Custom ERP system development – it is a process in which the system is built from the ground and in accordance with the needs of the client and the set requirements.
The first option is pretty obvious, but what if you feel that none of the available ERP systems would address your requirements or you just want to have complete ownership of the solution which will be your mission-critical business tool for the next decade or even longer? How to build an ERP from scratch? In this article, we will define the roadmap of how to build your own system and address the most frequent questions such as which technology to choose, how long it will take and how much does it cost.
Why choose custom ERP system development?
Off-the-shelf system buying and customization will always seem cost-effective and time-saving as a result of less up-front fees as well as save the time taken in the development process. Despite these advantages, the quality of a system is what matters and developing an ERP system from scratch is more likely to meet the systems’ requirements and functionalities.
1. Defining the project’s goals
This is the vision of the ERP development process. It is usually described by the client to the developer, he/she explains what the system should deliver at the end of the development process. Eventually, the client and the IT experts should come to an agreement on what the end product’s functionality and features should be.
2. Developing a Blueprint and Wireframing
Just like in most operations, a blueprint acts as the basis of the whole process, therefore, it should be well detailed. The custom system blueprint contains complete information about the development process, timeframe, and the resources to be used. It is a document created by every individual involved with the target ERP system. This includes the system developers (whether in-house or outsourced), organization managers, IT leaders, and at times the end user of the system. They are all essential in the creation of the master plan.
The most commonly implemented modules are: Supply Chain Management, Resource Planning, HR Module, Financial Management, and CRM.
When you start to think of how to build an ERP system from scratch it is important to choose which type your custom solution will be. Each choice has some advantages and disadvantages. Let’s make a list of the available options:
1. Client/Server ERP will work locally on user’s computers and the database will be stored on your networking hardware.
2. Web-based ERP solution will be running on the external web server and therefore can be accessed from any device in the simple web browser.
3. Technical part
This is the part where developers commence their work. It involves making a decision on the database, backend, frontend and the whole technical part of how to develop ERP software.
The stack of technologies such as framework and database is the foundation your custom system will be built on. Choosing the platforms, framework, and database is heavily influent blueprinting and wireframing stage.
Where the system is to be hosted
A customized ERP system can be hosted on your local servers or on the cloud. The decision on where to host the system is usually based on enterprise finances and policies. Nevertheless, the cloud is often times the most advantageous option.
All the data in the previously used system is required to be transferred and integrated into the new database and in accordance with the appropriate departments. This involves the creation of tables with entities representing the different organization’s components and linking the tables to form organized storage of information.
Implementation of applications
In addition, there are usually legacy canned applications that are used by the enterprise and are essential to their operations. The developers are required to consolidate the legacy applications to the ERP system or otherwise create new applications.
This involves writing codes to develop the new applications but in the existence of the legacy applications, you can use similar components in the apps for re-configuring. A developer has a great deal of work as there are some important pieces of software to the enterprise that must be retained while some of them are vintage and require massive re-configuring.
UX/ UI development
At this part developers majorly work with protocols to create presentation platforms for users. A developer has to create a front-end that will convert the data language to the user language as well as use XML for neutral dialects.
This is a part where the developers test the system to confirm that it meets the desired requirements. There are two steps to go about reviewing:
1. The developers can feed the system-specific data to test whether it meets the functionally and requirements.
2. The development team can also release the system to a group of volunteering individuals who use the system as the targeted users would. This is a more comprehensive way of guaranteeing system functionality, safety, and security.
Testing of the bespoke in-house ERP is a mission-critical stage of the implementation. The system is designed to make the organization’s operations easier and efficient. On this stage, the development team checks if the application is robust and comfortable to work with.
Developing a custom ERP software involves complete practicality in customization and configuration of the software, database technology, system environment among other technologies in play.
In summary, ERP development from scratch is a challenging task compared to the use of off-the-shelf solutions. It will cost more in terms of finances and time but it is a more suitable approach to the ERP application development process. A custom system becomes part of your company plus it is flexible such that you can add features along the way as the business world changes and your company grows.