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3 Questions to Ask Before Customizing Your Business Management System

Shadi McFadden Tyson Sep 30, 2021 4:20:42 PM
Questions to Ask Before Customizing Your ERP

3 Questions to Ask Before Customizing Your Business Management System

We have a saying at Rockton: We can customize Acumatica to do just about anything, but we may advise you not to.

Our primary goal is to use technology to help grow your business. Unnecessary customizations tend to get in the way of that – they can get expensive, break with upgrades, and need constant maintenance. So, when we hear the word customizations, we like to take a step back to advise you on the pros, cons, cost, and value.

What’s my end goal?

The possibilities for customizations within modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are endless. There’s lots of shiny functionality out there that’s nice to have. The key, however, is to look past that and determine what your company’s goals are and what capabilities are required to meet them.

Instead of thinking about features – think outcomes. Are you aiming to:

  • Streamline workflows
  • Automate processes and tasks
  • Improve navigation
  • Import data from other systems
  • Create entire business modules

Your priority should be to focus on what you need to accomplish and why. Then, determine if customizations are necessary to achieve that goal or if this is something the core features of your system can handle on their own.

Are there alternative solutions?

If the core features of your business management system can handle your requirements, don’t dismiss that option as an alternative. Sometimes, your system can do what you want, just in a different way.

Additionally, there may be third-party solutions that provide a simpler, more cost-effective approach that’s easier on internal resources (your developers will thank you). When exploring your options, do your research and be realistic. Consider cost, timelines, product testimonials from others in your industry, and the level of expertise needed to implement the solution. If after evaluating all alternatives you discover that you still need customization, that’s okay, too.

What’s the cost vs. value?

The true cost of customizations is higher than you may think. Initially, customizations cost time and money to create and implement. Over time, this is followed by maintenance, updates, and developer resources to make sure things don’t break.

A cost analysis should always precede larger customization requests. This will show you what the customization will cost now and long term versus the value you can expect from it. Account for factors outside of the sales numbers: impact to your go-live date or internal processes and hours allocated (that may need to be taken away from other high-priority projects).

Once you’ve evaluated these three areas, the question then becomes: Should I customize my system or change my processes? We’ve all heard the saying “you shouldn’t have to change your business to fit your software.” However, sometimes processes need updating – and, in those cases, it’s the best thing you could do for your business.

Going through the process of an ERP implementation forces you to take an honest look at your organizational processes. A partner like Rockton Connect can help you streamline and scale. We’ve developed methodologies over the past twenty years that make necessary customizations simple and easy®. Explore your options for business management solutions and customizations by scheduling a chat with our team.