Science and Technology News

Thursday, August 18, 2011

ERP Systems - Not Designed for Custom Tailoring

Join Ajay Gupta and learn why customization of an ERP system in its early stages, may not only be expensive but also have unintended consequences in both the short and long term on the BlogTalkRadio Network Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are large-scale, complicated, and often expensive systems that run all of an organization’s administrative business functions. Because no two ERP systems function the same, frequently during the ERP implementation process, stakeholders identify a number of areas where the new system may not perform in a manner consistent with the organization’s legacy systems, such as a Mainframe system or disjointed and disparate administrative software -- the types of environments ERP systems oftentimes replace.

The most common mistake that companies make when dealing with such perceived shortcomings is to customize the new ERP.  Companies do this in an attempt to make the new ERP system function like the systems it is replacing or to replicate the organization’s existing operating practices. While there can be gains in terms of user convenience for such efforts, customization is not only expensive in the short term but also presents a management, maintenance, and software version control burden in the long term. Customization is not necessarily the best way to go.

This week on Technology Today, we’ll discuss my firm’s general rationale and process for avoiding customizing an ERP system, especially during early stages in its implementation. Until an organization has seen how the ERP supports all of its administrative and business functions, especially in the case where at tasks are performed only during certain stages in a fiscal year cycle; it may not be in position to know where enhancements will be most helpful to the organization. As ERP systems are integrated, changes in one area can have unexpected and unintended consequences in other areas.  

To learn more about my approach to this issue, please read my recent article on InformIT.Com as well as a case study highlighting our approach in action. If your organization is in the midst of or planning an ERP implementation, you will want to join us for this episode – Thursday @4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific.

Technology Today is now on the BlogTalkRadio network – the online home for Internet Radio! Technology Today continues to air on Thursdays at 4PM Eastern and you can still reach us by phone, email, texts to 240-731-0756, Facebook, our blog, and on Twitter. Our new call-in number is (323) 410-0032. Our new show page is

Please contact Sandra Schwartzman at (301) 230 – 0045 x 100 or with any questions or if you’d like to be connected to the Host of Technology Today, Ajay Gupta.

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