ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning offers a flexible platform to carry out various functionalities in a single complete package that serves all the important tasks and objectives of an organization. The unique feature of ERP lies in integrating the core business functionalities through a well knit communication system, which allows the users to access the required data as and when required that results in speedy actions and better business profitability. Lured by these features various organizations are widely adopting the best practices to extend the features and functionalities. ERP has developed prominent diverse features in the past two decades beyond the boundaries of the main ERP functionality based on the various usages in different industries.
What are the Best Practices in extending ERP?
Significance of the core functionality of the ERP package varies according to the organizational structure, while some give prime importance to the core functionality while others go for the "Best of breed" applications. Of late, many stand alone software solutions are cropping up known as "Best breed" whose functions are limited to a particular segment of the enterprise and are implemented to derive better values in the organization. This creates a more confusing and expensive technology in the enterprise posing difficulties in data accumulation and management and proper reporting enterprise- wide. These software packages boast of much superior integrated solution whereas every software module may not be the best breed.
Factors to ponder
There are three deciding factors when it comes to choose between the ERP suite and the best breed. These are functionality, integration of the systems and the up gradation facilities according to the latest releases. Definitely, the ERP suites allows a much convenience way of data integration and interaction between the functions and in combining the data from segments like manufacturing, finance and supply chain management. But few organizations look out for the SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) technology in implementation and integration that enables them to manage the specific functions in much efficient way.
Ultimately the deciding factor resides on the requirement and the priority of the organization whether to go for the best breed or to stick with the best practices of the traditional ERP integration system. Both come with its advantage and disadvantage packages. There is always a huge expenditure involvement and high risk associated with the Best breed solutions, whereas the ERP suites with the latest trends demands utmost technical competency. The functionality of the best breed solutions is restricted to a particular domain needing few technical professionals. The Best breed solutions can also be integrated through the mechanism of extended ERP, but then it is for the organization to select according to the priority.