‘Best of Suite’ or ‘Best of Breed’?
The simple or large ERP solution?
Microsoft and SAP are currently significantly expanding the functionality of their ERP solutions
For example, the standard functionality in Dynamics 365 BC and Dynamics 365 FO is extremely comprehensive and covers a wide range of industries. This means that some customization can be eliminated and a number of special solutions from ISVs can be dispensed with.
It sounds like a great deal and a good value for the customer. But is it in practice?
To help you assess what will give you the greatest commercial benefits, here’s an overview and recommendations from Lennart Garbarsch, who has been involved in more than 350 ERP projects over the past 10 years.
- All components and functionality are in the ERP system and you can use “standard” by customizing the business.
- No more systems to buy
- You only have one or a few suppliers to keep track of
- The system landscape for upgrades is simple
- You don’t get a 100% solution, as the ERP manufacturer and ERP house can’t be experts in everything. The ERP system may have 80% of relevant functionality and is typically customized to your company size, but not specifics such as language and international standards, industry, customer and regulatory requirements in your industry and geographies you operate in.
- Less agility and fewer opportunities for unique solutions.
- Typically higher maintenance in the long term, e.g. for document management and electronic document exchange.
- No one supplier/manufacturer is the best at everything. That’s why you bring together industry experts who have both knowledge and experience in their own market segment and get the best solutions that are developed precisely for specific purposes.
- You get extensive knowledge and experience from similar customers/industries into your ERP solution
- Eliminate customizations and “spaghetti programming” in your ERP system
- Less maintenance in the long term
- Less dependency on individuals
- More configuration and integration is often required during implementation – and this requires project management and knowledge
The right ERP choice
Small business with simple infrastructure or business model
Best of Suite is typically suitable for small businesses with static documents with few variations. Even if the ERP house says that all functionality is present in the ERP system and the customer believes they are “very close” to standard, there is typically a lot of coding to be done anyway – especially for global rollouts.
Larger, more complex or global business
Best of Breed is typically suitable for businesses with multiple entities, accounts, countries and the need for customization for different recipients. For example, global rollouts in companies with manufacturing, supply chain, expense management, retail and B2B distribution. Best of Breed is often chosen by larger companies who recognize that one size doesn’t fit all and want to get the most out of their technology.
6 tips for Dynamics FO and BC solutions
To help you make the right choice, here are 6 tips for large Dynamics FO and Dynamics BC solutions
- Decide whether it should be Best of Breed or Best of Suite and be consistent with this throughout the project – whether it’s in workflow, Document Management, Finance or Expense Management. Being consistent alone typically saves you around 8% of your costs
- Demand Best Practices and challenge the supplier on references/cases
- Avoid too much customization of the ERP system
- Incorporate the best (proven) knowledge into your project from the supplier
- Involve your own experienced colleagues in the different areas
- Expect to participate in project management and set aside time for testing – also in the future (especially with CLOUD-based solutions that are regularly updated)
About the author
Lennart Garbarsch has worked with Document Management for ERP systems for more than 10 years and has knowledge from +350 ERP implementations. He is also a partner in Tabellae – the world’s largest specialized Output Management consultancy with more than 600 solutions for ERP implementations.