Build your own ERP
The challenges businesses face today vary between industries, geographies and, perhaps more acutely; businesses vary in management styles, based on the individuals running that business. This begs the following questions;
Are current ERPs and management softwares too rigid for modern, growing businesses?
How do we get management softwares to fit each organisation like a snug glove?
Let us begin by defining what an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is. I won’t bother looking up the Google or Webster definition, instead I will describe it as a business owner would;
An ERP captures data that is generated through business activities; sales, expenses, deliveries, technical support, customer registration etc.. and presents this information in a structured manner to decision makers and executors in a business. The intent is to provide all the necessary information in as brief a time as possible to enable effective decision making throughout the organisation.
The difficulty I have faced with ERPs in my own business, is that they tend to be rigid, often requiring the business to change how it works in order to align with the ERPs structure and organisation. Further, a business’ use cases are constantly changing with new requirements arising as the business, and the environment in which it operates, are in a state of perpetual change. For instance; our company recently qualified for financing from institutional investors, as a result of this our business needs changed, suddenly we were required to report the status of all our health and safety equipment in all our distribution centres.
Or with a larger sales team, our management team needs to know that each member is operating productively and so we required a sales automation software to monitor this. This is all costing the business a small fortune, and even with all these cost the nightmare is not over, we still need to integrate, ensuring that these different ERPs talk to each other and provide reliable information.
How about building your own ERPs for whatever business use case that may arise; this is possible and has revolutionized the way my team and I have been able to work and manage business operations. OnSpace is a no code application that has allowed us to build Mini ERPs/Applications for each business use case:
Monitoring Field Expenses (we used to use expensify)
Tracking Sales Agent Activity (we used to use whatsapp group & google sheets)
Setting up a ticketing system (we used to use HUBSPOT) which is super expensive
Today the above use-cases/business functions are catered to by OnSpace, we’ve built our own micro applications for each use and are able to retrieve data, in real-time in a structured and synthesizable manner.
This in the end, sounds like a plug for a new SaaS tool, but I see it differently, I see the future of Enterprise Planning Software changing, with a move towards user driven development instead of expensive off-the-shelf ERPs that become more expensive and complicated with requests to modify or integrate.
Customizable: The ability to build your modules or apps from scratch in minutes from the comfort of your mobile device.
Inexpensive: Pay for what you need and use.
Easy to Interpret: Focus in gaining insights from your data.
We are an the foothills of what will become a Mountain of an industry where users will contribute towards the development of their own ERPs.