We live in a “customizable world”, a world where we can get absolutely anything and everything tailored to our specific needs. Suffice to say that our generation is extremely accustomed to heavy customization. It gives you a sense of control as everything is “tailored to you.”
Well then, how can a business resist the temptation of over customizing ERP Software to its specific needs?
Every business faces a critical decision while implementing an ERP Software: Whether to customize or not. This has been a highly debated question ever since the inception of ERP.
Let us first understand ‘what is ERP customization’?
Customizing ERP Systems implementation generally refers to making changes to the source code in an attempt to match it to our specific needs.
The cardinal sin that is Over Customizing ERP Software
Using a system, out-of-the-box, with little or no changes to the software code is usually regarded as a safe bet. The more you deviate from the plain vanilla implementation, the more it costs and less likely is the schedule met.
Below are a few things that you should keep in mind before navigating your way through the realm of ERP customization.
1. Deferred Go-live dates and increased costs
One of the most prominent drawbacks of over customizing ERP Software is a delayed go-live date. The more you customize, the longer it takes for you to go live and get the ROI. Customizing requires modifications to the source code of the software, ostensibly demanding more time and technical proficiency. Such changes adversely affect your budget and may render the project infeasible altogether.
2. The Potential drawback of Backsliding
In simple layman’s term, backsliding refers to the inability of an organization to fall back on an old system. Any time you make a change in the software, it would inadvertently create a ripple effect, affecting other parts of the software. Hence, any time you introduce a new function, you have to conduct back sliding testing to ensure that other functions are unaffected. It is a very time-consuming process and could push back go-live dates and make the software less effective.
3. Expensive and time-consuming Upgrades
An ERP System needs to be updated as and when the ERP vendor releases major or minor upgrades. Depending upon the ERP architecture, putting the upgrades on a customized ERP may require re-developing/adjusting all the customized modified functionality again. Hence the customer ends up paying some extra amounts for the same software customizations time and again.
4. Vendor Monopoly
A highly customized software implementation would prevent you to shift to another implementation partner if you are unhappy with the present one. Sticking to a standard version could ensure a rather smooth transition from one implementation partner to another.
5. Technical know-how
It requires a great deal of knowledge to handle a system that has been heavily customized. People who have assimilated this knowledge become immensely important and subsequently may cause havoc in case they decide to leave the company.
6. Standard is often the best deal
Most modern ERP Systems embody best practices, catering to various industry-specific needs. It is best to modify your existing business practices and adapt to these best business practices rather than customizing ERP Software to meet your existing needs. However, there may be your existing practices which by themselves are best for you and can be easily configured into an ERP without any customizations. We don’t suggest changing such processes.
ESS’ ebizframe ERP System caters to thousands of clients in 20+ diverse industry verticals. Based on its extensive development and implementation experience, it brings the world’s best business practices to its customers. ESS’ experience makes it quite adept at understanding the client’s needs and then helping them adapt to the new system by a combination of their good AS-IS and the world’s best business practices.
To conclude, every company is unique and would find its own place in the spectrum of no customization to heavy customization in ERP implementation scenario. However, it would be naïve to venture into the realms of customization without equipping oneself with the right paraphernalia of knowledge and information. In simple words, it is best to be aware of the risks before venturing into the complex domain of over customization ERP Software.
To overcome any doubts regarding customization (or over customization) and implementation of a sound and robust ERP System contact our team: [email protected]