“You get what you pay for” is the phrase we all quote when something inexpensive breaks or doesn’t work as it should. There are lots of products for sale that will do exactly the same thing, but at varying levels of cost and quality. When buying a new product, we all make decisions about what’s important to us. Should we buy the cheaper home brand laptop? Or the more expensive one that has a well-known brand name on the front and a large company backing it?
Most often I choose a quality product over a cheaper alternative, because I believe that in the long-term it will end up costing me less. The quality product is less likely to have problems and need to be sent away for repair. And invariably the more expensive option looks and feels like a better built product.
The same principles should apply to the ERP software you purchase. The more expensive options will have a strong focus on integration. This can save you a lot of money, time and trouble in years to come. For example, if your sales orders are currently keyed and processed in one system and you go out and buy a stand-alone software package that allows you to send and receive sales orders via EDI to all of your major customers, you now have to double-key information into both systems. This introduces the risk of data errors, plus you have to pay more licensing fees for this stand-alone product. And you have the cost and inconvenience of the double entry required.
If you have invested in an ERP like Microsoft Dynamics NAV you can simply choose a certified add-on (ensuring a quality product), which allows you to keep all of your information in one system (saving time), and entitles you to free upgrades when a new version of the add-on is released (saving money). These certified add-ons will always be a more sustainable, efficient solution.
In the case of software packages, “You get what you pay for” tends to be true.