Enterprise resource planning software used to be a relatively static component of business operations. While some components were customized during initial purchase and implementation phases, the result was a system that wasn't easily changeable without a significant additional commitment of resources.

The much wider variety of ERP options currently available to businesses, especially those who project significant growth or change and need software that can do the same, means that the monolithic ERP offerings of the past are falling behind more easily configurable solutions.

The modular nature of programs like Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides the benefit of a strong software framework with individualized add-ons that enhance specific areas of functionality. For manufacturers and warehouses, the ability to craft a unique solution around a company's specific needs provides greater return on investment than a one-size-fits-all system.

What makes companies change their ERP solutions
A study conducted by research firm YouGov and highlighted on ERPNews.net highlights the major reasons why businesses consider changing their ERP solutions. Operational inflexibility and ongoing costs were two common components that companies named in regards to making a switch.

The single most prevalent reason for changes was the time and money spent on system maintenance, with 36 percent of the poll's 531 respondents reporting this choice. Businesses looking for an effective ERP system that won't break the bank should again consider the advantages of the modular approach to system building. Deciding on the level of functionality and sophistication of individual components means that businesses can prioritize spending and use more basic solutions for less pressing needs when on a budget.

Another common reason for making a switch is increasing automatic processes. In all, 24 percent of repliers reporting that they wanted to automate more manual processes. This can be addressed with the modular system offered by Microsoft Dynamics modules.

Opportunity for collaboration
Aberdeen Group pointed out in a research paper paper about ERP use in the manufacturing field that the growing amount of options available means that the best systems should provide avenues for different parts of a business to work together.

Although the level of sophistication needed for these group efforts may vary from business to business, the ability to work together should be seen as a reason to select a certain platform. This is another instance where modular ERP provides benefits – businesses can customize their collaboration levels and even change it after initial implementation.