After all, while ERPs are incredibly powerful, not every ERP is going to suit your needs, and some are going to be better fits than others – even with all the features available today. But customisation means opening up the hood and tinkering around – something that’s going to take some care. 

So, let’s take a look at what it means to choose customisation versus a standardised ERP, and what’s going to be the right fit to suit your growing business. 

What do we mean by 'customisation'?

Customisation means making changes to the functionality and features of a piece of software at a code level so that you can achieve something that the software wasn’t originally designed to do – but can also be done without changing any of the original functionality. 

Customisation is also a lot more intensive, since it involves changing the architecture of the ERP program. You need time and a lot of labour to get it done. 

If your program was a car, then customisation would be like boring out the engine or adding a roll cage: your ERP mechanic is going to want to have the car on the hoist for a while before you can take it home for a spin. 

An important point to make, though, is that all ERPs are configurable, which means you can edit the existing settings of the ERP to change things like user interfaces, colours, menus, control fields and designs, and so on, and happens at implementation time. If we’re sticking with the car analogy, then that’s adjusting the seat and the mirrors to make it more comfortable. 

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So, what's 'standardised' then?

Standardised ERPs are what it says on the tin. Because every good ERP on the market has more than enough functions straight out of the box, all a standardised ERP needs is some customisation and you’re generally good to go. 

Because standardised ERPs are built around industry best practices, they have great reliability, stability, and scalability. That also means that they’re faster and more cost-effective to implement, since there’s less tinkering needed. Support and updates are going to be easier, and so will training and onboarding new people. 

Standardised ERPs are also a lot easier to connect to new modules. If the ERP’s native accounting feature isn’t quite what you’re looking for, then it’s easy enough to connect a module that’s going to meet your specific needs – without having to mess around with the architecture. 

Back to the car analogy. 99% of the cars you see on the road are ‘standardised’. They might have adjusted seats and paint, or even swapped out engines or body kits. And there are plenty of options if you’re looking for a commuter vehicle, a heavy transport truck, or something to roll around for a bit of fun on the weekend. There’s more choice in standardised than you’d think! 

So, how do you choose?

Our recommendation is that a standardised ERP like NetSuite, Dynamics 365 Finance, and Business Central are going to be powerful enough for most needs. After all, these have been developed and fine-tuned over decades to work for virtually every type of business and at every size. 

Hard-coded and customised ERPs are still an option, but they’re becoming rarer. Today, standardised solutions are so good that customised ones seem a bit irrelevant. 

Choosing a new ERP is a big decision, and one that ultimately comes down to your organisation’s strategy and what you want to achieve. Your ERP should facilitate that change, so whether customised or standardised, make the right decision for your organisation’s goals and the people who will help you get there. 

Ready to know more? Download our eBook on choosing the right ERP – then chat with the Fusion5 team about how we can help you achieve your business goals. 

Great outcomes start with great conversations


Great outcomes start with great conversations

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