Decide before you go to customize your ERP Solution

Decide before you go to customize your ERP Solution

Once upon a time the concept of implementing a business solution was to outsource a company or hire couple of people who know to write code and develop computer program.Which was very high-risk affair, I don’t want to go into detailing those risks.
Later that concept changed, any many ready-made Business Solution (with Industry Best Practices built-in) from the Software Giant got available in the market.So, people also started to choose such Business Solutions to implement.But there is a gap between the Business Operation in the ground and the solution supports, also every Business Solution has its own limitation and cannot cover 100% of the Business Operation.Some business has a non-standard operation too.
To cover the Business Process GAP or to support the non-standard business operation, people often suggest going for a Customization and typically every such Business Solution allow customization on top of the core solution.

Before deciding to go for any such Customization, get answers of few questions:

– Is it going to stop your business, if you don’t customize?
– Is it a recommended business process, which you are looking to customize?
– Is it going to help you to manage your business more efficiently?
– What is cost of this customization?
– What is the time impact in whole implementation for the customization?
– Is there any impact on local legal compliance?
– Does it going to impact on any future upgrade of the core solution?
– Your solution partner capability to manage and maintain the customization in future?

The decision depends on the answer of the above questionnaire

– If the Customization requirement is not a show stopper for your business, then better to ignore, implement the system without customizing it and in future when the system is stabilized then re-visit the customization requirement.
– A big differentiator in your decision, the process which you are planning to customize is a recommended process for any business or not.There might be some data which was managed in Microsoft Excel or any other Document, does it worth to have the same functionality as customized.
– Another important factor, if the customization is recommended and it is going to manage your business more efficiently, then obviously you should go for it.
– Cost factor, the proposed customization might increase the total cost of the implementation heavily and can go out of budget.In this situation, you might plan to phase out the implementation.First implement the out-of-box solution and wait for the system to stabilize and accepted across the organization.Then plan for the customization in second phase.
– Typically, the SME implementation should not take more than 3 to 4 months.If you see the customization is going to increase the timeline of the implementation life span and making it double the time, then better to phase it out.
– If the customization is going to have an adverse effect on the localized legal compliance, then you should not go for the customization and advisable to consult a legal compliance expert before taking decision.
– What is the future after customization, is it going to be a show stopper for any future upgrade of the standard solution.If ‘Yes’, then don’t go for this customization.
– And finally, the solution service provider’s experience, efficiency and sustainability.Are they experienced enough to do the customization?What kind of documentation or source code will be available for the customization.Is this partner sustainable in the market, or they are just a mushroom company?Check the background of the partner company.

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