A few weeks ago, one of our blogs focused on the pros and cons for companies choosing to leverage best practices and pre-configured manufacturing software systems. As we pointed out, while a useful starting point, best practices are not always relevant and cannot guarantee that an implementation will be easy or successful.

Best practices can be a very helpful starting point in a majority of cases for non-differentiating business functions such as accounting and purchasing. However, in the case of manufacturing and supply chain management business processes, it is more likely that a company will tend to focus building their unique competitive advantages into the software rather than letting the software drive the business.

So we conducted an online poll to measure how the average company chooses to leverage best practices in the context of a manufacturing software implementation. Do most want to leverage industry best practices? Do they want to build competitive advantages unlike that of their peers, suggesting that pre-configured industry solutions aren’t gong to address them?

The results are interesting. At the time of this posting, none of the respondents indicated that leveraging best practices was the primary driver for their manufacturing software initiative. Just 7% stated that they were looking for operational superiority, while 43% said they were looking for measurable results and a strong return on investment (ROI). A majority, or 53%, said that they were looking to achieve all of the above.

These results suggest that one thing is clear: most companies are not leveraging software simply to leverage best practices. They are also looking for ways to bring measurable value to their business operations and to achieve operational superiority. Much is made of best practices and pre-configurations, which are important, but they are just one component of the value that manufacturing software can bring to an organization.

What do you think? Take our poll below, or view results from other visitors.

[poll id=”39″]

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