To Be (Standardised) Or Not To Be, That Is The Question

When we think 'ERP', we're already thinking about customisation on some level.

Indeed, most enterprise companies only invest in ERP software because of how it can adapt to their specific needs and processes. But this is changing quickly. For one, the business landscape itself is changing too rapidly for any customisation to keep up with the pace of change. While most businesses want customisation to help them in a more focused manner, what it eventually ends up doing is causing more confusion- too many customised processes which few people understand, a curious mix of systems that differ by geography, and overall confusion.

SAP is no different.

Often, when we think of SAP implementation, we are thinking about how best to adapt a mammoth system to our specific needs. This is also why most implementation processes take at least six months, and sometimes the better part of a year.

Too Many Customisations In One Basket

Inherently, there is nothing wrong with customisation. The problem arises, however, when old customisations are not weeded out to make space for new ones. Over time, most people prefer to follow the older process even when it is inefficient, because 'that's how we always do things around here.'

In doing so, customisation loses its core advantage- giving businesses the flexibility to a adapt.

Over time, imagine a hundred such processes that help no one!

Perhaps this is the rationale SAP is currently using in encouraging more of its clients to move to standardisation instead.

SAP Is Asking You To Go Standard, Here's Why

packaged solution for SAP
To achieve scale, packaged solutions make sense

SAP has prebuilt templates and structures, as well as packaged business processes and best practices across industry verticals, languages, and enterprise sizes.

These are available for both on-premise and cloud partners, and SAP's active efforts to move on-premise users to the cloud as carefully as possible relies heavily on the incentive of these processes that are available in both formats- thus allowing more customers to migrate without having to worry about changing processes.

Now, the customers who migrate from on-premise to cloud can quickly benefit from these existing structures in the cloud to speed up the transition period and reduce the productivity loss.

Covid has hit multiple industries and caused major revenue loss.

Logistics industries have suffered this year, with supply chain operations getting disrupted completely due to lockdown restrictions. SAP is addressing these challenges with best practice processes to support material planning and create efficiencies in the supply chain and inventories.

For an ERP system to help do this in a rapid manner is truly a disruptive force in an industry Lon-plagued by redundancies.

The use of advanced technologies like Intelligent RPA, Machine Learning, Predictive Analytics, etc. is playing a key part in consolidating operations in cloud, thus delivering higher time to value for customers migrating to cloud.

Standardisation+Customisation For A Win-Win Solution

Indeed, when we look into the customisation vs. standardisation debate, it is easy to root for one or the other. What we really need to do instead is to consider the benefits of both, draw from both and implement accordingly.

At Espresso, for example, we know from past experience that over 70% of SAP learning content can be standardised, thus allowing end-users to learn faster, and earlier in the implementation cycle.

Espresso still leaves space, though, for 30% custom-built content to train employees on processes that need customisation. Doing this ensures that businesses have the flexibility to customise what they need, but end up spending lesser on training using standard content that serves their purpose just as well, if not better, and faster.