We know that ERPs can help us steer our businesses in the right direction with the right momentum and at the right time. So, though it is correct that there are a lot of ERP applications that claim to be customizable, only a handful of those can actually be customized to cater to your industry-specific requirements. But, what is the need of industry-specific ERP applications when a process-manufacturing ERP is designed itself to cater to the formula-based process manufacturers?
One Size Does Not Fit All
A simple answer to that question is that though the bottom line of operations and the workflow mostly remain same, there are still line-level differences in operations that need to be addressed on case basis. And, that’s why we need an industry-specific ERP application that caters to the players from only one industry.
An ERP application that is designed to cater to the Food and Beverages (F&B) industry, will cater to only the F&B industry. So to say, the capability, for example, to print allergens may not be suitable for a Paints and Coating industry or a Specialty chemicals player. Likewise, the capability, for example, to print the overage and daily value percentages may be appropriate for the Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals industry.
We know that an F&B industry requires to follow more regulatory norms than most of the other process-manufacturing industries. That’s because, we are dealing with sensitive data that contribute information to the allergen and shelf life (perishability) reporting. The other industry-specific requirements, such as intensive material management, product traceability and recall, and vendor management can only be handled using an ERP application that is specific to the F&B industry. A generic ERP solution will, most likely, not cater to such industry-specific requirements.
It is true that there are a lot of generic process-manufacturing ERP application providers. Consequently, you have a lot of choices and alternatives. And, that you can ensure that you can bargain for a better pricing prospect for the purchase, implementation, and support of the ERP application in your industry.
The truth is, an industry-specific ERP application is more likely to be designed by those who know the details of the industry. Consequently, though you will initially be investing more into the implementation of the ERP application, you will not have to pay heavily in the long run. Chances are, you will be extended better support and industry-specific, directional efforts that will help improve your operational efficiency. This translates to a better cost-to-profit ratio.
Other Advantages and Conclusion
Amongst the other apparent advantages of implementing an F&B-specific ERP application are:
- Better assurance to support the ERP application software in the long run
- Better understanding of the industry requirements by the Implementation Consultants
- Lesser (or, at times, no) time required for customizing the software application to meet your needs
- Lesser time in implementation of the software application
Fundamentally, as always, it is about how easily and accurately the ERP application can help you map your current processes to itself and help resolve the issues that made you buy it. Are there other reasons that made you purchase an industry-specific ERP software application? Let us know in the comments.