Depending on your industry, it can either be very hard or very easy to find software that is a great fit for you. Some industries are better represented than others but even in well-represented industries there are many businesses with unique requirements that may pose problems for solutions that are designed from a “one-size fits all” perspective.
For example, consider software for wholesale and distribution – on the surface, wholesalers and distributors will share many of the same requirements. However, there are many different lines of businesses or sub-industries within wholesale and distribution with vastly different requirements. Those in the HVAC industry may require servicing & repair management while those in food distribution may be primarily interested in landed cost or lot tracking.
Different modules offered by vendors can accomplish specific tasks required for specific industries, but even at the module level there may be some functionality left to be desired. That is why customization should always be an important consideration when evaluating vendors. Regardless of how well the software works out of the box, you want to be assured that the vendor can accommodate your specific needs – now, and in the future when you make changes to your business/processes.
Although significant customization should be avoided (i.e. the software should do the majority of what you need it to), it should be considered a good option for the small pieces that are very specific for your business. Often these customizations help accommodate the unique aspects of your business that set you apart from your competitors. After all, if this functionality were available out-of-the-box then it wouldn’t be unique to you, now would it?
Ensure that your software solution is customizable to avoid having to drastically change business processes to accommodate your software. Your options are to develop customized software specifically for your business (which can be very costly and often difficult to upgrade) or you can choose to find a software solution that is a fully integrated solution with the ability to be easily customized. Don’t focus on finding the right software for your industry, focus on finding the right software for YOU.