Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the core system that manages inventory, purchasing, sales, finance and other important company data. ERP systems are highly sophisticated and have many of the features companies need. But often, not all.
What are ERP Add-Ons?
Add-ons (sometimes call “Integrated Solutions”) are extensions of a company’s existing ERP software. They help a company compensate for a missing ERP feature. In a nutshell, it's a software component that extends the functionality of your ERP publisher's core package.
While some businesses might use mission critical add-ons (example: EDI), other organizations might use an Add-on that enhances the ERP (example: Crystal Reports). In either case, Add-ons should make daily operations easier to manage.
Why ERP Add-Ons?
The main goal of an ERP software is to bring transparency and accuracy across all departments. However, the majority of companies have at least one unique requirement not easily handled by the ERP. It's possible that you'd want additional functionality in areas like marketing automation, customer service or e-commerce. Instead of trying to force fit your ERP for this functionality, you’ll deploy new software that allows you to transform your ERP into exactly what you need. The most desirable Add-on’s have readily available integrations.
Types of ERP Add-ons
Here’s a sample list of Add-Ons we’ve helped our customers deploy. All are fully integrated:
- Warehouse Management
- Business Automation and Business Intelligence
- EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
- eCommerce (B2B and B2C)
- Manufacturing (Shop Floor Control)
- Shipping Integration with UPS, Fedex, Worldship
- Several Reporting Tools
The Benefits of Extending Your Existing System with Add-Ons
Add-Ons will help Scale for Growth Overtime
Several Add-on’s allow businesses to better track and control critical information. When all your ducks are in a row and your systems are properly organized you are better able to handle increasing volume and customers are more likely to refer to you. This will improve your reputation and will lead to both repeat and new customers.
Add-Ons will help Implementing Advanced Functionality
No matter how advanced your ERP software is, it still can’t answer every question you have. Add-ons can help to fill in these gaps and provide valuable insight into your business operations and performance.
Do I really need Add-on’s?
You may….and you may not. Only you can do the tradeoff (perhaps quantitative, perhaps qualitative) and assess the impact to your business. We have many clients who run the core ERP. But we have more who support their ERP with Add-on’s. The reality in the SME space, is that Add-on’s are always necessary. SAP Business One, for example, with 70,000 deployments relies on Add-on’s to service such a wide base. Good news is SAP has a very good API and a rigid certification program.
How to find the best ERP Add-on Provider for Your Business Needs
To help you decide which Add-on provider will be best for your company, it’s important to know what each type of business looks like and how it works with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Stay tuned – in our next Blog, we disclose what to look for when shopping for Add-ons.