Everything You Need to Know about ERP Development: Process, Features, Tech Stack, and More

An ERP system is the software system that helps completely manage your whole business. Basically, it supports automation and procedures in finance, human resources, manufacturing, supply chain, services, and other important business areas. It’s very beneficial for business if the majority or all of an organization’s data is housed in the ERP system. Now, let’s look deeper in, the ERP development process, the future of ERP, tech stack, and ERP software development cost.

January 25, 2023

ERP Market Overview

According to the ERP Software Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Function, the value of global ERP software market size was about USD 54.76 billion in 2022, and it is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.0% from 2023 to 2030. And it only means that more and more companies will start using and developing an ERP system to ensure the smooth run of all the business processes. It comes as no surprise as ERP systems gather and arrange crucial business data and support companies in maintaining effective operations even as the businesses start growing.

Every company has work to finish that involves many stakeholders with different responsibilities. However, it becomes difficult when the data required to carry out procedures and make crucial judgments is dispersed among different platforms. At some point, employees could struggle to locate the information they need and sometimes don’t have access to it at all. That’s why the ERP system comes in handy and very useful as it makes the overall operation easier and more organized within the company.

So, the market for enterprise resource planning software is anticipated to benefit from the rising demand for efficiency and transparency in business operations since ERP enables the integration of large volumes of data among various departments and controls the flow of information and communication throughout the company. Additionally, the necessity to fulfill industry standards processes that are already built into the software, the adoption of cloud-based technologies for storing and accessing real-time data, analytical reporting for business choices, and other factors are all contributing to the market’s expansion of ERP development.

Custom vs Out-of-the-Box ERP

Before going into the development of ERP system, you should consider that there are three kinds of ERP systems – out-of-the-box, custom and a hybrid, which is the combination of the two. Depending on the type of business you are operating and your needs, you can choose which one is better for you.

When using an out-of-the-box ERP system, you typically pay for a pre-built software package, regardless of whether or not its features are appropriate for your company’s needs. When you use a custom ERP solution, you pay more for the features that are specifically tailored to your needs.

There are pros and cons of each type of ERP system.

Among the main pros of the out-of-the-box ERP system is that it is, first of all, configured with all the necessary tools, templates, and other capabilities. Among other advantages are:

Quick time to implement

The key advantage of utilizing an out-of-the-box ERP solution is that it often takes less time to implement than custom software. You don’t have to bother about installing and maintaining software on your own servers because many out-of-the-box solutions are cloud-based.

Periodic updates

The majority of out-of-the-box solutions deliver updates every quarter or two. If the updates pertain to the operations of your particular business, this may be a great thing for your company.

Budget-friendly

 Initial costs for pre-packaged ERP solutions are often much lower than those for custom solutions. Out-of-the box ERP solution comes as more budget friendly, at least in the initial stage.

Among the major disadvantages of getting out-of-the box ERP system, are:

Lack of scalability

Finding ERP software solutions that can adapt as your needs change is crucial because your business is continuously changing. And the basic out-of-the box ERP system won’t provide you with the capability your company truly needs, especially if it’s expanding more quickly than you think.

Impossibility of further customization

Even though basic ERP systems do support a wide range of business processes at a high level, spanning across many departments, it’s difficult to add extra features later. Many companies learn quickly after using an out-of-the-box ERP system that they require additional, or more specialized features that their current system just cannot provide.

Cost inefficient in the long term

Customizability and long-term cost effectiveness go hand in hand like a cascade effect. So, after you discover that you require some more specialized feature to handle particular business activities, you will have to pay extra money.

If you are thinking of developing an ERP system, which is more flexible and can cater to your specific needs, then you might consider custom ERP. There are many advantages of having custom ERP system, and among the main ones are:

Scalability

Custom ERP will ensure that you will have more modules available to be integrated whenever they are required. A solid ERP solution should always be able to meet the organization’s present demands without restricting its ability to develop.

Improved user experience

With a customized ERP system it is possible to enable the business to easily connect its current infrastructure systems, workflow procedures, and productivity apps. This significantly improves the overall experience for users as well as customers.

Better traceability and control

With custom ERP, it is simpler to control all the data, processes, or documents. Additionally, every interaction in an ERP system is tracked and documented for increased security.

Among disadvantages of custom ERP system are:

Risk of “overcustomization”

Over-customizing makes things harder than they need to be. Even though customization is great for business, there can be the risk of overdoing it and, thus, making it more difficult.

Risk of disrupting essential software functions

You risk missing out on the key elements that the core functionality of the basic solution offers if you are overly concerned with enhancing your core ERP system. Most ERP software has best practices built in that are intended to help it work for your industry. You can risk losing the capacity to apply those techniques if you make too many changes.

Risk of Bugs

You don’t have to be concerned about having bugs if you have the right team members that can deal with the bugs. But as you increase the product’s feature set, it might get harder to control this risk. It’s simpler to encounter mistakes and faults, when you stick to the system’s essential features.

And as we’ve mentioned before, you will have to invest more when developing ERP software that is customized. To decide which ERP system is better for you, first, analyze thoroughly your business needs and take into account all the pros and cons of out-of-the-box and custom ERP. A-Team Global is experienced in developing custom-based software and can help you choose the right ERP system for your business.

Benefits of ERP Development

These are a few of the main arguments in favor of ERP investment, but we’re here to explain the potential benefits of this technology for your business. Development of ERP systems requires time and investment but it’s totally worth it. And here are main reasons why:

Higher productivity

Automation, from invoice generation to marketing automation, is one of the main advantages of ERP software. This frees up employees’ time so they can be more effective in other ways and makes sure that crucial procedures aren’t missed. An ERP also eliminates the need for laborious manual operations like repetitive data entry across many systems by providing one central repository that is accessible by all departments. Your data’s accuracy will likewise increase!

Visibility

Another one advantage of ERP is visibility,- letting everyone see different areas of the business is a tremendous thing. Managers can make decisions more quickly and effectively since they have access to all relevant information. For instance, the purchasing team may be able to prevent having too much or too little stock if they can view the status of purchase orders that are in transit but have not yet arrived at the warehouse.

It saves time and effort that would otherwise be required to find this information.

Competitive benefit

Although development of ERP system takes a substantial investment, the alternative could end up costing even more. While some companies opt to continue using time-tested techniques, others look for technological answers. Users can observe gains across several departments thanks to the software’s numerous enterprise resource planning benefits. By eliminating the possibility of making costly business errors, implementing ERP software helps you stay one step ahead of the competition.

Enhanced business reporting

With the aid of ERP software, reporting is made simpler and more suited to your needs. Your business can more easily respond to complex data requirements if it has increased reporting capabilities. As a result, production increases, procedures are completed more quickly, and projects are finished in a shorter time frame.

Better customer service

An ERP enables businesses to improve customer service by centralizing all client data, including contact information, order history, and support issues. When clients do need support, this makes it possible for quicker fixes and a more individualized experience. Additionally, an ERP system can enhance your level of customer service by ensuring that orders are delivered on time and that consumers almost always receive the correct things. All of this will keep your consumers pleased and raise the likelihood that they will make additional purchases from you.

Lower operating costs

An ERP can help reduce costs and boost profitability across all divisions of your company, from manufacturing to finance, through improved operational process efficiency. The act of just consolidating your IT systems typically results in cost savings; by spending less on multiple licenses, support costs, infrastructure, and administrative resources to handle it all, production planning becomes simpler.

Strengthened coordination among departments

The collaboration between business divisions or departments is enhanced by the unified system that holds all data relevant to business. By reducing communication lags throughout the entire organization, ERP software increases productivity. This is particularly advantageous if a business has a network of affiliates in numerous countries.

Regulatory compliance

If you think of ERP system development, you will also be pleasantly surprised to learn that the ERP software integrates well with all regulatory compliances in the manufacturing business. Powerful ERP platforms are made to manage changes in compliance and maintain track of industry requirements. Users and enterprises as a whole can utilize this to stay up to date with laws, regulations, guidelines, and specifications as they apply to business areas.

ERP Feature Set

If you have already made up your mind to develop ERP software and integrate it into your business, the next step is to decide on the type of features that would be particularly needed and important for your business. And here is a summary of the key ERP characteristics that are most frequently present in ERP software systems:

Automation

Payroll, order processing, invoicing, reporting, and other repetitive corporate operations can all be automated with the help of ERP. Automation speeds up data entry, lowers errors, and frees up staff time for tasks that bring more value. Process automation can minimize human error. Your staff members are prone to making a mistake or two when they spend the most of their days performing monotonous duties. Automation makes it possible to send data error-free from one section of the system to another.

Integration

Integration is necessary to make sure that all of the functions of ERP systems operate in harmony. Integration enables simultaneous use of multiple components by your company. For instance, users can access order history and customer information in the same system when using integrated customer relationship management (CRM).

Reporting

When going into ERP system development, make sure you include reporting as it’s one of the most essential features. ERP reporting modules collect information about business operations into reports that empower stakeholders to make more informed decisions and enhance business processes. Reports may have visual elements like charts, graphs, and dashboards that, in theory, expose trends and patterns to enhance corporate performance.

Tracking and Visibility

Comprehensive visibility is among the most important ERP characteristics. Many ERP systems today keep track of raw materials and finished goods from manufacture to distribution. You can comprehend and anticipate problems like delays and stock shortages with the help of this process.

Advanced accounting

Certain aspects of accounting and bookkeeping will be conventional, just as in any company. However, in order to manage the financial parts of the entire process across several projects, an ERP will need extra components like management of subcontracts, management of plants and equipment, operational inventories, management of purchase and change orders, etc. The time it takes to reconcile and close off monthly financial statements can be significantly reduced by this functionality.

Marketing and Sales

The sales and marketing module includes features like customer contact, order tracking, product delivery, sales invoice generation, payment processing, and return order processing. If you think of development of ERP, you should definitely include this feature, as it also offers automated expense tracking, setting goals for marketing staff, tracking missed orders, and creating in-depth reports for marketing efforts.

ERP Development Process

Any ERP implementation project includes six phases: discovery and planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and ongoing support. Despite the fact that this is an iterative procedure, there will probably be some phase overlap and switching back and forth between them.

1. Discovery and Planning

This is the initial stage that starts off throughout the sales process and continues after the sale. Usually, during this stage, the project team is formed and initial discussions are held. The creation of the project plan, which will act as a roadmap for the remaining stages of the project, is a crucial component of this phase.

2.  Design

The design phase creates a detailed design for the new ERP system based on specific requirements and knowledge of existing procedures. It’s one of the most important steps in developing ERP software. Useful tip of this stage is users’ involvement in the design process because they are the ones that know the existing business processes the best. Involving them in the design process also increases the likelihood that they will embrace the new system and make the most of it.

3. Development

The development phase’s goal is to get the system ready for going live. This involves tasks like finishing up any required adjustments, creating user guides, and importing data. As with any software development project, the first step in ERP deployments is to solve the problem. Then comes code writing.

4. Quality Assurance

After the process of actual development of ERP, there comes the testing/ QA stage. The team conducts several testing procedures, including unit, integration, system, functional, and security tests. Engineers evaluate if the software is user-friendly and meets all initial requirements before releasing it. The system can then be put into use and approved by the client.

5. Deployment

The project team and implementation team will evaluate the circumstances and reach a final determination of whether to proceed or not. The final data will be loaded and verified before going online. Other staff will be trained by the project team so they may begin utilizing the new system.

6. Updates & Support

After deployment, it’s important to maintain the ERP implementation to make sure users are satisfied and the company reaps the expected benefits. During this phase, the project team may still be in charge of the ERP system, but its attention will now be on gathering user feedback and modifying the system as necessary.

Technology Stack to Develop Custom ERP Software

Another technical choice you should make with your technical leader while going into the process of ERP software development is what programming language to use. Alternatively, you can totally delegate this choice to your ERP development team. And here we’ll give you some tips regarding tech stack for developing custom ERP systems.

So, if the ERP system is primarily designed for desktop platforms, one of the best choices is C++/C# for Windows or Swift/Objective-C for macOS. For a more flexible web-based project, the tech stack consists of Angular, Bootstrap, JavaScript, Node.js, and frameworks like jQuery. It is difficult to include every technology on the list because the final stack will vary depending on the features and project needs.

Mainly, we would advise JavaScript as a general-purpose web language. For front-end development, JavaScript frameworks like Vue, React, and Angular are ideal, and the Node.js framework takes care of all requirements for server-side development.

Cost to develop ERP

ERP development cost can be compared to the question asking how much a new car will cost. This is due to the fact that it is almost impossible to know the car’s exact cost without first understanding your needs. The cost to develop ERP system is directly influenced by a variety of distinct elements. And it includes costs for implementation, training, developer location, upkeep, and other factors are among them. There is no such thing as a universal solution.

 According to an ERP research from 2022, the average cost per user for an ERP project is $9,000. One can say that the average ERP software development cost for a mid-sized company can  fluctuate  from $150,000 to $750,000. It depends on the number of users your system may have and additional expenses like the features you would like to have for your business.

The amount of time it takes developers to complete an ERP system significantly impacts the final cost of developing ERP software. Also, the quantity of developers directly affects how long it takes to develop ERP software. The team needs additional specialists to complete the duties more quickly and effectively if your program is sophisticated and you want to reduce the number of hours spent on development.

Location is another important aspect in determining the cost to develop ERP. For example, ERP developers in North America will charge a diff price than their counterparts in Ukraine or India. This is because services have a wide range in price throughout the world, and, thus, it is much cheaper to hire a professional developer from Ukraine than from the USA without compromising the quality.

Future of ERPs: Innovations to win competition

ERP systems are continually evolving to embrace new technology and cover a wider range of functions as organizations depend more and more on them to improve their operations. To have a competitive advantage, you should always keep your eye on evolving trends and embrace innovations. Here are the main trends you can take into account for ERP system development:

  • ERP is merging with other technologies like social media and internet of things (IoT) devices to further automate, increase visibility, and improve customer experience.
  • The COVID pandemic highlighted the advantages of cloud ERP and sped up the transition away from on-premises software, in part because cloud-based apps enable users to complete tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Earlier it was challenging to adapt ERP platforms with complicated scripting languages to the unique requirements of each organization. However, businesses can now benefit from cloud ERP solutions, sometimes known as “low-code” platforms that are built for simpler configuration. A rising number of ERP solutions are also now developed to meet the demands of various sectors.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) used in ERP has the potential to increase your company’s productivity. For example, your company information offers insights into your operational procedures and highlights chances to cut expenses and lead times. Based on those findings, expert systems can be developed, such as a system for field service to utilize to diagnose equipment failures.
  • With embedded machine learning, workflows can be made more efficient within the company. Computers may “learn” from your data, which helps them become more adept at automating routine tasks like figuring out where to post accounting transactions.

All these innovations can help you further develop your company, win completion, have greater customer experience, and stay contemporary.

ERP Development Case Study

For more than 10 years, A-Team Global has been helping various companies achieve their goals. We specialize in outsourcing software development and, and have vast experience in developing an ERP system to meet your particular needs.

Our customer from the UK requested us to create a platform suitable for searching both of the candidates and job postings. The main peculiarity of this platform that makes it stand out from the crowd of competitors is the unique opportunity for candidates to post video interviews with self-presentations revealing their strongest sides, expectations, and talents. At the end of our cooperation, the customer received an efficient working platform with about 500 000 vacancies. More than 200 000  candidates have uploaded their video presentations and 150 000 candidates found their dream job! Moreover, these results were received within a year only. Contact us for further information and we will gladly consult you on ERP development as well as will give an approximate cost of such development.

FAQ

1. Do I need ERP for my business? Who uses ERP?

Use of ERP software is widespread among all business kinds. Manufacturing, retail, and logistics are often the sectors that have employed them the most.

Within an ERP, manufacturers can control the operations related to production, the supply chain, sales, and accounting while studying how one of these business functions affects the others in order to enhance profitability and efficiency.

So, yes, we would advise to use ERP for any time of business.

2. What Are Best Practices for ERP Implementation?

It’s important to map out your implementation process from beginning to end and to include important milestone dates. In order to minimize issues with change management, stakeholders, implementers, and end users, we would advise to enhance regular communication between them.

3. What is the future of ERP?

It is obvious that the advancement of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and the Internet of Things (IoT) and its industrial context will continue to enhance the capabilities of ERP systems. The majority of ERP vendors have already included these technologies.

Summary

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system that manages and organizes corporate data and information to connect business processes. ERP guarantees homogeneity, transparency, and visibility throughout the whole company. It makes it simple for enterprises to retain their business data and guarantees that all of their employees have access to integrated, useful business information. ERP software effectively handles crucial data, preventing its duplication, and certifying the entire procedure. More and more companies use ERP systems and the trend is only growing.

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