Blog Feature Image

Posted on January 5, 2023 | All

Customizing ERPs: Learning from iterations

Business management and ERPs come in the same breath as an industry-standard in companies of all scales and sizes. An ERP makes it easy for the organization to automate and manage a significant chunk of its business processes, from accounting, project, and risk management to compliance and resource management. A custom ERP solves multiple issues simultaneously: reduces costs, improves efficiency, and helps you make better business decisions by providing a single system for managing operations.

The only way to know how you want to customize your ERP is by following a blueprint. Read along as we discover opportunities and learn more about how to customize your ERP system sustainably.

Formulate and set your expectations

Involving only the decision makers and the developers while integrating an ERP will solve issues that only they face. Involving the employees who will use the tool daily is integral in getting feedback on how they want it to be and helps you reach the objectives better.

  1. Identifying the process to integrate: The ERP will support different parts of the process but creating a road plan for each operation will make your life easier.
  2. Determine the goals and objectives: Create an expectation ROI plan on when the integration will show results and reduce the operational overhead.
  3. Implement with intent: Outline the steps and timeline along with how your team adjusts to the system at hand, and identify the problem it solves.
  4. Communicate for feedback: Learn from the first impressions on how your teams think of the product and take the feedback necessary to improve the usability.

Choose the suitable ERP to customize

Follow the three-word rule when selecting which ERP you want to develop for your business: Evaluate- Consider- Test. Research and compare different ERP systems against one another to find which will require minor customization and which is the most customizable to meet your specific needs.

  1. Evaluate the ERP system and the vendor you choose: The vendor’s experience, expertise in handling edge cases, and track record of development and customization projects.
  2. Consider a systematic approach to building customizations into your ERP. Understand the process that the vendors ensure you have a smooth and efficient integration with your business operations.
  3. Test the ERP system and ensure it covers most of the organization’s needs and requirements. Engage in a pilot program or a trial version to test the system before deciding on the right fit.

When does an ERP fail?

Improper planning and hurried execution can cause many issues aligning expectations with the possible outcomes. This can quickly spiral out of control, cause delays, increase costs, and create a lack of user acceptance within your organization. The following are three reasons ERP integrations fail:

  1. Insufficient inputs from the stakeholders: If employees and management are not on the same page while creating a requirement document for ERPs, the goals and objectives are easily missed. When adopting a new system, you should take all the information and feedback to build a product from the ground up.
  2. Complex and inflexible system: Without making an ERP easy to use, you’ll complicate the user journey and make it hard for them to adapt. Meet their specific needs to solve a problem instead of creating one that doesn’t exist.
  3. Lack of domain knowledge: When customizing an ERP, partner with a vendor that has a history of providing high-value solutions and understands the domain you’re coming from.

ERP Functionality: Why customizing ERP is important

Tailoring a system to the business’s unique needs is critical in supporting and automating the processes that can revitalize your teams to be more productive. A custom ERP can:

  • Improve the company’s overall performance through a single integrated system instead of a dispersed collection of tools to improve efficiency and make better decisions.
  • Increase customer satisfaction by providing employees with real-time information and accurate information on who the customers are and connecting the data points that enable them to respond to requests quickly.

Customization of an ERP for business needs

A custom ERP’s primary objective is to configure the system to meet the business’s specific needs and align the product towards the organization’s goals. It may involve orientation towards particular processes and functions and integrating other systems before adding custom features.

Finding the right balance of customization: ERPs, Context, and Growth

Integrating with other applications like CRM to provide users with a seamless experience comes with adding custom functionality like a reporting module or a commission management system. After understanding the industry where the system will be used and operated, break down the process of finding balance into three parts:

ERPs: Provide the ability to support critical processes and functions that contribute to the organization’s operations. The customization should be scalable, flexible, and customizable.

Context: Build a tool to support the broader context of the organization’s overall business strategy and goals and align with the organization’s mission and vision. Customization should support growth and promote competitive advantage.

Growth: Design and implement growth strategies within the ERP to ensure it can scale and adapt to meet evolving needs of the organization to provide necessary tools.

Customizations, design, and technicalities

Strike the right balance between the three aspects of the ERP by thoroughly understanding the needs and goals of the organizations:

  • Identify and research: The market has a lot of ERPs that can support you in your journey but selecting the correct one takes a bit of trial and error. Scalable systems must be flexible and customizable to serve the organization’s specific needs and requirements.
  • Consider the technical capabilities: Ensure compatibility with existing systems and infrastructure to evaluate technical expertise based on what a new system can bring to the table without disrupting the previous operations.
  • Test, review, and reiterate: Meeting the organization’s needs is a continuous process. Assess the performance on a timely basis to see how the tool is helping you build a cohesive workplace.

Wireframe for the future and visibility

When charting your goals, you should also plan how to achieve them. Through wireframing, create a visualization of how it can be helpful in planning and designing future visibility. Concise views of capabilities and potential come from understanding the structure into which the ERP is being implemented. The following is a process you can consider:

  • Outline the ERP’s overall structure, flow, and purposes. Determine the specific goals and objectives along with the user interface and main navigation elements.
  • Plan the functions for which you’re building the tool – Account management, inventory management, and project management all need a different approach in the system functionality and design with the future and visibility in mind.
  • Guide the development of the ERP by iterating and refining the wireframe based on stakeholder feedback and usability.

Sage 300 Commission Manager

Sage 300 CM is a software solution for managing and automating commission and incentive programs within the system. It provides various tools that help create, track and disperse commissions to all stakeholders. The seamless integration with CRMs and accounting software that CM allows for tracking payouts for employees, partners, and other stakeholders.

Incentives and collaboration

Automatically calculate commission from a definition of what the business considers a profitable transaction and then uses that to calculate the payouts. It helps reduce operational overhead and ensures that the payouts are accurate, reliable, and consistent.

Reporting and analysis

Commission Manager provides a range of reporting and analysis tools that help organizations understand and optimize their payouts to the performance of the individuals. The software can generate reports on individual performance, team performance, and sales channels that help the team identify opportunities for improvement.

Why CI Global?

As pioneers in the software development field and the architects of Sage 300 Commission Manager, CIG is always at the forefront of innovation and execution. As an auxiliary to your team, we bring experience and expertise that boosts productivity and shortens delivery timelines. Click here to learn more.