When you initiate an ERP selection project, you will encounter many ERP sales representatives who want to sell you’re their products. It seems like everyone tells you that his or her company has the perfect ERP system for your organization.
On the surface it may be true. They all have basic ERP functionality. In fact, the opposite is true. In the past decade, most of the ERP vendors have begun to focus their products, product development, their sales organizations, and their ERP implementation teams on being the best at serving a vertical industry.
The largest organizations have the resources to focus parts of their organization on a specific vertical industry. Therefore they have resources in multiple vertical industries. For instance, Infor has an organization and a product set that just addresses the needs of the automotive industry and another that just focuses on the process manufacturing industry. Everyone, in that part of Infor, has a focus and specialization just on the automotive industry or the process industry.
Examples of Vertically Focused ERP Vendors
- The two largest ERP vendors, SAP and Oracle, have developed pre built configurations of their software for specific industries which include medical, food, chemical, aerospace & defense, automotive, telecommunications, electronics and more.
- Infor has a number of products that only fit certain vertical industries.
- Lawson, before the Infor acquisition, only focused on five industries where they could be the best.
- For years IFS has had a focus of only selling its products to certain industries where it know it had a good fit.
- Microsoft has urged its partners to build vertical industry solutions.
All of the top ERP vendors now have sales organizations that are organized by vertical industry. In the mid market, these same ERP vendors are urging their mid market partners to specialize and focus on a vertical industry.
So do not be surprised when you hear a vendor sales rep say, “We are not a good fit for your industry”. Not easy for a sales rep to say, but in this age of vertical industry specialization they only have time to be the best in their vertical industry.