Our thoughts...

ERP customisation, is it worth it?


Most ERP solutions can be customised and tailored to suit your specific requirements however not all in quite the same manner.  There are some products that allow you access to the actual source code which means you are able to go into how the system works and change it.  Other systems don't allow this type of access and this means that you need to write code through what is known as an "SDK (Software Development Kit)" and ultimately what you land up having is similar to an Add on to your software.  This means functionality that runs outside of the core system but integrates to it in some way.

Lets take an example to make things a bit easier to explain.

Lets say you would like to modify the Sales Order screen in your system to have totals display while you are capturing.  Most systems will not give you these totals without you having to print the order or go into the order statistice to get the total Sales Value, total Cost and total Profit. So let's say you would like to see these while you are capturing your order.

In example A where you have access to the source code of the system, the developer would create fields on the sales order screen and write code behind the fields to pull the information and perform the calculations.  

In example B where you have to write code via an "SDK" the developer would need to rewrite an entore order screen with the additional fields and that would be the order screen you would use to capture your order.

As you can imagine example A would be a lot more cost effective to have done, but would complicate upgrades of the software in the future as a developer would need to review all customisation and bring it through to the new software.

The decision to change the software or change the process comes down to the cost of the change vs the cost of the time it will save.  That is if it will take 2 hours of development to save your employees 8 hours of work per week it is a no brainer, but if it is going to take 4 hours of development to save one employee 30 mins of work a month it may need a bit more thought...