You have two tasks ahead of you: (a) choosing an ERP and (b) choosing an integration partner. Both are challenges.
Regarding ERP, start with three categories (1) industry leader, (2) industry specialist, and (3) open source ERP.
- Your industry leader, like one of the Microsoft Dynamics products, will give you a feel for general ERP capabilities.
- Your industry specialist, example: plastics manufacturing, will help you see the shortcomings of the general ERP for your specific needs. For example, it is common in plastics to have two finished goods as a result of a single manufacturing process. Many ERP/MRP do not handle this situation well.
- Your open source ERP will keep the above vendors honest. It is said that modern ERP systems are somewhat commoditized. If you can create the system you want without ever paying a penny in licensing, your company will win for many years. ADempiere and OpenERP are viable options. Try to stay away from commercial open source vendors like Compiere, OpenBravo, and PostBooks.
Regarding ERP integrators, you want someone who has “been there and done that” 20+ times AND who has customers that will vouch for their successes. The integrator should be a great teacher and technically competent. Most importantly, they should be able to take an ERP and slim it down to your specific needs. ERP is inherently complex. The integrator should help the system feel natural for your team.
I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions.
About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.
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