You can’t avoid customizations. Vanilla ERP is a great first step, and a valuable tool for establishing common language between the customer and the consultant. But in the long run? Probably not. Pristine uncustomized ERP won’t be sufficient, because of the gaps between your way and ERP’s way. Sooner or later, gaps will have to go.
Two most common ways of closing functionality gaps are customizing the software, and changing the processes. You can almost always touch general processes, optimize them, twist them, bend them, make them more efficient or even eliminate them. But when it is about industry specifics that add true value or contribute to company’s competitive edge, customization is the answer.
To customize or not to customize, that is the question. When you see a complex business process far from the standard ERP system, a knee-jerk reaction is to reach for customization tools and do the development.
Many ERP theorists say that ERP is only as good as it is an exact match for your processes. And they are mostly right about it. But majority of ERP systems are very generic (Microsoft Dynamics NAV included), and to exactly match your processes, they require customization. When it doesn’t work out-of-the-box, you customize it, it’s that simple, isn’t it?