In search of the perfect (ERP) fit

In search of the perfect (ERP) fit

Author: | Published: 13 Feb 2014

perfect ERP fitRecently I have been exposed to a big debate on an ERP LinkedIn forum around the use of descriptions in the industry such as customizing, personalizing, tailoring, and configuring. Is this just marketing semantics, or are there very real differences in the meaning of these phrases and the implications of using these phrases when describing, or more to the point, promoting an ERP system?

Working in SYSPRO, I know we pride ourselves on the fact that our ERP system is, and I quote: “highly flexible and customizable”, that we are known as the “go-to” solution because of this, but I think it is important to unpack what we mean by these phrases and what the consumer understands by these phrases. If we are to be responsible in ensuring that what our customers see and understand they are getting, is in actual fact exactly what they are getting, then I don’t think we can use the excuse “I can only be responsible for what I say. I cannot be responsible for what you understand”.

In the debate someone suggested that when they hear the word ‘customizable’, it conjures up all sorts of negative thoughts, the primary one being…“now I have to do the work to make the system fit my business,” followed by “we don’t have the resources or the training to be able to do this,” and finally, “why can’t I just buy a system that works out-of-the-box?”

A work colleague used the metaphor of a car…if you replace the exhaust to a free-flow system you customize. If you set the odometer to show kilometres and not miles then you configure. If you paint it white then you personalize. The effect of all of these is what we in SYSPRO refer to as power tailoring.

So, after much debate I thought I would put forward my own ERP glossary of words used to describe the perfect fit ERP solution:

According to one source, these days customers are prepared to accept one of two propositions for solutions; these propositions are at either end of the spectrum.

Because of the nature of the software, and how organizations operate, SYSPRO’s offer falls into the item 2 range.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with my glossary of terms or will you contribute to the debate?



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Comment (1)

  • Jennifer Banes Reply

    I am looking for an ERP based software to fit our needs here at Caterpillar Inc. We are interested in a program that could take us from our bidding/estimating status to completion of a project. Estimation, project planning, file management, dashboards for reporting and being able to integrate easily with other programs. I would like to speak with someone who could find something that would best suit our needs. We are currently in the business of designing and manufacturing gensets (generators and engines) for Nuclear power plants around the world.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer

    August 4, 2014 at 8:09 pm

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