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A ‘Best of Breed’ solution is designed to do extremely well for one department or area of your business. Each such solution is usually developed and supported by individual, separate vendors.
An ‘End-to-End’ ERP system, sometimes called ‘Best-in-Class’, combines all the different departments and areas of your manufacturing business into one software suite.
The right choice for you may depend on where you are coming from in terms of systems, and what you are trying to achieve with an ERP evaluation.
If your current system(s) are not measuring up, and the time has come to move on, there are some things you will need to consider in the discussion around ‘Best of Breed’ vs ‘End-to-End’ when it comes to a replacement system.
There is no question that, despite the many advantages, a totally new End-to-End ERP implementation has its challenges. Some departments see that their current stand-alone solution works well for them, and it is “everyone else” who has a problem. From my own experience, Finance/Accounting departments are the hardest to get buy-in from for a new system. This is not surprising – they spend much more time on their computers than probably all other departments combined. The reality is, if Accounting do not have visibility into all the other areas of the business, then they really do have a problem themselves.
A ‘Best of Breed’ strategy, or a mix of the two, has some advantages:
On the downside, a ‘Best of Breed’ strategy has some very real headaches for:
An ‘End-to-End’ ERP strategy also has its good and not-so-good points:
Manufacturing today deals with increased regulation, quality concerns, and competition. The challenge is to not let all these new things pile on complexity. In order to manage a manufacturing business in this environment, the aim is for simplicity in your systems.
This need for simplicity is reflected in the real advantages of End-to-End ERP solutions:
The major downsides to an End-to-End ERP strategy are:
To make a decision in this critical area, you need to carefully evaluate the needs of each department. Those that have critical, specialist needs must have solutions for those needs looked for in possible End-to-End ERP systems. If it is impossible to find exactly what they need, it seems a rational decision to purchase as few ‘Best-of-Breed’ solutions as required to meet just those needs, and see how their data can be accessed from the main ‘Best-in-Class’ system.
Keep in mind that overriding need to simplify the complex. This is what OptiProERP does – it makes the complex simple.
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