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ERP software development
Iryna Kravchenko Iryna KravchenkoChief Editor
Business·

ERP software development: How to build a custom solution

Data management and decision-making are challenging tasks requiring respective attention and responsibility. That’s why modern businesses are fast to drop outdated solutions for resource planning, sales management, marketing, personnel, and finance. More than half of enterprises consider ERP one of the priority sectors for investment. The ERP software market is growing by 10% annually, looking to exceed $90 billion in total shares by 2028. 

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With up-to-date ERP solutions, organizations of different sizes across all industries get to reduce costs, validate value, improve collaboration, and streamline business efficiency. But how do we get the right product and not miscalculate its long-term benefits? In this article, DICEUS discusses in detail everything you need to know about ERP software development. 

ERP software market

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ERP software market

ERP system meaning

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) defines enterprise business process management software that allows you to integrate various tasks within a single database, application, and user interface. 

It can also branch out into human resource management (HRM), customer relationship management (CRM), office suites, and other tools to provide a more consistent, automated business growth model. 

Types of ERP systems: Modules and architecture 

Enterprise software allows you to store, process, and manage large volumes of data using modules that help you optimize processes, keep your business balanced, and store all information in one structured database.

ERP types

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ERP types

All this allows launching and managing a bunch of underlying workflows based on a range of modules, like: 

ERP modules

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ERP modules

The ERP system handles operations such as procurement, shipping, finance, and more. You can find the platform useful at every stage of a product’s life cycle, from production to sale. Two main categories of ERP architecture are monolith and microservices.  

Check out our ERP software development services.

Benefits of ERP systems

How useful are such systems for different areas of business? Simply put, they facilitate enterprise workflows by optimizing the major processes, such as: 

ERP benefits

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ERP benefits

In more detail, ERP systems development includes the following goals. 

Lower costs 

Business owners get to cut IT and staff costs. A unified system works best in large enterprises because users only need to learn how to use it once instead of learning multiple applications. Each employee only uses the features they need. 

Absolute transparency 

Management personnel can keep track of inventory, including future deliveries. This allows you to more effectively manage budgets and adhere to the preferred economic strategy. The availability of data in one place improves communication between departments and allows you to make data-driven decisions and explain their logic. 

More planning and reporting opportunities 

A single system is able to generate accurate reports and provide useful real-time analytics. For example, income and cash flow plans and reports. Operations analytics facilitate essential decision-making. 

Full personalization 

Modular architecture better adapts to your specific business goals. Each component can exist as a standalone application or integrate with other modules. 

Efficiency boost 

With ERP, the time, effort, and money invested in a business project can be all cut by eliminating routine and repetitive work. You get more time to focus on the most important tasks directly related to your position in the company. 

Better customer service 

Keeping customer information in one system makes it easier for sales reps to optimize relationships with the target audience. You are enabled to focus on retention and acquisition, analyze marketing efforts, and develop new strategies based on analytics and reports. 

High integrity and security of data 

Business owners and management can control access to data. A single system ensures security without causing conflicts between sources. Local software backs up sensitive information. If the data is stored in the cloud, it makes it harder to steal it. 

Efficient workflows 

Well-structured corporate information is regularly updated and employees receive data in real-time. As a result, improved communication increases the level of cooperation, and the efficiency of the organization as a whole, and reduces costs associated with manual work. 

Integrations 

ERP systems offer customers integration with useful services: 

Data quality 

Automation reduces the number of mistakes people often make. Minimization of manual labor ensures greater reliability of confidential information. Employees get round-the-clock access to it, and advanced control effectively prevents their leakage. 

Structured processes 

In the case of tailor-made ERP solutions, you get a product that is tailored to your existing workflow and fully meets the needs of your customers as well as your company’s goals. 

Extended supply chain management 

A dedicated system reduces the time for searching and delivering goods, services, etc. The supply chain becomes more agile with improved inventory management, purchasing, and demand forecasting, increasing profitability, reducing surplus associated with production, and optimizing inventory management. 

High scalability 

It is important for a business to plan and develop strategies the right way. ERP effectively ensures the growth of your company and helps you expand your customer base, enter new markets, or implement innovative processes. 

Drawbacks

Despite the many advantages, you may have two major issues with the implementation of ERP

The high price of out-of-the-box solutions 

If you purchase the traditional package, you will have to pay for a license. You can reduce the cost by choosing a cloud system or a monthly subscription plan. Remember that UI/UX design matters a lot for usability, so make sure you order top-notch services. 

Paid configuration 

If the system does not meet the requirements, it is tuned accordingly. This process is not free of charge, however. Another difficulty is that all data must be reliable, digitized, and presented in a standardized form. 

Third-party vs. custom-designed solutions  

Picking an ERP, entrepreneurs face two options: create a completely custom solution that suits them, or buy a ready-made third-party solution that meets some or most of the requirements at hand. 

Ready-made solutions vs custom software

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Ready-made solutions vs custom software

Custom solutions are the most popular today because:

This is the most optimal solution for you if:

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In this case, the development of ERP systems is more expensive, as it requires a team of developers, designers, and testers. But it is suitable for all possible enterprises, regardless of their size, since vendors can modify the platform according to specific needs. 

A turnkey solution has limited flexibility and often functionality (sometimes too much of it) because it is designed to meet the general requirements of the main activities and cross-module integration. This choice is justified if you are looking for: 

The “prepackaged product” with a limited list of modules and a low level of customization is based on practices generally accepted in the industry. It is the best choice for traditional businesses such as sales. And not the best for the medical or financial sector. 

Such solutions are simple but not modifiable. They are mostly required by medium-sized businesses (small companies may have to pay for unnecessary features while large-scale enterprises may feel limited). On top of that, you may need your own IT department to manage the system without the SaaS option. 

ERP software development process

Custom ERP development is considered one of the most complex approaches, requiring a consolidated vision of the development strategy. Here’s a short guide to give you a fuller picture. 

Discovery phase 

Start by setting expectations. Developers must clearly understand your requirements. You can include any modules in a simple web application, and this will be a great option for small and medium businesses. For a large corporation, it is reasonable to go for the ERP cloud. Good examples are SAP’s S/4HANA packages and the like. But before planning the development, make sure to clarify two underlying questions: 

  1. What business problems will the process help solve as a result? 
  2. Do you have your own experience or should you hire a third-party development team? 

In order to set realistic and achievable goals, it is necessary to consult with all stakeholders and IT specialists of the company. 

Discovery phase is a guarantee of a project success. Learn why it matters.

Design 

The finished solution will include a ton of user roles, navigation elements, diagrams, and interactive components. That’s why design should be the main focus. 

Study the practice of other companies in your industry and create a rough description of your system. Determine its type and temporary implementations of the project. If outsourcing is preferred, stay involved in building the framework, and choosing the team and the resources it needs. 

If the solution is intended for a broad organization, involve people from different departments in the planning. So, you do not lose sight of all the important functions and can make a list of necessary modules. Pay special attention to the color scheme of the elements. Each of them should be standardized, clearly identify your company, and reflect your corporate values. 

Technologies 

Developers need to form a proper tech stack. 

Hosting 

You may host the system in the cloud or on a local server. The first option is more popular because it is considered more secure and does not require regular internal maintenance. 

ERP development languages  

We would recommend going for generic JavaScript. Its underlying frameworks are ideal for front-end development. Node.js can handle the backend just fine. 

Database 

Relational SQL databases are good for small companies that need standardization. Non-relational or NoSQL is better for complex infrastructures because they allow you to store data in easily manageable formats like JSON. 

Integrations 

Surely, your workflow will require the integration of third-party products such as Office 365, G Suite, FreshBooks, or similar. Using the specialized API, developers will be able to access and display them on your system. 

Testing 

Be sure to do the following: 

ERP system implementation phases

The implementation life cycle of ERP usually consists of the following steps (the number may vary): 

  1. ERP product selection 
  2. Project planning 
  3. Discrepancy analysis 
  4. Reengineering 
  5. Testing 
  6. Education 
  7. Implementation 
  8. Service 

ERP development

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ERP development

Typically, such a project can take 6-12 months. 

Primary users of ERP systems 

Businesses use ERP system in various niches but it is most common in the following areas: 

At the same time, other use cases are as follows: 

Tech stack for ERP software

ERP systems development

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ERP systems development

Front-end  

Back-end 

Database 

The cost of ERP software development  

Total cost of ownership (TCO) covers the initial cost of the software and subsequent costs: 

ERP costs

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ERP costs

The price of an individual solution can vary from $50,000 to millions. When planning a budget, keep in mind that this is determined by the scale of the enterprise, the functionality of the system, and the number of users. Most enterprise SaaS providers are asking $400 for one user per month! 

If you outsource the development, compare the prices of different vendors and ask for details on cost-sharing. And note that the prices of specialists from Eastern Europe are usually lower. 

Consult on ERP software development cost with our experts.

How DICEUS can help you

No matter how complex or valuable a solution may seem, it is critical to analyze objectively what its ROI will be long before implementation. But estimating the ROI of future investment is difficult, so it’s important to choose a software developer that will get rid of such problems. 

Our company creates customized ERP products for businesses of all types and sizes. 

Unlike well-known ERP providers, we do not have a predefined set of modules or ready-made ERP programs. Instead, we partner with each client as technology partners to provide a customized solution that meets all requirements. 

You can take a look at some of our finished projects – ERP applications for HR/insurance teams: 

We act as technology partners, not freelance developers, so we are responsible for the quality, relevance, and overall results. That’s why we initially launch MVPs to show how the final product will work and how exactly it can be beneficial for our client’s business. 

Since ERP systems are complex and quite expensive, we try to save money and time for our clients. Thus, the development itself starts only after our partners approve the discovery phase deliverables.  

Since custom ERP development is complex and expensive, it is essential to choose a company that will not only create but also tailors the system to your needs at a reasonable cost. 

DICEUS provides a wide range of software development, testing, and support services. Contact us – our team of savvy ERP professionals will study your tasks and requirements, and consult you through details of picking the best-fitting types of software.  

Learn more about DICEUS.

FAQ

What is ERP software development? 

ERP development is an end-to-end process for building enterprise resource planning software that helps manage key business processes in real-time. 

How to develop ERP software?

You can get the gist of the ERP software creation process by looking through the above guide. ERP is a powerful strategic tool for optimizing business operations for medium and large companies that want to create a better working environment.  

What are the different phases of the ERP implementation life cycle? 

The list of phases of the ERP life cycle includes but is not limited to the following: discovery and planning; design; development; testing; deployment and support, including configuration and upgrades as needed. 

What are the benefits of ERP software development? 

Among the benefits of ERP systems are the following points: better presentation and streamlined business processes; increased scalability; simplified reporting; better customer service; advanced inventory control and efficient supply chain management; increased data security; high speed of decision-making within the overall strategy of the company. 

How can an ERP software development company help you improve the business? 

You get a system that is an essential part of your digital transformation plan. Relatively inexpensively, you modernize your business with tools that make it easy to centralize, organize, and streamline operations while gaining complete control over business functions. ERP eliminates inefficient procedures and overly costly operations, as well as provides in-depth scalability and automation. 

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