Generic Vs Industry-Specific: Which One's a Better ERP Solution for Foundries?
To run a successful operation, manufacturing organizations like foundries need a modern ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to boost efficiencies and increase profitability. But with so many ERP options available, it can be difficult to make the correct choice. During the pre-implementation stage, you may come up with terminologies such as “Industry-Specific ERP System”, “Generic ERP Software”, “Customized ERP Software” etc. These terminologies may puzzle your team while making the selection of the ERP software that is best suitable for your foundry.
In this article, we will explain the difference between “Generic software” and “Industry-Specific systems”, along with the advantages & limitations of both ERPs concerning your business requirements. Let’s look at the first option:
Generic ERP Software
As the name represents, generic ERP software is designed to handle all kinds of business in general and offers a wide range of business management functionality for companies across various industries. They are “one-size-fits-all” solutions that are usually supported by established vendors with plenty of brand recognition. However, generic ERP vendors attempt to remain industry neutral, because of which their ERP systems typically skew toward the most common functionalities such as accounting, sales, purchase, and basic inventory management. While generic ERP vendors claim to provide seemingly flexible solutions to fit any business or vertical, they offer very limited features and functionalities for specialized industries such as foundry and other process manufacturing industries. To overcome this limitation, these ERP systems offer various customizations, integrations, modifications, and multiple add-on modules.
Industry-Specific ERP Software
As the technology has evolved over the past few years, various ERP vendors are now creating solutions that exactly match a specific industry, which is known as Industry-specific solutions. Such industry-specific solutions provide all the same essential tools for accounting, sales, purchase, and common reporting tools as generic systems do. But these systems go further, offering features and capabilities tailored to your industry and operational needs that generic ERP systems simply can’t provide. To understand the value offered by industry-specific ERPs, let us study their key benefits in detail.
5 Major Benefits of Industry-Specific ERP:
The following are some of the many benefits of industry-specific ERP solutions over generic software and major reasons, why purchasing an industry-specific solution can be one of the best decisions you can make for your foundry.
1. Minimum customization & add-ons required:
Because generic ERP solutions are not built to meet the demands of a specific industry, they often have to be heavily customized or supplemented with multiple add-ons and integrations. Conversely, the greatest advantage of industry-specific ERP is that the vendor team will have a deep understanding of an organization’s needs and can offer a pointed solution to satisfy unique industry requirements.
For example, all the foundries would require detailed planning & production management which include all the processes (like mold & core production, melting, pouring, shot-blasting, fettling, machining, and so on), which are covered in foundry-specific ERPs as default functionalities and not as customization. So whenever you are evaluating an ERP system, make sure that your vendor doesn’t just run through the accounting and sales/purchase modules but shows you the detailed mapping of all the foundry production processes during the ERP demo itself.
2. Operational functionalities:
Apart from all the general features & functionalities, any ERP solution that has been developed exclusively for foundries will readily contain many foundry-related operational functionalities in great detail like:
- Dedicated planning and production modules exclusively developed for foundries with separate entries for Mold and Core production, Melting, Pouring, etc., and not just the single production page.
- Foundry-specific reports like Job card/method card, WIP, Aging report, Casting & process-wise costing reports, test certificate, supplier approval, regulatory reports, etc.
- Return & rejection analysis with accurate traceability of any casting up to its suppliers for each material, as often needed for compliance point of view.
- Detailed pattern management, job-work management, equipment maintenance, and warehouse & inter-plant transfers along with hundreds of readily available reports. And so on...
3. Faster & cheaper implementation:
Generic ERP vendors might kick off the implementation process very fast by implementing the common modules in almost no time, but comes the time to implement operational modules, most projects hit the sack and long goes into a never-ending learning-customizing-testing-relearning loop. Foundry-specific ERP solutions, on the other hand, will be immediately applicable to an organization’s manufacturing processes with minimal customization. This results in faster and cheaper implementation of course. Casting industry-specific vendors already have well-equipped solutions that can easily manage even the unique processes of each foundry with integral configuration options, saving your time as well as cost.
4. Reduced maintenance expenditure:
Domain expertise in your specific industry assists ERP vendors in identifying the bottlenecks, common errors, and issues in advance, which enables them to offer faster resolutions. This is one of the greatest strengths of those vendors that exclusively work for foundry industry solutions. As the resolutions to operational issues apply to multiple foundries, the underlying cost of such maintenance (i.e. developing resolutions for industry-specific issues) is shared amongst the wider client base of the same industry. In this way, maintenance and troubleshooting are quite faster and more affordable in the case of a foundry-specific ERP solution.
5. Adaptability to the latest industry developments:
When you choose to implement an ERP system, it’s not only about managing the current challenges, but you should consider all the industrial developments which might challenge your foundry business during the next 10 to 15 years. Any solution vendor, which works exclusively for the foundry industry will incorporate most of these industrial developments within their periodic software updates. Be it changes in compliance rules, taxation methods, new production technologies, integration with the latest machinery, or customer approach - industry-specific ERP vendors will always think of adapting their software to the trending industry demands.
While some generic ERPs feature modules to help you manage various business functions, different manufacturing processes can often require a more in-depth specialized solution. Sure, you can customize some generic ERPs to facilitate these processes, but it can become costly and does not always get down to the desired results. On the other hand, an industry-specific ERP is designed with a precise industry in mind, is much simpler to implement and is much more cost-effective. Therefore, foundries should consider choosing an ERP that is both domain-focused and that has a proven track record in the casting industry. This choice not only drives faster implementations but also ensures a greater fit for your specific requirements.
At Ellipsis Infotech, we have developed iCast ERP software, which has been designed exclusively for the foundry industry. If you find it suitable, we can arrange a free demo of this modern ERP software.It can handle all of your business processes with minimal to no customization required and have in-built operational modules to offer you an end-to-end foundry management solution.
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