Custom ERP Development from scratch – Complete guideline

Technology , Posted by on 2019/05/28 0     Comments
How to Build An ERP From Scratch

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.

How to Build An ERP From Scratch:

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.

The Vision:

Vision for team

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:

  • Customer Relationship management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Purchase Management
  • Inventory and Stock Management
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Manufacturing
  • Reports

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?

Preparation of Blueprint:

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

Informed Decisions:

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 the decision has been to use a ready made service with a database which has already been populated with sample data and accordingly modify it for your business needs.
  • Your erp development team has been given the go-ahead to build an ERP from scratch.

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.

The Technologies ( Hardware ):

ERP Development Technology Graphics

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 the case of small businesses, the cost is a big issue so if one goes for in-house hosting, there shall be an additional overhead in the form of investing in hardware, servers.  
  • You shall have to hire additional IT staff for the maintenance of servers.
  • If the system is hosted in a cloud, employees shall be able to access it from any device at any point in time.
  • SaaS systems can be scaled up very easily with just one click as a result of which more additional users of the system can be added as and when the organisation grows. Server providers take the responsibility of hardware scaling at their end.
  • The most important point being Security — Cloud service providers offer much better security.

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.                

The Technologies ( ERP Software Development ):

Your ERP development team must ensure the following:

  • Consolidation of databases:

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.

  • Integration of legacy apps:

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.

  • Master Data ownership:

All users must get access to the Master Data ownership. So, in effect the master data becomes what is known as transactional data.

Must have following built-in features:

  • In a pre-ERP environment, information is passed from one employee to another. This function becomes automatic in case of ERP systems. The main thing is to ensure that the information being passed is timely and accurate. Also, the information being passed does not happen in a linear fashion but passed in many directions while being accessed.
  • As there shall be many interfaces, it becomes the job of the ERP development team to develop applications in such a manner that information can be passed to other systems. In a nutshell, it means that all apps, whether new or legacy applications have a proper interface with other systems.
  • The ERP system should be able to integrate with other systems as there shall be many users who shall be having a number of connections. Your ERP development team must ensure that these things are well taken care of.

Hierarchical architecture:

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.

  • Data tier: Data-tier consists of the databases which must be consolidated.
  • Business tier: This is one of the most important parts of the entire application which your ERP development team will have to contend with. This is the part where all the business logic related to your organisation is written.
  • Presentation layer: In this phase of development the interfacing of all components must occur. It involves the components which are modular in nature and which can be combined together in an effective manner.

Role of your erp development team:

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.

Considerations for your erp development team:

  • Cost:

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.

  • Time:

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.

  • Clarity during requirement understanding phase:

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.

Conclusion:

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.

Please feel free to drop your comments / feedback which shall help in making this engagement more interactive.