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How to Manage ERP Customization—in 4 Simple Steps

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ERP Customization

ERP Customization

ERP Customization-Without differentiation, you have no competitive edge. In today’s increasingly saturated and rapidly evolving landscape, businesses that fail to separate themselves are destined to get lost in the shuffle.

Exhibit A: the ERP software market, where postmodern deployment options and ERP customization have become integral to the success of forward-thinking businesses across all industries. While there’s no shortage of ERP solutions to choose from, you’re unlikely to find the system of your dreams—at least not right out of the box.

But haphazardly managed customizations jeopardize an ERP’s long-term viability, making it incompatible with new software updates and outdating an otherwise perfectly functional system. This, unfortunately, has caused many businesses to simply avoid ERP customization altogether—differentiation be damned.

The solution? A lot of planning—and a little bit of gumption.

By wisely selecting and carefully managing ERP customization, businesses will mitigate risk while extending the long-term viability of their investment.

1. Understand the different types of ERP customizations

ERP customizations are many things, but they’re not configurations. The difference is subtle yet significant.

Configurations are tweaks made to the default settings in your out-of-the-box ERP software—things like access control, custom fields, and preferred units of measurement. Such changes are usually chosen prior to implementation, from a preset list or menu of options, and require no alterations to an ERP’s underlying architecture.

erp configuration vs erp customization
On the other hand, ERP customizations have a much broader purview, and typically involve extensive coding modifications. They’re far more labor intensive, and the margin for error is virtually nonexistent. Done right, however, the benefits are plentiful.

Types of customizations include (but are not limited to) things like:

  • User interface: Cosmetic and design changes based on user preferences.
  • Documents and forms: The layout, format, and content of order confirmations, invoices, delivery notes, etc.
  • Integrations: Third-party software designed to supplement the core ERP system.
  • Functionality modifications and extensions: Changing the system’s source code to add new features or enhance existing functionality.

A word to the wise: Use customizations cautiously and sparingly. The more you create, the more complex your system becomes—and the harder it’ll be to install critical software updates from the vendor.

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Article Credit: Software Advice

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