What is an industry specific ERP solution? In short, it’s a feature-rich system that caters to the unique needs of your niche. These ERP systems include specialized modules and functionality that your specific industry requires.

Many out-of-the-box ERP platforms are generic in nature allowing organizations across a wide range of industries to use them. However, one-size-fits-all functionality has its limits.

Today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about industry-specific ERP to help you determine if it’s right for your organization. 

The 2024 Top 10 ERP Systems Report

What vendors are considering for your ERP implementation? This list is a helpful starting point.

What is a Generic ERP Solution?

While generic ERP solutions help companies simplify and streamline their processes, they have the deepest functionality for accounting, finance, and general business management, while providing more basic functionality for operations.

For this reason, organizations with complex operational goals often must supplement generic ERP software to create a complete solution.

For example, they might add extensive customizations, modifications, and add-ons to facilitate their day-to-day tasks. Slowly, the system becomes pricier and more labor-intensive than expected.

Another drawback of generic ERP software is it often includes base functionality that doesn’t apply to some industries.

For example, manufacturers don’t need access to all the tools that someone in the banking or retail sector might need. The best ERP for manufacturing is one without too many of these extraneous features. Implementing a system with such features can be overwhelming, slowing down even the most skilled project teams.

What is an Industry Specific ERP Solution?

An industry specific ERP solution, or niche ERP solution, helps companies automate their accounting, finance, and business management functions, but it doesn’t stop there. 

This type of platform also provides capabilities that align with your industry’s unique needs. Moreover, it wraps them all into one solution that typically doesn’t require extensive customization, third-party software products, or costly add-ons.

If you go this route, executives can rest assured that their employees will have access to the exact tools they need to do their jobs. From advanced distribution and manufacturing functionality to robust retail capabilities, these solutions have unique features that you simply can’t find in most generic platforms. 

7 Benefits of Industry-Specific ERP

1. Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Total cost of ownership (TCO) refers to the costs associated with a project, including the cost of the initial purchase, as well as ERP implementation costs and any expenses you incur over the lifetime of the system. 

Generic ERP systems aren’t designed to meet the demands of a given industry, so they often come at a lower initial price point. However, most business leaders find that they must customize or supplement this software to meet their needs. 

These customization costs can be massive to implement, and if your company eventually upgrades its ERP system, the customizations will need to be rewritten, which doesn’t come cheap.

Niche ERP systems allow you to avoid these additional costs and ensure a lower TCO.

2. Faster Implementation

The ability to avoid customizations and add-ons means you can go live with your new system sooner and have a shorter time-to-value.

Industry-specific software is pre-built with the functionality you need, and the vendor is likely an expert in your space. This means they can implement the solution relatively quickly so you can start reaping the benefits.

The same can’t be said about a generic ERP solution. Often, it takes an extensive team of developers and systems staff members just to make the system work as expected.

This isn’t to say that an implementation is ever quick and easy. While there are ways to implement in a shorter timeframe, it’s only short in comparison to what it would have been had you implemented a generic ERP system. The only kind of implementation that is truly quick and easy is one destined for ERP failure.

3. Access to Industry Best Practices

In every industry, there are certain best practices that define how processes should flow. There are also strict requirements, such as regulatory compliance.  

Industry-specific ERP systems have built-in functionality to address these needs. Moreover, these modules are regularly updated by vendors as industries evolve. 

For instance, food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers need to follow certain regulations that cover food safety, proper labeling, and more. As such, an F&B-specific ERP solution will include tools that support these requirements.

The ability to meet evolving regulatory requirements and adapt to industry changes is essential to a company’s long-term success. Niche ERP systems help you proactively plan for these changes rather than being blindsided by them.

4. ERP Vendors with Industry Knowledge

When you opt for an industry-specific ERP system, you’re partnering with an ERP vendor that has deep experience and expertise in your niche. Not only does this make it easier to communicate and share ideas, but it also means your vendor understands even your most intricate business requirements. 

The result is an ERP system that’s easy for your employees to understand and use, and one that will delight your customers and partners.

This is especially the case if you work with any original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that need you to meet certain requirements before they can do business with you. While a generic solution often isn’t flexible enough to accommodate these demands, an industry-specific one is. 

5. Faster Issue Resolution

When your vendor has domain experience in your specific industry, they’re able to address issues and offer resolutions much quicker than a generic solutions provider. That means if you encounter any issues with your system, you can talk to someone who understands your unique position. 

When it comes to avoiding downtime, every second counts and experience matters. You can’t afford to lose time explaining errors, bottlenecks, or other problems to a vendor with limited experience in your niche.

6. Stronger Customer Focus

While industry-specific systems make life easier for employees, they’re really designed with your customers in mind. That’s because they empower the unique processes that define your industry, which starts with understanding the needs of your end-customer. 

The tools and functions that make your workplace more efficient also make your customers happier. Consider an ERP system that allows a manufacturer to easily track job processes. With this improved transparency, they can identify potential problems before they arise, preventing issues that compromise quality and lead to delays.  

7. Ability to Address Common Pain Points

Industry-specific ERP solutions aren’t created by teams of people who are far removed from your industry. Rather, they’re developed through extensive research into the distinct complexities of your sector. This reveals common pain points, as well as critical solutions that can help solve them.

If you’re running into roadblocks in your daily operations, you may find that an industry specific platform is the overarching piece you’re missing. 

For instance, you might be routinely missing stock requirements, which is affecting your customer satisfaction and your bottom line. Resolving this issue via improved supply chain visibility is simple when you implement an industry-specific solution.

Is an Industry Specific ERP Solution Right for You?

ERP selection can be a long and complicated process. Before you get too far into the journey, it’s important to determine whether you need an industry-specific solution or a generic one. 

While going industry specific has many benefits, your decision should ultimately be based on your business needs and goals.

The answer to “What is an industry specific ERP solution?” is much longer than a blog post, so be sure to reach out to our ERP consulting team below and request a free consultation.

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