When implementing a MRP system to handle enterprise resource planning your business faces a choice; an off-the-shelf package with a large market share, or a smaller solution designed specifically for your industry niche.

There are hundreds of ERP software platforms available, some of which command a significant share of the market. But how do you choose which is right for your business?


For many companies, the popularity of a particular package will make it an attractive choice for their own ERP system. However:

  • A one-size-fits-all enterprise resource planning package by definition cuts corners to meet the basic needs of a range of industries
  • There will be a lack of standard specific modules geared towards your particular industry
  • The ERP system will require customisation at additional cost to be adapted to meet your specific needs; not just delaying implementation, but creating issues over a lifetime of use.

How a specific manufacturing software solution could be a better fit

With this in mind, a niche product specialised to your industry could be a better match:

  • Industry-specific functionality can be added and removed as required, often using “standard” modules for faster deployment and minimal additional cost
  • ERP systems designed for your industry have already benefited from years of problem-solving by peers in your industry – meaning many of the issues you face will already be catered for by the software
  • New developments and customisations should also be quicker and easier to create and deploy. After all, the vendor is very interested in improving the system for your industry because that is what they design it for.

Secondary benefits of industry-specific ERP software

But wait, there’s more!

  • A best-of-breed MRP system is a “no compromise” solution designed specifically for your industry and to address common business pains
  • The ERP software fits your business processes, rather than expecting changes to be made to fit its rigid workflows
  • The functionality which makes the ERP software specific to your niche will also offer you an advantage over your competitors forced to work within the constraints of their generic system.

22% of manufacturers use industry-specific MRP systems, giving those businesses a significant advantage over their competitors. (Source: 2011 Guide to ERP Systems and Vendors – Panorama Consulting)


Has your business already implemented an ERP system? If you chose one specific to your industry, what benefits have you found so far?  Here are nine key opportunities for using ERP

Originally posted on the Sanderson manufacturing blog.