Custom Software vs Software Customization

Do you go with a completely custom solution, or just customize a solution that’s already there?  This is a tough decision.  Going completely custom can take a while, but the result is usually geared specifically to what you do.  Customizing can be a little quicker, but you’re still stuck with the limitations of whatever system you’re using.

An example will help illustrate this.  The Toyota Motor Company was having a difficult time coordinating the suppliers and factory floor with purchasing and service.  Toyota builds a variety of models in each factory, and this can be complicated to coordinate.  The models are built in a very specific sequence which is usually only known a few days before actual production, and there are thousands of individual part numbers to coordinate (and a very strong desire to keep inventory low).  This short window and need for flexibility was causing problems with their SAP ERP.  After 14 years with SAP, and countless cycles of customization, they decided to go custom.

Toyota spent 2 years building a custom ERP solution that revolutionized how it communicated with suppliers and sent instructions to their factory floor.  Today, this system runs one of the most complex assembly and supply chain environments in the world.  When touring a Toyota factory, it looks so effortless and smooth that it’s easy to forget just how complex the value stream is.  The benefits of going custom should not be undersold.  To have a system that does exactly what you need it to do can save a lot of administrative overhead and transactional nonsense.  Information becomes available in real-time and you can make faster decisions.  More importantly, information is carried through the value stream instantly and exactly the way you want.  No more translating this sales order into that purchase order into a manufacturing order … this pick request into that job instruction … and so on.  Suppliers, service, the factory floor, and management are all using the same sheet of music.

This is what we do, and we’re very good at it.  We design custom business systems that enable you to do more with far greater ease.  Give us a call to learn more.  702.683.6376.

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