Following our last post exploring the rise of postmodern ERP, we would today like to turn our attention to discuss how companies are putting it in action, leveraging the flexibility and control that exist to get a customized and focused solution that can benefit them. 

Postmodern ERP Strategy: Industry Specific vs. Generic ERP

As the ERP market continues to change, vendors are competing on small differences in software. With every software designed to deliver the same core functionality, it’s the last mile in which a vendor can stand out. While the idea of a postmodern ERP strategy did work to address some of the concerns by allowing the integration of best of breed solutions that align with the core suite, it raised another question: What if different industries received different ‘cores’ to build around?

The industry-specific vs. generic ERP debate has been one that exists nearly as long as the software itself, but also one that has fundamentally shifted in the wake of postmodern ERP. 

In our first blog, we offered a brief look at the concept of administrative and operational ERP strategies, and the role they play in delivering product-centric and service-centric business management software. 

As solutions have advanced and matured to become better integrated and flexible, the debate has become more convoluted—both focused and generic solutions are plausible. A recent blog from ERP vendor Acumatica looked at both sides:

Industry Specific: Deep Understanding

Industry-specific solutions are built to offer comprehensive functionality for a niche market and so have a much shorter time to value. Industry-specific solutions typically have more applicable functionality because they have been designed around definite requirements with a deep understanding of industry-specific processes.

Generic: More Flexibility

With a “Generic” ERP, it’s a “one-size-fits-all” solution. While less focused, vendors are able to deliver to a broader market and plan to integrate with niche solutions to deliver industry functionality. Added to this, vendors who fall into this category can contribute significant resources to R&D and product development, but the process of implementing and operating such a solution may require additional customization to get what you need. Otherwise, according to Acumatica, relying entirely on a generic solution will lead to “generic” processes and strip the organization of any room for innovation or competitive advantage. 

The Winner? You.

Either way you look at it, there has never been a better time to be in the market for ERP software. The decision to make an upgrade in 2019 is much easier than even a decade ago, and a cakewalk compared to the 80s and 90s. 

The goal of a postmodern ERP strategyis to use the best applications possible in each particular area, while ensuring they adequately integrate with each other when necessary. To put it another way, a traditional ERP system is like the new car you buy every 10 years. A postmodern ERP system is like owning the same car indefinitely, but with various components that can easily be changed out as needed.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a niche or broad solution, we’re here to help. In the final part of this series, we will look at one of the key factors on the horizon in the postmodern ERP world—Artificial Intelligence—and how it fits into a postmodern ERP strategy

At MIBAR, we have helped companies just like yours to choose, customize, implement, and operate ERP solutions that benefit them for years to come. We have been in this business long enough to understand that while the path to implementation is rarely an easy one, with the right help, it can be a success. Get to know more about our work and contact us for a free consultation.

Postmodern ERP Series:

The Path to a Postmodern ERP Strategy Part 1: Understanding Postmodern ERP

The Path to Postmodern ERP Strategy Part 3: AI and ERP