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The reality of best-of-breed software

In this expert response, find out how to separate best-of-breed software hype from reality.

Is the phrase "best-of-breed" something to take seriously, or is it just marketing hype? What makes up best-of-breed software?

Best-of-breed software is not marketing hype, since over the years many organizations have been successful with best-of-breed packages in various areas of their business.

Best-of-breed usually means a separate software package developed by a third-party vendor that provides more advanced functionality than certain modules of most ERP systems. However, just because a vendor claims their package is a best-of-breed option, doesn't mean it truly is.

Across the manufacturing industry, best-of-breed software is fairly common for supporting the business functions of forecasting, advanced planning, warehouse management, transportation management, manufacturing execution and quality.

However, there are two reasons why I would not recommend best-of-breed software as an overall strategy for fulfilling most application software needs. First, many ERP packages have more than adequate functionality in most modules. Second, integrating different software packages from different vendors can be very costly and time consuming.

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About the author:
Steven Phillips is an ERP professional with more than 27 years of implementation experience and the author of the book Control Your ERP Destiny. His background includes senior management education, software selection, project management, application consulting, process redesign, systems design, testing, training and post-go-live support.

Steven has a degree in production and operations management, with advanced studies in industrial management. Previously certified by the American Production and Inventory Control Society, he has written articles appearing in APICS publications. He also runs the popular blog Street Smart ERP.

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