Deciding between ERP and best-of-breed applications is no longer an issue that involves a balancing of clear tradeoffs. Over the past few years, ERP vendors have moved into the best-of-breed space. They have done this in two ways. First, they have enhanced the functionality of their internally developed modules. Second, they have acquired and integrated best-of-breed applications into their ERP suites.

Manufacturers are increasingly able to do a one-stop-shop with the ERP vendors. Infor’s LN ERP system for discrete manufacturers, for example, now comes equipped with Kanban management, a planning engine, and a module that supports lean and just-in-time modes. SAP’s product for the food and beverage industry comes equipped with functionally-rich modules for WHM (warehouse management) and EHS (environment, health and safety).

Having said this, however, many manufactures still acquire best-of-breed applications to fill gaps in their ERP system’s functionality. A manufacturer should consider three broad factors when deciding between integrated ERP and best-of-breed. In relative order of importance, these are:

  1. Functionality: does the ERP system provide the necessary functionality? If not, is the functionality available in a best-of-breed application?
  2. Ease of integration: how difficult and expensive is it to integrate the best-of-breed application with the ERP system; and
  3. Upgrade path: to what extent would the integration of a best-of-breed application impact ERP upgrades and migrations to new ERP releases.

From what we see, manufacturers that operate stable, legacy ERP systems are more likely to extend functionality with best-of-breed applications.  However, companies seeking new ERP systems are less likely to acquire best-of-breed applications because many of today’s ERP systems are functionality-rich, industry specific solutions.

Is your company trying to pick software, whether best-of-breed or ERP? Check out our firm’s systems selection services or contact us.

Download The Ultimate ERP Selection Guide: Templates, Checklists & Scorecards

Whether your company is in the early stages of planning its digital transformation or is evaluating ERP vendors, you need to make sure you’re making the right decisions at each stage.

ERP selection guide template ; ERP selection checklist; ERP selection Scorecard
The Ultimate ERP Selection Guide: Templates, Checklists & Scorecards
has powered hundreds of companies to select the right software at each stage. These tools and templates will power your project with best-practices so you can make the right decisions for your ERP project teams, requirements, budgets and evaluation of vendors, as well as equip you with ERP demonstration script templates, selection scorecard template, analysis of best-practices, and digital transformation and ERP selection checklist.

Accelerate your project by downloading the Ultimate ERP Selection Guide: Templates, Checklists & Scorecards here.

 

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