The Importance of Choosing the Right ERP System
The boom in ERP systems in recent years has provided manufacturers with an enormous choice - from some brilliant do-it-all ERP systems to some not so brilliant ones.
Moreover, while many executives spend an enormous amount of time in comparing functionality and pricing structures - not an easy task as not many software companies like to make their pricing structures and innovative features visible to everyone (as that includes competitors!) - the most efficient solution for all business areas within a factory rarely lies within one single software system.
That is why the all-in-one off-the-shelf ERP systems' popularity has been losing momentum in recent years. The development of architectures such as RESTful web services has improved the communication between software systems that used to be impossible to communicate with one another.
All-in-one ERP systems are now being replaced by interconnected pieces of stand-alone systems, each developed by a separate company.
It may sound illogical at first, but there is a very simple explanation - as the 21st century has proven time and again, tech innovation comes mainly from startups. Why start-ups? Well, it's no secret that startups are companies that lack cash and have usually discovered one or two major issues within a given area of their expertise and have found the way to solve them (not to mention the enormous amount of passion involved).
Thanks to the shortage of money (compared to the big guys), startups have no other choice but to fight for survival by innovating precisely in those one or two ( overlooked by others ) areas.
As a simple example, Procosoft has been no exception to this rule. The whole reason for founding the company was one single major problem that existed in ERP systems for PCB manufacturers. A problem that the founder of the company first noticed while working for one of the major players in the UK's PCB industry. They had just acquired a struggling PCB manufacturer that as it turned out, had been using such outdated costing system that adding a significant margin to what was believed to be the total cost of manufacture still meant selling below cost. And the odd thing was that obviously, no one had done that purposely. Everyone loved the company they worked for, and no one wanted to see it fail. On top of that, (as appears to be the case with most of the PCB manufacturers in our personal experience) there worked some incredibly intelligent people!!! So how did they allow that to happen???
The answer was very straightforward - the setup of their costing system was incredibly complex and updating the constantly changing costs (e.g. cost of gold) was extremely time-consuming. There was, in fact, only one person that knew how to do that and he had sadly passed away.
That is how (preceded by a few pretty painfully unsuccessful attempts) Procohub was born. And to this day, even though we have discovered a number of other areas that required innovation, Procohub's most famous module among PCB manufacturers remains the sales module (the one that contains the costing system).
So back to the point and to summarise - finding the right ERP system is a tedious process and in most cases, the perfect solution does not always exist in the form of one coherent solution but instead, it consists of various ERP modules developed by separate software companies.
If you are currently in the process of gathering ERP pricing information, download this ERP Software Pricing Guide, put together by the guys at ERPFocus that contains useful information about the various pricing options that currently exist for ERP systems plus the 2016 pricing structures for some of the preferred ERP systems out there.