If you’ve been debating whether an industry-specific software solution would be better for your organization than a multi-vertical system such as Sage ERP or NetSuite ERP, you are not alone.
At Blytheco, we work with some of the market’s leading enterprise systems for finance, operations, sales management, and human resources. Systems like Sage X3 and NetSuite SaaS business software provide a wide breadth of functionality for businesses of many types, along with a network of experienced consulting partners and reliable support – all at a cost-effective level of investment.
Our customers frequently ask us why they would work with one of these systems instead of an “industry solution.” Industry solutions are systems that are tailored to the very specific needs of a particular business type. For example, in the last few months, we have encountered customers looking at industry solutions for:
- Egg processing industry. These customers are looking for a system that offers tracking and handling at the egg-level for compliance needs, supplier and flock management, variability in weights, complexities in invoicing, and a unique cost-to-price relationship where the costs are often not known until after processing takes place.
- Scrap waste/recycling industry. Management in this vertical needs a solution that will enable processing of various weight levels, scale integration, and compliance needs of waste recyclers.
- Medical supply industry. A client-facing solution for this industry needs to support management of medical practice vs. individual and retail orders, licensing and compliance details, and tracking of a charitable giving program.
While these may sound like industries where an industry-specific solution would make sense, there are other factors to consider.
Our clients are running into the following challenges during their reviews of these industry-specific systems:
1. They are often built on top of other platforms. For example, an off-the-shelf system might have been heavily customized to meet the process demands of one company. The vendor then targets similar businesses, and offers that customized solution to them. In that way, the system becomes an accepted industry resource.
We see a couple of challenges in these situations. The heavily customized “industry” system is supported by one, often small, company or expert. That one expert is unable to support a large number of users effectively, and certainly unable to devote resources to keeping the system current and modern. The end-result to customers is a version-locked system with spotty, unreliable support.
2. They are often not cost-effective. Industry systems are known to be very expensive, largely due to the heavy investment required to create and support them, and the limited market potential inherent in very specialized offerings.
3. They are too specific. The software needed to enable a very specific business process or need can be a double-edged sword. It is often too rigid to support the growth and agility needed by companies in today’s dynamic market. Companies now desire the potential to scale and adapt to changing business realities, whether that means acquiring a related company, expanding into new markets, or changing their model altogether. Businesses with a strong vision for the future who are locked into a specific industry system are limiting their options when it comes to facing the demands of agility.
These clients have elected to evaluate the broader capabilities of Sage ERP and NetSuite ERP solutions with our software consultants here at Blytheco. The reality is – they can find 98% of the capabilities they need with a Sage enterprise or NetSuite enterprise solution, and benefit from scalability, thorough consulting and support, and a modern, agile solution that can adapt to future needs.
Thinking about an industry solution for your next step? We’d love to chat with you about the pros and cons.