By Scott Martin, Marketing & Communications Specialist with Open Systems. *Note this was a republished article from OSAS.com
Every industry has them: a tool or program that you and all of your competitors use, swear by, and rely upon to get the job done. It's the best-in-class tool that helps make your business successful. But what happens when you want to merge your best-in-class industry tools with a best-in-class ERP system? If you don't do your research, the clash could be enormous.
What We Mean When We Say "Compatible"
Compatibility between ERP software and your critical industry tools can be achieved by a variety of means.
- If your tool or program communicates directly with a database, it is possible that your ERP solution could deal with the same database. A real-time exchange of information can take place with the right parameters or database tools.
- Less seamless but still effective are import/export capabilities. However many times a day or week (or even month) is necessary, your tool can either export information to be fed into the ERP system, or vice-versa. The best ERP solutions contain data mapping capabilities to quickly produce and assimilate necessary information from third-party tools.
- With a bit of programming and the right tools, an ERP system can communicate directly with your industry tool through a customization or a modified program. This requires that the ERP system has a framework that can support that kind of a customization, but the seamless functionality may be well worth the investment.
Your ERP Solution Should Be Flexible to Your Needs
With the ERP integration tools available today, “no” shouldn’t be an answer. If your company relies upon a piece of software or hardware, don't settle in your search for an ERP system. Find a best-in-class solution with the capabilities to work with your tools either through database compatibility, import/export schema, or total integration through customization.