When businesses used previous generations of enterprise resource planning software to improve manufacturing, fabrication and warehousing operations, there was a desire to have as many functions in place as possible without going over budget. Because ERP programs were, and still can be, very monolithic structures, the idea of having to do many upgrades and deal with the associated downtime was definitely a negative. Even with a comprehensive structure in place, these platforms eventually run into problems with compatibility and other concerns. Luckily, organizations looking to add or upgrade an ERP system have more streamlined options in place that balance function, cost and customizability, including modular systems such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Businesses in the current market often suffer from reduced ERP effectiveness because there are many versions of a single system, or even multiple distinct platforms in place. TechTarget reported survey results from benchmarking firm APQC that show only 30 percent of users have one system that is using a single version. A single system is, theoretically, the best state for an ERP system to be in, but about 70 percent of users in the manufacturing and warehousing fields are suffering from ERP fragmentation.

Go modular to reduce conflicts and streamline processes
Instead of having to purchase a complete system that needs to be configured ahead of time, companies can achieve a far greater level of control by using a component-based ERP platform. Modules that address specific needs ranging from specific production concerns on the work floor to small- and large-scale financial visibility can be added on an as-needed basis, even after a system has been installed. By avoiding unnecessary features and implementing features based on a prioritized list, organizations can better manage spending without sacrificing effectiveness.

SearchFinancialApplications pointed out the wide variety of technological advances that will be seen in ERP software in the coming years, ranging from increased use of cloud-based features to more built-in analytics. For companies to take full advantage of these improvements, a flexible structure is ideal. Businesses will be in a better position to add new and exciting features as they won't have to deal with long installation timelines and high upgrade costs. For both the present and the future, modular ERP provides a streamlined solution.

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