for small organizations. It has several standard modules inside (finances, sales, marketing, customer relations, etc.) and is compatible with almost any device.
Oracle NetSuite is a solution for companies of any size. It is a well-known platform that supports numerous languages and currencies. It is highly customizable and has a partner relationship module inside.
Market solutions offer lots of opportunities, but there are some cases when a custom ERP system would be a way better choice for a business. Customization is necessary if:
- Your team is lost in a bunch of digital tools. One app to store the clients’ database, the other one – to take care of the payments and bills, and the third one is for the marketing department. Even three tools can create chaos even in a small organization. To keep things in order and ensure smooth processes, business owners should opt for custom ERP development. Employees will not have to switch between the apps and will be able to concentrate on more important strategic tasks.
- You need quick access to the essential business data. Dozens of databases stored in different places – is it a nightmare you face at work every day? It might change with ERP customization. You will be able to build your own structure with the most vital information you need at hand and store it within one and only application, uniting all business data.
- Customer experience is suffering because of organizational problems. The product often goes a long way before it appears at the customer’s door. Production, storage, selling, delivery – you probably have some of these departments in your company. If they use different software, it will inevitably lead to overdue orders and negative reviews for your business.
Building up a custom ERP system may not be the first thing that comes to a business owner’s mind. Why would you choose a more difficult way if there are so many ready-made options at arm’s length? Let’s figure out why customized ERP software is one of the best decisions that impacts numerous business operations.
- Reduced costs. Off-the-shelf products already have everything you need and maybe even more. Eventually, you will have to pay for “even more” options despite it being useless for your business. At the same time, there may be some features that are absent in the solution you can buy and use right away. This is the source of extra spending. Overpaying is surely not what you are looking for.
- A higher level of control. So, the development has started – what is next? Such complex solutions are developed gradually, in small working parts. For you, it means having full control over the development process and features added on the go. Your team is the only decision-maker and only you decide what you will get in the end.
- Steady workflow. The custom ERP modules and their combinations will be tailored individually to your business needs, which means you will not make any changes in the current workflow.
- Increased productivity. Step by step, new features will be delivered according to the requests of the company’s management. You will start noticing how the same processes will be managed faster and how it kickstarts the organization’s progress.
- Easy integration with third-party services. Ready-made tools offer many integration options, but you cannot be sure that every business app can be added to the list. When developing your own software, it becomes a required condition – no matter what app you use, it will be connected with the custom solution.
- Scalability. ERP development does not end when the tool is ready. Your business grows and so does the number of business operations – sooner or later, you will need additional features added to the existing ERP product. When you work with a dedicated team of developers, you can handle way more challenges together, including the growing list of modules and features.
Now, the most interesting part: we will see how custom ERP software development looks on the inside. Creating such systems is both challenging and fascinating – step by step, developers check every corner of your business and build modules for them. But let’s start from the beginning.
1. Make the list of requirements
ERP solutions existing on the market offer you a variety of modules, but here is the thing – only you know the current business needs, strengths, and weaknesses. There are probably several departments that need your attention and some automation right now – this is where you start forming software requirements.
2. Sketch the system’s structure
Typical ERP systems have a unique structure different from other types of software. You can check ready-made applications and decide what elements you need the most. But in the end, only skilled developers know how to develop an ERP system that fits your organization perfectly.
By seeking experts, you save time and future investments – ERP developers know best how it should be done from the very beginning and can save you from mistakes in decision making. They review your requirements and draw up “a skeleton” of the future system.
3. Decide on the project’s tech stack
Experienced developers can quickly come up with an idea of the technology to use. Ask the team you work with about these points:
- The programming language to use.
- Hosting. There are two main options: in the cloud (it is a web solution) or on the local server (for connected computers). Cloud-based software is a common choice for most entrepreneurs because of its security.
4. Integrate legacy apps and databases with the new app
Before developing an ERP system, the team should have all the accumulated data at hand. It speeds up the work progress and gives developers a full understanding of your current business routine.
5. Test the results of the first iteration
Implementing an ERP system moves step-by-step. Before reaching the final result, you should be aware that every module has been built correctly and it can ease up the company’s workflow. Your employees should check the solution and try to perform several everyday operations with it. When the testing is over, you will already have the system’s part that works independently.
The next module is another project’s milestone, and flow remains the same: you get a new module for testing after which it becomes the app’s essential part.
ERP systems are complex and, at the same time, the most flexible solutions for modern business. It gathers all necessary software under one roof and helps improve the workflow significantly. The only problem is to find the right solution on the market, and the odds are this tool does not exist yet.
The best option in this situation is to develop an ERP from scratch. Is it hard? Yes, and you will surely need some help. Is it worth the effort? Beyond any doubt – you get the software that matches your business perfectly and you can scale it any time and in any way.
ERP software development goes hand in hand with many years of experience – this is how we see it in Eastern Peak. Contact us to finally bring your company to a new level of progress.