It can be tough for manufacturers and fabricators to get the most out of their enterprise resource planning software.

Choosing a system that doesn't need or offer a high level of customization can require less organizational investment, save money and lead to a quicker implementation process. While still being usable, the overall usefulness of this type of a system will suffer. A basic ERP system can't handle the needs of businesses that make products because there's less room for diversification. The other option, a highly customized platform, will allow businesses to meet more requirements for efficiency and visibility . But these systems also require a much larger investment from stakeholders, take longer to provide a return on investment and can become outdated more quickly. This is especially true when businesses increase in size, add facilities or significantly expand their ability to produce different kinds of items.

TechTarget says that, when it comes to best practices for upgrading an ERP system, having a static system that is only updated when absolutely necessary can lead to a significant number of problems. Having to coordinate with stakeholders, decide on upgrade priorities and actually install a system can lead to significant commitments of time and money. A more efficient method for businesses is to use a modular ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV to allow for as-needed upgrades that don't create operational slowdowns.

Modular systems combine the best parts of other platforms
Because component-based ERP has basic functionality that's enhanced by the use of function-specific modules like barcode data collection and timekeeping software, businesses can target specific areas for improvement instead of paying for customization across an entire system. Modules allow for an increased level of usefulness above the basic ERP systems as well. By joining the best attributes of the more traditional ERP concepts into a package that also reduces the drawbacks associated with those systems, businesses that go modular come out on top.

Additionally, top vendors of modular programs will work with organizations to make sure they're choosing the best components for their unique situations. TechTarget recommends businesses set up an implementation process where knowledge of both installation and continued operation is shared between the vendor and purchaser. Best-in-class providers will keep their clients involved and updated, not just during the initial setup, but also as new modules are created that may be beneficial to a specific organization.