With the holiday season just around the corner, you might be asking yourself, is it time to invest in custom development? Stock-outs, fulfillment problems, or delayed orders not only hurt customer relationships, but your revenue takes a significant hit. Every business operates differently, and as powerful as Microsoft Dynamics GP is out-of-the-box, the solution to your holiday headaches just might be custom development. Not sold on the idea of custom development for your ERP system? There are a few things to take into consideration before completely writing it off.
ERP workarounds eat away at time and money
When you consider custom development, is your first objection cost? The ticket price on custom might spark some initial shock, but if you’re running a system that can’t keep up with your growth, your loss of revenue due to human errors and time wasted on lengthy processes will likely surpass the upfront cost of custom development.
When you’re working with Dynamics GP, it’s easy to develop the bad habit of piling up workaround tactics when you can’t fix the root of the problem. Over time, these band-aid solutions make it more and more difficult to dig yourself out of those inefficient processes.
It’s also important to take into account how many hours your employees spend on meticulous tasks that could easily be automated with some customization work. Redundant tasks eat up time that could be spent more strategically.
Custom software implementation can be pain-free
It's not uncommon to be wary of custom software out of fear of a lengthy implementation process. The truth is, if you really need customization, it will be worth the wait. That being said, it’s important that you work with an experienced team that understands your company and your unique needs. For a smooth process, it’s best to find a custom software team that works with iterative development, deploying pieces of your custom project to you in multiple "iterations." This way, you have a chance to test each piece, or iteration, and provide feedback to your custom developers. This kind of collaboration passes the mic back to you for the final say on exactly what you need for custom-fit software. Iterative development also allows you to see the ROI of your customization as soon as each new piece is deployed.
Finding the right team is key
Maybe your hesitation when it comes to customization is because you tried it once and were let down, to say the least. Maybe you spent a significant amount only to receive a solution that didn’t improve efficiency or fix broken operations. A good implementation process can’t come out of a bad partnership. Working with creative thinkers who are willing to develop tailored solutions to meet your needs is key to finding the perfect customization job for your company.
You want to work with an intuitive custom software team — a team that will know what questions to ask in order to get the core of your problem. If you find the right team, they might even modify your original request after evaluating your needs. It’s easy to adapt around inefficient processes on Dynamics GP and not even realize it. The right team will help you streamline your processes -- even the ones in your blind spots.
Ultimately, implementation will go faster and smoother if you choose a custom team that roots for you, understands your company, and is willing to communicate a clear plan of how they’ll deploy your software to you.
Software that will grow with you
If you’ve considered customized software for your ERP, you’ve probably thought about the level of difficulty that goes into upgrading your software after customization. The truth is, you can find custom software that isn’t difficult to upgrade and has the capability to grow with your business. Not all products are built for customization, but Microsoft Dynamics GP is, and when you implement add-on software that was built to customize, you can build a dynamic duo that will yield better days for your ERP system.
Ultimately, if your business has a clear need to adopt custom software to make your processes work, then you're better off saving time and money in the long run by trimming those inefficiencies sooner with a custom solution.
At SalesPad, we take the time to evaluate the specific business needs of every customer — regardless of whether they're going with our out-of-the-box Dynamics GP solution, or doing custom development with us. Learn more about how we helped one company with customizable workflows and minimized clicks through EDI in this case study.
Tips for doing custom software right
Now that we've clarified some common misconceptions and debunked a couple myths, to recap, here are a few tips to keep in mind with looking for a good custom software team:
- Find a custom team that exhibits a desire to understand your business and its processes.
- Try to find a software team that tends to specialize in certain industry areas, rather than a one-stop shop of all kinds of solutions.
- Look for companies that are capable of or open to iterative software developments, so you can test your custom solution as its developed.
- Find a company that shows you a plan for the different steps of a project, how they plan to provide maintenance, and how they plan to deploy your application to you.
- Look for a company that's established and reputable, and is larger than just a few people.
Think it might be time for an upgrade to your ERP system?