Customizable-ERP-MRP



Customizable ERP MRP myth or reality


I am implementing a new ERP / MRP!!!
Again...
Last time we tried some questions popped-up:
  • Is there a system that can follow my business model? 
  • How many software do I need to integrate in order to cover all my business procedures?
  • Why is it so hard for a development team to update a simple change 
  • Why training people is so expensive?
  • Why do I need a consultant?
Is there a way or concept that would remove roadblocks in the path of implementation?

Quick tease: 
Yes there is - and the key is in a  most forbidden word in the ERP/MRP world:  CUSTOMIZATION
We will answer all these questions and more, so please stay "tuned"

Background

Have you ever tried to implement an ERP/MRP software in your company? If you haven't then you don't know what the real pain is. To shorten the long story - there are few decisions that really make a difference during the implementation process:

  1. FIRST: Market fit-
    • One really needs to do deep analysis in order to   buy a solution that is not oversized and that will really bring new value into the company
  2. SECOND: A perfect Deployment Time
    • There are many abandoned implementations due to the wrongly selected time. Skip the high season, new product launch cycle, etc. 
  3. THIRD: Right people
    • A high percent of unsuccessful implementations are the result of internal inertia generated from the company and employees itself.
  4. WILL, or absence of it
    • this one is critical-chances of success implementation without the strong support and strong will of business owners make the process almost impossible. 
    • We like to say that a change or introduction of a new ERP in a company is a probably highest priority of an owner
How does it look like to start implementing

Usually, every presentation of ERP/MRP software goes with something like, ..please tell us more about your business, standard workflows, and possible deal-breakers, etc.
Then it continues to the point where you will get a  practical demonstration of core features..and you will probably hit the roadblocks during the presentation/demo. 
Ideally, there could be found a workaround or dev-ops could develop a missing feature or enable fine tunning of a system. Sadly this is not a real-life practice.WHY?

  1. On one side we have Development cost and it is continually growing. 
  2. On another side, we have software complexity. Even if the development team goes with adding a feature or new options, they will always have in mind maintenance cost, which is more and more complex (read expensive) as you add new features. So software companies will do new features if it goes hand in hand with their dev plans and schedules.
  3. Large space for loose project planning during the lack of experience from the client-side or just a bad communication between two sides.
A success story in this process is more likely to be found int fairytale, then in the "Real examples of"  or "HOW TO"  library section. 

Where are we now?

The current solution for this problem in almost every software development company, including ours, is more a rule of a thumb then recommendation. And it goes something like this:

DON'T! DON'T! DON'T! CUSTOMIZE!
You will lose money time and will if  you try to customize software, so please just:
ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS PROCEDURES  to the new software solution.

So currently the safest option for the decision-makers in the ERP/MRP implementation is to stick to the "TRADITION" - find the best-fitted product in the market and try not to CUSTOMIZE.

But that leaves some questions unanswered:

  • How to respond to a dynamic market-(certainly I cannot change the software each year, right?)
  • How to deal with business procedures that evolve to roadblocks - ( you just cannot foresee every detail in your manufacturing, wholesale or dropshipping business)
  • Upscale? Introduce new business procedures?

Future - Vision

To provide answers to these questions we need to do a paradigm shift. We need to tackle old approaches and create new ones.

Here in ERPAG, we have chosen to try to develop from the ground up a platform that will enable users to design their own processes and workflows and customize the software to follow their business needs.

We have coined the phrase that describes our future vision:

We don't know what your business will be like in the future, 
but we are sure that you can run it in ERPAG



In this simple thought, we've expressed our complete current and future development philosophy.
As we move forward to the world of automatization powered by AI, Cloud concept and the Internet of things, we believe that integrating these core concepts will be the ultimate goal of software development.

Also, in times to come, we see programming, not as a special workforce skill, but more likely a necessity. With early penetration of programing to preschool toys and elementary education -programming will become more and more like math and literacy of the 21st century.

And then we have data collection. With 5G mobile networks and IoT, the software will need to communicate with non-human data collectors more than ever. We will need to collect these streams of data and use them with a single purpose - to optimize demand and supply to the market and boost profit margins as a direct benefit.

Having all that in mind, we are already building our product ERPAG 5.0 on top of our platform.
To achieve our vision we have already started embedding new philosophy approaches.

Let us introduce you with our "weapons of choice" in order to fight the old ERP approaches:

First, in 2019 we have implemented the first level of custom fields. Custom fields as a UI/UX concept will enable data collection based on business-specific needs.No matter if you are from food, defense or agriculture industry - ERPAG will enable you to capture specific inputs and to propagate them from entity creation to accounting and invoice printing.

The second concept is custom script programming.
We are currently implementing Blockly as a scripting language into all ERPAG forms. We expect that in the next 2 years we will have a complete solution in the custom form design with custom-built logic.
Paring custom field with visual programming (VP) that is currently learned in elementary schools, will bring the possibility to fine-tune specific business procedures. Imagine that you can enter your business procedure and be able to calculate specific waste depending on the toolset, or to calculate sales provision based on specific sales terms. With simple script-programing not only that this is doable but you will also have fun while doing it.


The last piece of the puzzle is INTEGRATION. Our development team is working on the core engine that will simplify and streamline integration between ERPAG and other software/devices.
With the standardization of data exchange formats, data exchange becomes easier to manage.
We see more and more devices and vertically specialized software solutions to offer APIs right out of the box.
Harvesting data exchange and integration cut down the enormous costs even for big businesses that are commonly known as ETL processes (Extract Load Transform).
With simplified integration and rapidly increasing data transfer speeds (faster broadband, 5G networks), we expect that ERPAG will read data in real-time from vehicles, machines, field workforce, and specialized cloud services.

Joining these three concepts in one platform that is bottom-up customizable will enable a complete wrapping of software solutions around your business. It will also boost the community that will naturally evolve all specific business procedures that can be re-used as shared knowledge. We can already see it..one business procedure that was designed by some users of our platform e.g read data from a drone, can be re-used by someone else from a totally different company with a totally different business model.
We see the future in customization or bespoke software, and we are giving our best to bring it to you.



used resources:
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