abas ERP stands out from other ERP providers in five critical ways, including aspects of the product as well as several defining aspects of the company.
1. Platform versus product – abas takes a hybrid approach
A question that frequently arises is this: does ERP work best as a platform – a framework for applications to be built and connections to be made – or a product, ready to be used off the shelf by consumers? Many ERP vendors take the latter approach, providing static software that offers little flexibility and few customization options.
abas ERP, on the other hand, uses a unique hybrid approach of product and platform, offering a powerful off-the-shelf ERP product as well as a customization platform all in a single package. The abas platform is a basis for flexible customization that can accommodate and enhance each client's nuanced processes.
Especially unique is the way abas ERP allows users to take a pre-built feature and tailor it to their specific business needs, while still allowing the customer to upgrade seamlessly to future software releases.
For example, one abas ERP client needed to alter the Master Production Schedule in the abas ERP system to give them more granular forecasting capabilities. Most clients don't need their MPS to offer resolution beyond the weekly level, but this client wanted daily forecasts. The abas team was able to easily customize this customer's system to offer that particular need.
"Our flexible platform approach allows us to deliver best practices to each customer," said Alan Salton, president of abas USA, "and it doesn't matter what industry they're in. We can do just as well for automotive as we can for engineering. You get the basics from the core product, but the platform is what makes our solution adaptable."
2. A global network of partners who cooperate rather than compete
abas has a presence in all industrialized areas across the globe with a network of certified, qualified abas ERP implementation and development partners. Partners share the same tools, receive the same training, and share a development environment and approach, which allows for repeatable, certain successes internationally.
Most importantly, our partners work together instead of against one another. This is hugely important for our customers who are mid-market companies looking to grow internationally. Our clients know that no matter where they're operating, they can be in touch with a local abas partner that can help them overcome their region-specific challenges.
By contrast, other ERP vendors have installers who see themselves as each other’s competitors, and so getting them to work together to solve a customer's problems is unlikely to happen.
abas solves this problem with its unique, customer-focused organization structure that encourages a spirit of global cooperation.
Our flexible platform approach allows us to deliver best practices to each customer
"There's a lot of sharing and collaboration between our partners, and that helps our customers greatly," said Mario Raatz, chief sales officer at abas AG.
3. An exceptional ability to execute
Many customers choose to work with abas year after year because they know that the company’s people have the ability to transform their businesses by taking a problem-solving approach to each implementation.
abas’ ability to do so comes from possessing the three types of expertise that are essential for helping our customers solve their operational problems beyond simply getting the software installed:
- Software expertise. abas technical and implementation teams are highly trained in every aspect of the abas ERP software, and can ensure your installation goes as smoothly as possible.
- ERP expertise. The company’s logistics and finance experts have decades of experience within with the way manufacturing companies run, particularly in the industries abas serves, from industrial machinery to automotive and electronics. abas understands what a healthy, efficient company looks like under the covers and can help its customers use ERP to get there.
- Domain expertise abas experts know the difference between scheduling in an automotive environment and in an industrial manufacturing one. We know the exact accounting needs for electronics manufacturers, and how they differ from those in other sectors. We don't try to be everything to everyone. Instead, we work within a few targeted industries and have tailored our solutions specifically to mid-market companies. This narrow focus is what allows us to bring a greater depth of the right kinds of knowledge to each installation.
"If you ask our customers why they buy abas, they'll say it's because we can make things work. Our software is great, but it's our people they want the most," Salton said. "It boils down to a client facing a changing environment, and looking to us to help them solve problems that come with a constant state of flux."
4. Independently owned translates into more agility
Over the past few decades, we've seen so many companies in the ERP world go public, undergo mergers, or get acquired by larger companies – changes that put them at the mercy of banks, investors and massive bureaucracies. Who suffers most? The end customer – who signed on thinking they knew what they were getting only to see development priorities shift, customer service suffer, and, in some cases, products that they invested in being “phased out.”
This couldn’t be farther from the case with abas, which has been independently owned and operated for 35 years. The independence allows abas to focus on doing what's best for customers, without the pressure of a third party whose sole objective is maximizing shareholder profits. The independence is also what keeps us agile - when the abas team sees a new trend worth exploring, they are able to quickly invest in testing the idea, trying it out, and bringing it to customers.
The company’s independent ownership also means stability. While other companies are getting absorbed and merged, abas remains stable. "ERP is a long-term investment, and as a customer, you need to be comfortable that your provider is going to be around for a long time," Raatz explained. "It's tough to buy in when you don't know if your vendor is going to get bought out or stop innovating to focus on short-term profits. Long term viability is hugely important."
5. Ease of upgrading the platform
Any developer will tell you – don’t customize or you’ll never be able to upgrade… right? For most software, it’s true. Many ERP vendors offer little in the way of hassle-free upgrades. Their systems are designed in such a way that makes upgrades time consuming and difficult - if they're even possible. This doesn't work for you, especially if you're in a fast-moving industry with constantly changing requirements.
But abas ERP’s unique technology defies this conventional wisdom by allowing users the flexibility to adapt their system to their exact business needs and still upgrade without causing the system to break.
"With a lot of software packages, as soon as you customize, the upgrade breaks," Salton said. "abas ERP is layered - if you've customized the user layer, you can still upgrade the kernel without effecting the upper layers."
abas understands that your business isn't going to be the same tomorrow as it is today, and the abas team is able to cement their long-term relationships with clients by helping their ERP systems grow with them. The result? A customer loyalty rate of 92 percent, with 24 percent of our customers working with abas for more than a decade.
Your ERP system is the backbone of your operation, so while you need to find a vendor whose software is up to snuff, it's equally - if not more - important to ensure its grounding philosophy is aligned with your best interests.
We can help your business thrive for a long time, take the first step and download our new e-Book: Unbounded Manufacturing. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact an abas representative today.