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Why Your Company Needs an Industry-Specific ERP to Maximize ROI

Why Your Company Needs an Industry-Specific ERP to Maximize ROI

Explore Industry ERPs

Why Your Company Needs an Industry-Specific ERP to Maximize ROI

Sep 12, 2022

Roy Thomas
Business professionals review tablet and data charts

Investing in ERP software is a multi-step process. The first step is deciding to launch your digital transformation journey and invest in an ERP solution. The second step is choosing which ERP software will optimize your business processes and deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI) for your company.

Many organizations find step two much harder to achieve than step one, as there are countless ERP systems available on the market. Should you choose a generic solution that works across multiple sectors? Or, invest in industry-specific ERP software that provides niche functionality?

To make the decision simpler for your business, we’ve put together a short introduction to industry-specific ERP.

Generic vs. Industry-Specific ERP: What’s the Difference?

Enterprise resource planning software—or ERP, as it’s more commonly known—was developed to help companies manage day-to-day business activities more efficiently.

Initially, ERP vendors created generic solutions that could improve business areas and processes across multiple different industries. By focusing on basic functionality, such as finance, reporting and business intelligence (BI), their software appealed to a broad scope of potential customers.

But, as ERP technology evolved, some organizations found that the generic ERP solutions they were investing in couldn’t deliver the niche functionality they required as standard. Generic ERP vendors tried to solve this issue through customizations and/or multiple system integrations, but this only increased implementation costs and made ERP technology complex to manage.

To provide a cost-effective alternative to generic solutions, some technology vendors chose to branch out into industry-specific ERP software. These solutions go beyond basic functionality to include rich features for their target industries in a “plug and play” ERP software format delivering additional benefits and rapid ROI.

A good example of technology vendors developing industry-specific ERP functionality is in the food and beverage sector. Our solution for the industry – Aptean Food & Beverage ERP – gives customers full backward and forward ingredient-level tracking using advanced lot management tools and food traceability features; something a generic ERP can’t provide out of the box.

What Are the Benefits of Choosing Industry-Specific ERP Software?

Today, 67% of industrial executives choose sector specialized software when selecting a new ERP system, for many reasons beyond the overall benefits of ERP software.

The major advantage of choosing an industry-specific ERP is that it can do more than a generic solution to help you address distinct industry pain points while optimizing your business processes out of the box. Further benefits to niche ERP technology include:

  • Straight-forward deployment: Industry-specific ERP software includes the dedicated features your business needs built-in, so there’s no need for time-consuming customizations. Many sector ERP solution providers offer other critical business systems within their suite of solutions to further reduce IT scope.

  • Lower implementation costs: Plug-and-play software is more affordable than a bespoke system. However, generic solutions that seem cheaper initially can become more expensive once you start bolting on additional features or investing in multiple systems to get the functionality you need. An industry-specific ERP solution gives you the best of both worlds – minimizing the total cost of ownership without sacrificing functionality.

  • Long-term scalability: The joy of industry-specific ERP software is that the solution can grow and scale alongside your business. You can unlock additional features as your company expands, driving longer-term ROI as well as immediate value.

  • Technology vendors that understand your needs: ERP software needs to drive positive change, but what that change looks like varies between sectors. Technology vendors that focus on a particular industry will talk your language, understand your operational pain points and share your goals.

  • Shared industry best practices: If a technology vendor specializes in your field, all their efforts are focused on developing and improving that solution. The best industry-specific ERP technology is constantly being refined in line with industry regulations and requirements. Plus, when vendors are learning from other users, you benefit from the expertise of other customers in your sector.

Are There Good Examples of Industry-Specific ERP Software?

Up to this point we’ve talked generally about the benefits of industry-specific ERP, so let’s share some examples. Aptean has developed a number of specialist ERP solutions, each of which are tailored to the specific needs of that sector. These include:

  • Food and Beverage ERP: beyond basic functionality, Aptean Food & Beverage ERP provides comprehensive end-to-end traceability on an ingredient-level. Our food ERP software also has the ability to create trade agreements better suited to the way food companies do business and has built-in allergen management and one-click recalls and product withdrawals.

  • Process Manufacturing ERP: Aptean Process Manufacturing ERP is specifically designed for batch process manufacturing environments. It includes vital formula and recipe management features along with materials requirement planning (MRP) functionality made for the industry. Our solution offers full forward and backward lot number genealogy on all raw materials from PO receipt through final sale.

  • Industrial Manufacturing ERP: One of the most popular industry-specific features of Aptean Industrial Manufacturing ERP is automatic bill of material (BOM) generation to quickly turn quotes into accurate inventory requirements. Other key benefits include the ability to support mixed-mode manufacturing, dynamic production scheduling based on time and material constraints, and non-standard quoting options to create one-off builds on the fly.

  • Imports and Distribution ERP: Industry-specific ERP streamlines and optimizes your entire supply chain while giving you a real-time view of profitability by taking account of both above-the-line and below-the-line costs. For example, Aptean Distribution ERP functionality provides a profitability scorecard tool, which enables distributors to access and analyze customer, supplier and product-level profitability to see exactly which elements are driving their business.

  • Fashion and Apparel ERP: Our end-to-end solution provides a one-stop shop for the fashion and apparel industry’s supply chain and manufacturing needs. Aptean Apparel ERP features built-in EDI, PLM and shop floor control, along with a warehouse management system and vendor management portal that eliminates the need for third-party services or plugins. Read our blog post on 5 Must-Have Features in an ERP for the Apparel Industry to find out more.

  • Equipment Dealer Management ERP: We’ve included a number of features to support sales, leasing and parts in Aptean Equipment ERP, including real-time availability, equipment lifecycle information and service histories for rental businesses.

Will an Industry-Specific ERP Enhance My Return on Investment?

Ultimately, a successful ERP implementation is dependent on finding the best-fit solution for your needs. An industry-specific ERP can deliver that better fit because its functionality has been designed for the requirements and pain points of your sector. This means industry-specific ERP software often helps companies to generate ROI quicker than generic ERP solutions.

However, selecting industry-specific ERP software is not a guaranteed one-way ticket to rapid return on investment. Your choice of technology vendor and the expertise they provide will play a major role in how quickly you achieve ROI.

Working with a specialized ERP software partner like Aptean can deliver powerful results while ensuring that your chosen ERP solution provides long-term scalability. We’re dedicated to helping companies get ready for what’s next by developing industry-specific features that will improve your business processes and empower your organization to maximize profitability, make data-driven decisions and future-proof your operations.

Visit Aptean’s enterprise resource planning page to find out more about our industry-specific ERP software and request a personalized demonstration.

Ready to benefit from industry-specific ERP software?

We’ve got the specialized ERP solutions you need to conquer your industry challenges.

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