If you do a search on the Top 10 ERP systems, you will find lists of the most well-known systems developed and maintained by the largest vendors. These vendors do offer advantages over many of the smaller vendors, who are not as well funded and may not be able to invest as much R&D in their system. The largest vendors will often have extended functionality for bigger enterprises that could also be used by smaller companies with complex requirements. They will also have more resources including multiple business partners to implement the system. And the owners will perceive less risk with the larger companies.
We have been called upon as an expert witness for a company that purchased a system based on the vendor’s reputation and install base for similar companies. It was a disaster when the company realized during the implementation that some of their critical requirements required customization, and before long the price skyrocketed with delays and errors across the system.
Industry specific solutions may in fact be the best fit. Our approach is to consider the best-known systems as well as the industry specific solutions. We do this in our Top 10 ERP Systems (https://www.180systems.com/) tool, which will pick the top 10 based on a survey of your company profile and your differentiating requirements across a wide spectrum of functionality. We have over 100 systems and we will likely suggest systems that are unknown to you.
Some of the vendors offer a base solution that is tightly integrated with industry-specific extensions, rather than having a single system that can be used across many different industries. This is a good strategy that keeps the base system less complex and gives you access to industry specific functionality as well as people who are also experts in your industry. These industry experts are just as important as the functionality, and they should be able to provide proven guidance/best practice on how best to implement the system.
The image above was made to illustrate that the Top 10 ERP Systems are not permanent. It changes and should not be based on a static list that does not reflect your requirements, industry and size of company.