Best-of-Breed vs. ERP Software
In the current technological landscape, there is no fiercer debate than choosing between an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, or best-of-breed software.
Generally, best-of-breed applications are employed at the beginning of any start-up company, simply because there are not enough people, or strategy wise, it is the best choice for the time. Depending on your business structure, best-of-breed is used to address specific business processes, and indeed, is the best application of its specific area.
But herein is where the problem lies – it is the best application of its specific area, and has little to no focus on other areas of the business. Best-of-breed products deal with only a segment of the enterprise, resulting in a slower flow of communication when systems are disconnected.
The more software products an enterprise has, the more expensive, confusing and difficult it becomes to collate data for reporting and security.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP software systems provide a wealth of applications in one integrated system. From Accounting, CRM, Warehouse Distribution, HR and Marketing – all areas of your business are accessible from the single data source.
NetSuite is the world’s #1 cloud-based ERP system for business, offering true integration for a larger degree of interaction, and a combined data source of all financials, service requests and maintenance for total transparency between departments.
Especially for the finance team, employing a truly integrated ERP solution removes the pain points of connecting/retrieving data from disparate systems.
Five reasons why your business should employ an integrated ERP system:
1. Connecting disparate systems is a good idea that is often forgotten about
We’ve all heard the story of a small growing business that has implemented a best-of-breed application when starting up. But as the business has grown, finding time to consolidate the systems never really happened. A common case is the example of HR and Payroll/Financials. Each time a new employee starts; personal details need to be entered in more than once, causing data duplication and unnecessary administrative time.
With a one-system-solution like NetSuite, all entries are visible from the one dashboard.
2. System integration is constrained by the worst system
While having a best-of-breed application gives you access to the top solution, the problem with having so many disparate systems is that you’re working to the limitations of the worst system in the chain, and this begins to affect functionality.
NetSuite is a one-system-solution that connects all business functions, and works from a single data source. Working with a connected system, all your applications work as well as the other.
3. Using a different interface for each function is hard on users who have to adapt
Learning to do data entry on any given system takes time and adaptation. Consider how much time it would take if there were multiple, disconnected systems that all had differing order processing methods. When users employ a single interface in a connected system such as NetSuite, unnecessary administration and multiple training sessions are removed.
4. Companies overpay for overlap
Best-of-breed solutions throw in extra features that are supposed to add value. But when combining these different solutions, with multiple additional features, you are bound to have an overlap of functionality. NetSuite ERP features CRM, Financials, eCommerce and Field Service Management via NextService, sourced from the single data source for a connected system.
5. Reporting becomes overly simplistic or overly complex
Reporting off disparate systems is hard. Different databases, different naming conventions make it harder. An obvious workaround is including as much information as possible in file naming. While file naming is a hurdle any system faces, with an integrated ERP like NetSuite, all files are located and accessible from a single source.