Custom vs Vanilla ERP Solutions: Pros & Cons

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Making up your mind in the favour of implementing an ERP solution is a big decision in itself. Further, the dilemma of finalizing whether to go for a customized one or a plain Vanilla ERP puts you into a brainstorming mode. Though, it’s been said that every business is unique and needs a specially tailored ERP solution to meet its own set of challenges, there can be severe consequences of a customized solution in the long run. Similarly, plain Vanilla is considered as one of the best flavours for ERP implementation due to its simplicity and cost effectiveness but at times, the original design of the solution fails to outsmart the tough and complex manufacturing operations; thus making you stand a step behind your competitors.

Just like everything else in this world, even ERP implementation has two sides to it, one good and the other bad. You need to choose wisely by evaluating their respective pros and cons applicable to your organization. With the help of following comparison table, you can easily decide the best select for your manufacturing company.

Pros Cons
Custom ERP Solution Specially built for your unique challenges and manufacturing operations. Extreme customization raises the level of complexity and risk of implementation failure significantly.
Since it’s a tailored fit, it proves to be a perfect solution for your business needs. Takes a lot of time, labour and efforts during the implementation process. At times, the basic custom code of the solution refuses to work as per your unique processes.
The basic design can be modified at any point during implementation, keeping pace with your business needs. May burn a hole in your pocket. Cost is directly proportional to the extent of customization. Modifications in the basic design incur costs towards development, design, and implementation efforts.
You are the owner of the software, hence can define the extent of customization in your personalized solution. There are fat chances of system failure with a customized solution.
Offers a competitive advantage as you outperform competitors by your unique functionality. Fixing an issue might take longer and leave you completely dependent on your vendor. Ultimately, your business can suffer setbacks.
Plain Vanilla ERP Solution Simple design means quick implementation and easy to use. Fails to meet all of your business requirements. It becomes difficult to modify your business processes at every stage.
Gives you the chance to redefine the current business processes. Also eliminates inadequate functionalities and inefficient processes. Plain Vanilla solutions are rigid and difficult to modify, and cover only basic functionalities of a typical ERP suite.
Lands easy on your pocket. No customization results into absolutely nil extra expenditure. Though initially cost-effective, it may end up emptying your pockets if you ask your vendor for customizations at a later stage.
Ensures smoother upgrades, as upgrades are designed keeping in mind the basic design of the software. Leaves you with limited options of innovation and R&D as with non-customized solution, the ideas can be easily replicated by your competitors.
Trusted Vanilla solutions offer reliability as you get to know the reviews and feedback online. Demands extra effort by the staff to ensure project success at the grass-root level.
It is easy to maintain and get support from freelancers. Might be incompatible with your existing operating systems. Data transfer, or other business software may clash with the plain Vanilla flavour.

The tough decision of selecting one between custom or plain Vanilla ERP solution can have hard-hitting consequences, impacting your organization in the years to come. It is very important to keep vitally influencing factors in mind before taking the final plunge. The best idea is to set your priorities well in advance and then decide accordingly. For anything else, we are always there to assist you. Contact us for more information.