ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is a software system which helps in the process of managing the important components of business processes, viz marketing, sales, human resources, inventory, finance, etc. As a result of which well-designed ERP development becomes possible when the developed software acts as a facilitator of seamless interaction between business processes.
Most business organisations these days use some form of ERP software. In general, these are customised according to the needs of the business. Scalable ERP development ensures that the developed software is modular in nature so that modules can be added to the ERP suite as per the requirement of the business as it grows. The biggest advantage of having an ERP system is that the entire data of an organisation is available in one single centralised repository from where it can be accessed.
There are many ERP systems which are being used by organisations for their business needs. Also, it is equally true that there are many ERP software which is available and sold over the counter. But, it may be the case that these actually do not meet your exact requirements and you may be burdened with a very expensive software system which does not fully take care of your requirements. It is in situations like this that it makes perfect sense to go for ERP development and create an ERP system of your own. Following are the important steps you should keep in mind at the time of development.
There are two ways by which you can go for ERP development. One way is to go for outsourcing and hire an ERP vendor to develop the customised ERP software for your organisation. The second way is to go for in-house development where you hire ERP developers and develop the software using your resources at your workplace. Well, this is not a very advisable solution as you shall be adding employees on your roll who shall have little scope of positive contribution once the development process is over.
Whichever decision you take, it is important that the team should be aware of the vision you have for your project and the functionalities it should be having in order to take care of business requirements. An efficient ERP development team should be able to come up with a well designed ERP system which manages the data flow and automates business processes. The generic modules which should be covered by a professional ERP development team are:
Also, you should be very clear about the specific functionalities you want your ERP development to integrate into the system. This is, in fact, the most important step as the basic purpose of developing the ERP system is to provide solutions for your business, isn’t it?
Well, you have crossed the first hurdle and do have a vision of the system you want to develop. The next step is to develop the basic blueprint of the model being thought of. In order to do so, it is best to have detailed meetings with colleagues and heads of the business units who shall be the actual users of the system. These brainstorming sessions will help in coming out with the list of features that you would want to be included as a part of your ERP system. Do remember to write everything in details so that these serve as the foundation on which your ERP development team can plan while designing the system. This is irrespective of the fact whether you go for outsourcing the project to an
Your ERP development team will have the responsibility of joining all the data of the organisation into a single consolidated repository in the form of a single database having a hierarchical architecture. This, in turn, will allow providing accurate data for all employees of the company and the corresponding business verticals.
In order to do so, ERP system developers have to deal with all components of the tiered architecture, database tables, connection between database tables, etc procedures in order to make the components dynamic in nature.
These actually depend on the situation being faced by your developers, following are some example.
If your ERP development team is going to create an ERP system from scratch the team shall need to build many components and containers so as to transport data between different levels. In fact, with the passage of time, there shall be many more technical issues which shall crop up. So, it is very essential to have a very technically competent team at your disposal.
Well, this comes in the domain of ERP developers. It is during the blueprint stage itself that you have to take the decision whether the system shall be hosted in the cloud or in-house. The general tendency for businesses is to go for cloud-based ERP services which is because of the following reasons.
In fact, the first task of a developer is to find an appropriate cloud services provider in order to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions which shall meet the needs of the business.
Your ERP development team must ensure the following:
An ERP system has a huge database and your development team shall have to consolidate all business data which is specific to all verticals and departments in a single consolidated database.
During the developmental process, you are sure to come across business specific systems which must be a part of the ERP system being planned so that the important business functionalities remain. Also, this existing legacy software shall have to be re-configured so that it can be integrated with canned applications and new applications can be developed.
All users must get access to the Master Data ownership. So, in effect the master data becomes what is known as transactional data.
It shall be the responsibility of your ERP development team to achieve all of the activities mentioned above through a hierarchy of tiers, which is, in fact, a three-tier architecture.
In general, developers are used to creating applications which has a database along with it to support data retrieval and insertion. But your ERP development team shall have to develop components and become experts in the area of tiered architecture, relationships which exist amongst database tables and linking / triggering which makes all the tables and components dynamic in nature.
Additionally, your ERP development team should be adept at common protocols and web application technologies. If you take the decision of making the transition to a web-based ERP system, your ERP development team must create the necessary framework for carrying out this activity which in itself is a combination of several projects.
Well, as with any developmental activity, the cost is an important factor which is weighed before taking any decisions on the technology to be used, the path of development to be taken, etc. Also in the case of ERP development, there are some hidden costs also. You shall have to factor in the cost of training all the users who shall be using the software. The price also depends on the comprehensiveness of the developed system and the cost of coming up with a mini ERP for small enterprises shall be vastly different than the cost of making a comprehensive ERP system for corporates.
ERP implementation is, in general, a time consuming process. Normally, it shall be taking six months at the least. Also, the staff shall have to undergo training as and when modules get developed. Kindly do not forget to factor in the training which new team members shall have to be given in order to use the system effectively.
The requirement understanding phase should be handled very thoroughly as any lack of clarity at this point is going to become an error of exponential size during the phase of software development. These will, in fact, prove to be costly and result in delaying the process of development and deployment.
The cost of developing an ERP system might be a bit on the steep side but the main advantage is that it helps to optimise business processes and having a healthy reflection on the balance sheet. Since ERP development is modular by nature, your ERP development team shall have the scope of starting from small modules and add necessary features as you scale up.
Well, I should add that the most important advantage of using custom ERP is that it fits the processes of your business instead of your business adjusting itself with software which does not fully take care of requirements.
If you think that automating your business needs is at the top of your agenda and you want to get the benefits of a Custom ERP Development which takes care of your needs, please feel free to get in touch with us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our team of ERP experts is competent enough to understand your requirements in detail and come up with customised solutions which address the needs of your business.
Also, do have a look at this associated blogpost which mentions in depth as to how you can hire us for your software developmental needs. This definitely means that you can have us as a dedicated ERP development team and we shall devise the necessary solutions for your business processes.
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