Do You Need ERP Software Development?

    6/16/21 10:00 AM

    erp-software-development

    Yes, no, or maybe?

    The answer to the question of “Do your need ERP software development services?” is typically “no,” but that’s based on having a capable and purpose-built ERP application, such as Infor CloudSuite Industrial ERP. There is a caveat: Sometimes you may need to extend the application using the native toolset to address business-specific requirements.

    Ultimately there is a difference between customizing the ERP application with a ton of software development versus using a native toolset like Infor CloudSuite Industrial’s Infor OS and Mongoose Development Framework. The latter case involves personalizing the application, or adding functionality with our ERP software services team members versus using software developers.

    Examples of personalization or extending the application could be as simple as adding a field, making a field required, removing unneeded fields, using notifications when events happen, or formalizing processes using the workflow engine. These activities are simple ways of leveraging the native application to make it easier for the end user to do their job functions.

    Our team at Visual South allocates time in the implementation project plan to both train and assist you with making personalizations, if they are deemed necessary. Many of our Infor CloudSuite Industrial ERP customers do these personalizations themselves. The reason they don’t need ERP software development services is because the Mongoose application is very simple use, and many users can make desired changes themselves. Our users have this ability because there is a mechanism to ensure they are well-educated in navigating the platform. Our Infor users have access to both live and self-paced e-learning classes that are part of the core curriculum on Infor Campus.

    For more advanced functions, such as adding forms and new functionality, typically organizations that have IT staff will have those members attend the more advanced classes on Infor Campus. Then, the trained IT staff can extend the application themselves without the need of development services. However, in the rare times when extensive and unique business requirements are needed, our team will build out those mods.

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    It’s important to note that with the Infor CloudSuite applications, you can still do personalizations, extensions, and even mods, and still not affect your ability to upgrade. This applies whether you deploy the application on-premise or in the Infor cloud hosted by AWS, and is a differentiator from many ERP applications in SMB market space.

    Finally, our usual guidance to those evaluating ERP systems is that if you have to discuss a lot of modifications, then we (or whatever systems you are reviewing) may not be a good fit. For example, if you wanted to use Infor CloudSuite Industrial as a retail package, you’d need numerous mods and customization because CloudSuite Industrial is designed specifically for manufacturers and is likely not the right choice for your company. Another example is the “retrofitting” of highly recognized ERP applications like NetSuite, which fail miserably where there are complex manufacturing requirements because they depend heavily on disparate third-party products to attempt to meet the needs of manufacturers.

    The bottom line is that ERP development services should be minimal if you select and implement an ERP application designed to meet your business requirements. If you try to force fit a less than optimal system, you will need significant custom software development or have a heavy reliance on a variety of third-party products. The end result is that you would have to invest a lot of money in a system that was never a good fit in the first place.

    Summary

    Visual South helps manufacturers improve all facets of running their business operation better. If you want to discuss the current issues you are trying to manage due to having a heavily customized ERP system, or ways to use the Infor ERP native toolset better without the requirement of software development, please let us know. A great way to get independent insight is to simply reach out and have a free 30-minute consultation. Schedule your free assessment here.

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    Tim O'Brien

    Written by Tim O'Brien

    Tim has over 20 years of successful experience helping companies improve their processes and operations using enterprise software solutions. Those enterprise solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning for manufacturers, Service Management for service oriented companies, and Enterprise Asset Management in the process manufacturing industry.