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April 19, 2016
Rapid and efficient flow of streams of information is a prerequisite for the smooth functioning of logistics processes. It is also important to note that the introduction of computerized information processes created an entirely new quality. This also applies to the logistics, where many functions are associated with various transition of information. Modern IT systems support the process of production planning at many levels, from the moment of the generation of orders by customers through the purchase of raw materials, storage of raw materials in the warehouse, production of the finished item with subsequent storage, picking, to delivery to the customer. Having an opportunity to work with ERP system alongside with appropriate modules it is possible to plan, control and manage resources.
However, chosen ERP system may have very good Shop Floor control module but insufficient Advanced Warehousing module. Very advanced Transportation Management module may not go with ‘decent’ Requirements Planning module or Purchasing Module. On the other hand, ERP can offer various modules where functional advancement can be there, however company requires very advanced Requirements Planning module as this is key strategic component of their success.
To me the question stands; how big risk is to ‘move’ specific functionalities to 3rd party systems. Is it good idea to create all necessary interfaces for the ERP to be able to communicate with second system or is it usually better to try to keep as many modules as possible from one provider. The benefit of second option is seamless integration, no interfaces, less risk (especially at implementation phase). Obviously answer would be different for each company. But we need to be prepare for choice we possibly would need to make at some point. Should we sacrifice functionality for benefit of seamless integration? Should we pay more for unused functionalities for some modules to use integrated system which is outstanding in single, strategic way? Or should we choose customization path?