Standardise. Don’t Customise.

Blue Ocean Systems works with many clients who are taking their first steps towards implementing SAP Business One. They often have concerns about transferring their existing processes into a new system and we are routinely asked whether we can provide client-specific customisations for them. Our answer is usually the same; ‘yes we can, but we don’t recommend it’.

An uncertainty about how their processes will work, concerns about how their staff will cope (not to mention how their profits will be affected) will often drive the clients to explore the possibility of customising programmes as Add-ons into SAP Business One for their specific needs. Whilst these are valid and common concerns, our team at Blue Ocean Systems believes we can find a better way; for everyone.


Why do customers request customised solutions or add-ons?

Change is tough – How can you move forward?

Ensuring correlation between your operational processes and a business technology product like SAP Business One can be challenging and daunting, especially if you haven’t been through such a process before. Many small and medium-sized organisations (SMEs) have grown rapidly from small teams of people having full control over each aspect of the business and deciding exactly how everything should be done – from payroll to stock replacement.

[Read our recent post about small business software]


Such organisations grow at a rapid pace with presence in multiple countries, new product lines and increase in manpower and they realise that there is a definite need for an ERP system like SAP Business One. Although, they like the standard features and best practice business processes in SAP Business One, they would prefer to make changes in the SAP system that are specific to their business requirements. They are used to total flexibility in manual or Excel-based solutions, so they expect such flexibility in the ERP system too.

At Blue Ocean Systems, we understand these concerns and help to address such change management issues through a structured approach in implementation.


Existing processes have been good enough so far

Your company has grown to the point where you can invest in an ERP so you might be wondering why you need to suddenly amend your existing processes.

Today’s SAP is based on decades of business and industry expertise and best practise. However unique your challenges might seem today, they have probably been experienced (and overcome) by countless other companies before you. We are able to leverage that experience to help drive your company forward, usually without the need for any specific customisation at all.

[Read more here about achieving operational excellence]


Staff will be unhappy, unmotivated and unproductive

Another common concern we hear is about how the team will cope with a new system if their daily activities have to change – many clients wonder whether they will lose some of their team altogether if they can’t stick to the same ways of doing things. Again, a completely valid concern.

It comes back to the change management aspect so important in any SAP implementation. Involving your team as much as possible in finding out their challenges is vital and ultimately if they can work better on a more efficient system, how they do it should become less important than doing it well.

[Read more here about change management]


What type of customisation is requested and how can the customisation be avoided?

Here are two common examples:

Sales Order

Your sales process is probably one of the most vital within the organisation; without sales you won’t make profit. Since your business started, the sales process might not have changed much. Some technological advances might have helped you along the way but now you are ready for SAP, it might be about to change a lot.

The standard SAP Business One Sales Order (SO) comes with default settings; drop down fields, controls and text boxes. Often these default settings don’t quite match a client’s current processes and a customised solution is requested to change the standard process flow. But with some minor configuration in the SAP Business One application, you can easily stick to the standard application.

Pricing Formulas

Some clients follow very specific pricing models which can have far reaching effects on financial reporting and causes concern from clients in the pre-implementation phase. The standard SAP rounding is to two decimal places but this formula can be modified without any customisation to match the customer’s needs (i.e. rounding to the nearest dollar, pound etc).


If you still need convincing that Certified SAP Business One Apps are better than any customised solutions, here are our top 5 reasons:

1. Go for long-lasting improvement, not instant modification

A customised solution may meet your current needs but what about the future? What about if your company is sold or you want to merge with another company? Standard and proven processes will help to ensure the longevity of your organisation beyond tomorrow’s operational difficulties.


2. Be free whilst staying safe

Service providers who develop customised software now might not be around tomorrow, or next year when you want to change something or when your company grows. Don’t be held to ransom by a provider not fully dedicated to your future success.


3. Own your system

When working with some SAP providers who develop customised programmes on an ad-hoc basis, the contract may exclude your rights to the IP for solutions developed by them. This can have devastating effects if their company changes or dissolves, their regulations change or modifications can’t be done. Working within the flexible and Certified SAP Apps guarantees that any changes are yours and you are in charge of your own business enterprise solution (forever!) These Apps are developed by SAP’s industry-specific Software Solution Providers (SSP).


4. Think globally

Certified SAP Apps for SAP Business One from these reputable SSPs have global references meaning that they have a wide enough customer base to build a roadmap for further enhancements and to support you more effectively, now and in the future.


5. Be $$ savvy

Using a customised solution is a long-term financial commitment without any guarantee of ROI; the solution might need constant upgrading, recurring license fees and/or enhancement costs and when your company grows too big, it may not be scalable enough to support the growth. . All of this adds extra, often unnecessary pressure to the bottom line of your organisation.

Working with a trusted and reputable SAP partner like Blue Ocean Systems is the safest way of ensuring that your investment is spent in the best possible way and your organisation is set up to withstand the future challenges coming your way.

[Read more here about out-of-the-box vs customisation]


Talk to our team of SAP consultants today to discuss your specific needs – and you might be pleasantly surprised by the quality standard with which we approach your business!


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