Apparently, according to a recent article in Inbound Logistics that proclaimed All In One, a good reason for buying an integrated ERP / SCM solution is the fact that if the solutions are integrated, then there is no interface between two separate systems that could cause problems or delays. An interface is another piece of software that, like the ERP / SCM solution, could have its own set of issues. And it’s another piece of software that has to be maintained.
However, this applies to integrated systems as well. Most integrated systems are composed of multiple modules, each of which has their own interface. As a result, the no interface, no delay argument doesn’t have a lot of merit. If there’s a bug in the internal API, then there could be a system failure in the sole-source system just as easy as there could be a system failure in an interface or a third party system.
The proper rationale for selecting an integrated solution is because it:
- has all of the key features that are required,
- meets the needs of the organizations and the users,
- and brings the right value to the organization.
You don’t select an integrated solution because it:
- is cheaper,
- minimizes the number of suppliers you need to interact with,
- or minimizes interfaces.
It’s not about cost, it’s about value. It’s not about supplier count, but what the suppliers can bring to the table. And it’s definitely not about the number of interfaces, but about the stability of the interfaces and whether or not they enable access to the right data. The short story is that you can make arguments for and against either solution, but it all comes down to the merits of the solution with respect to your organizational needs, not a generic pro/con checklist.