Why Does ERP Need To Be Flexible
If you don’t know what ERP is perhaps you can read the “What is ERP” article, if you know then you might be curious to understand what is meant by flexible ERP. One slogan says Flexible, affordable, comprehensive. Affordable, pretty straightforward, comprehensive also pretty straightforward but flexible?
In a nutshell flexible ERP is a software system that can be used and deployed in many different ways. It can process information differently for different situations. What situations you ask, well ideally any situation. When you by your business solution you spend a lot of time and money installing and learning it. If you buy a package that is not flexible, then you must do what the software does. If you by a flexible package you know that it can grow with your business and change as your business needs and focus change.
You are a repetitive manufacturer, selling the same parts over and over. As time passes you decide you need to diversify and start doing some custom work. If you have purchased a system for repetitive manufacturing you could have some problems. Firstly in a custom environment, you will want to estimate items, and have a process surrounding that. Also you may want to charge purchases directly to jobs rather than put them in your inventory. These types of things are not easy and sometimes impossible to do in systems designed for just repetitive manufacturing. And of course the systems designed for a job shop or custom shops are not designed to handle repetitive work very well. Flexible software would allow you to perform both of those processes at once.
Another area of flexibility to consider is whether or not the software can be altered or customized. If you buy a package that does what it does and they won’t change it to meet your needs then there is no flexibility at all. How ever there are many packages out there that can be customized to any degree. The idea with this type of software is to wrap it around your business processes. Not every bodies business is made from a cookie cutter, they have special processes and ways to produce and manage their business there fore they need special functionality designed for them. Provided the software can be changed, and upgraded in the future and the expenditure or customization has pay back these systems are very efficient.
Flexible ERP provides the best chance of creating and maintaining an efficient business solution It also gives you the peace of mind that you won’t out grow the software. Often times you have to pay to evoke that flexibility but as mentioned as long as you can justify the expenditure with the payback, then it is well worth it.