Why choose an integrated ERP system compared to a modular system

Posted by Jonathan Davies on 19 May


Figuring out which ERP system will best support your business is no mean feat. The key to making the best decision for your business is to understand the systems available, the differences between them and the benefits they can provide your company.

What's the difference between an integrated ERP system and a modular ERP system? 

ERP systems are designed to streamline your “back office” functions, offering a solution for many labour-intensive tasks such as processing shipments, procuring supplies or communications elements. These systems also allow a solid grasp of real-time circumstances and status of products and processes, allowing for real-time monitoring and changes.

What is a modular ERP system? 

A modular ERP system is a build-your-own system. You choose what elements you need, and you are charged accordingly, as you only purchase what you require and can omit any modules that you do not require. This could mean lower start-up costs and makes it easy to spread the cost of investment since you can add other modules into the system over time - but it can be more expensive in the long run compared to an integrated one.

Simple to learn 

Both options will allow a staged roll-out. A modular ERP system will allow teams to get used to new parts of the system more gradually without it affecting other parts of the system, compared to taking on a whole new system in one go. With a non-modular system, with all functions available from the start - it could take longer for your team to train.

Based on your requirements, if your business only needs a small suite of core modules, then a modular ERP system may be a good solution.

What is an integrated ERP system? 

An integrated ERP system is non-modular software that allows every aspect of your business to be governed from a single programme. You have everything you need right from the start, so there would not be a need for additional costs for more function modules.

Future proof

The downside of choosing a modular system is the restrictions it brings. If your business is likely to grow or change, you’ll probably need to add additional modules or software packages along the line. For example, you may have started in business offering cleaning products, but you’ve discovered a knack for manufacturing and creating a wide range of cleaning products. Initially, the inventory control element of your ERP will be the most important feature but as you diversify into production, it becomes essential - with an integrated ERP system, everything is there, ready to utilise when you need it.

Users of integrated ERP systems benefit from technological future-proofing too. A large gap between adding modules means a greater possibility of incompatibility - something that is not an issue with an integrated ERP system as developers of the software will also continuously develop the whole product.

To summarise, choosing the right ERP depends on how much you imagine your business may change or grow. If you see your business staying the same, then a modular ERP may be a good solution. If you think there may be options for change and development, then it’s worth considering the future-proof flexibility of an integrated ERP system.

Next steps 

Choosing the right ERP system is essential for business performance and growth, and WinMan has the skills to help you pinpoint exactly what your business needs, now and in the future. Contact us to discover how WinMan ERP can transform your business.

>> See WinMan's ERP software functions here

Topics: ERP Software, Business Management Software, Business Efficiency, Productivity, Cloud ERP

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