“Despite what you’ve seen in your Saturday morning cartoons, elephants can’t jump, and there’s one simple reason: They don’t have to. Most jumpy animals—your kangaroos, monkeys, and frogs—do it primarily to get away from predators.” — Patrick Monahan, Science.org, Jan 27, 2016.
Now you know why the largest ERP companies can’t develop high quality best-of-breed like solutions. They never had to, so they never evolved to innovate outside of their core focus.
However, as ERP systems have become commoditized, gaps in their functionality became impossible to ignore. The larger players sought to protect their share of customer wallet by promising to develop innovative add-on applications to fill all the white spaces. But without that “innovation muscle,” many projects failed, and mountains of technical debt accumulated.
Best-of-breed companies evolved to innovate and have deep functional expertise in specific verticals. The result is that best of breed ERP add-ons are easier to use, have more features, and deliver more value than the native ERP modules they replace.
If your ERP provider has already partnered with an innovative best of breed add-on provider*, you’re all set! But if you can only get the basics from your ERP, go with a best-of-breed add-on that has a bespoke integration to the ERP.
A great place to start your search is to look for ERP demand planning add-ons that add brains to the ERP’s brawn, i.e., those that support inventory optimization and demand forecasting. Leverage add-on tools like Smart’s statistical forecasting, demand planning, and inventory optimization apps to develop forecasts and stocking policies that are fed back to the ERP system to drive daily ordering.
*App-stores are a license for the best of breed to sell into the ERP companies base – being listed partnerships.