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Sunrise Technologies

Should You Customize Your New ERP Software Solution?


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Are you contemplating upgrading or purchasing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution for your business? Wouldn’t it be great to have one that, right out of the box, did everything you could imagine, and more importantly, everything that your business requires?

No one ever wants to spend extra time and money on customizations. In fact, outdated or dysfunctional customizations are a reason companies look for a new ERP system in the first place! But a new ERP system that doesn’t do what you need it to do will be just as useless as your old one. While we don’t like to recommend customization for its own sake, sometimes it is the best approach. The trick is to know when to customize and when not to.

 

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video when to customize your ERP

What do you need your software to do?

The question of customization comes up early in the ERP selection and implementation project. A beginning step is a gap-fit analysis. A gap-fit analysis is a way to look at aspects of a business to compare its current state against an ideal or preferred state. Your users will detail their existing business processes and compare what they need to do or want to do, with the functionality offered in the new solution. Then project teams will figure out how to close the gap between the two. They can either change the business process or modify the software to fit existing processes. There are pros and cons to each approach.

Pros and cons of customization

Asking users to change their familiar processes can be risky.  They may have become experts and are used to doing things one way; asking them to change the routine drastically carries the risk of their resisting and failing to adopt the new system. We would encourage users to consider adapting their processes to the software, but if resistance is too strong, customization might be the best choice.

However, even though customization may, in the short term, be easier, require less training, and keep users happy, in the long term, it may come back to haunt you. Customizations must be maintained and updated, and, if performed improperly, they could affect the integrity of your new system.

So, how do you decide?

Ask the right questions

When considering customization, ask yourself, “how will this customization affect my business? Will it make us more competitive in the marketplace?”

Each business is unique. Your business processes drive this uniqueness. An ERP implementation can make your company more efficient, save on long-term costs, and in many cases, be essential to your company’s growth. But losing some of your key processes due to a no-customization policy isn’t worth it. Determine if the business process is part of what differentiates your company in the market. In other words, is it essential to the way you do business?

Strive to maintain what makes you, you. By applying this rule consistently, you can retain what is unique about your company, while still realizing all the benefits of a modern ERP system.

The excellent news is that customizations are not as invasive as they used to be. With Dynamics 365 and its cloud-based platform, the system architecture makes it much easier to create extensions to model business processes and to maintain customizations long-term without harming the core software or other code.  A good implementation partner will have a system and rationale for deciding whether to customize the software.

If you are in the market for a full-service modern ERP solution, contact our experts at Sunrise Technologies and ask us how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can provide what your organization needs to keep moving ahead.

 

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