Enterprise resource planning is a system that integrates all functions of the business process i.e., planning, production planning, sales, HR, finance, purchase, inventory etc. Earlier, ERP software was not designed to support customization, but nowadays customizations are available nearly in all integrated software.
For an organization it is really very tough job to select appropriate software. Selection of ERP software is a critical issue and successful implementation depends on the selection. Only key member of the organization can select the appropriate software, who has a minimum 6-7 years of experience in management level. At the time of software selection, organization should focus on implementation and customization part, timeframe for implementation, cost of the implementation and time for the customization.
The ERP software solution should be made for similar vertical or implemented in similar kind of organization. If you have discrete manufacturing then ERP for process manufacturing may not suite your requirement. ERP software is now available nearly in all verticals. Before making final decision on selection of software you can demand for a client visit in similar kind of industries where the same software is implemented by vendor and running successfully. This will help you to understand the exact timeframe and cost for implementation and customization. ERP product may be good for other company but not necessary that it will be good for you also.
Some ERP software are very simple and ready to use with little bit customization or no customization which is expected by every company in software implementation. In such cases, third party reporting tool (BI tools, Crystal reports, etc.) that interface to particular software should be purchased. Some vendors also have a web based ERP (3-tier architecture) systems that require no onsite implementation. This type of system can be access through web browser with internet connection.
For successful implementation of an ERP system organization must be ready for change, for this change, top management should drive employees and explain the benefits of software.