Technology and software sits at the heart of all businesses who want to embrace the digital revolution. The systems, devices and processes we adopt play a huge role in our success. Companies reviewing their IT strategy often have a choice to make between selecting Best of Breed solutions (BoB) or opting for an all incumbent ERP product (All-in-one), a decision of which is just as critical today as it was 20 years ago, a time when rental management software was just finding its way into the mainstream rental market.
Over the years a Best of Breed strategy allowed businesses to select and implement a market leading solution for a particular business function or department. However, it wasn’t easy to integrate into other systems. On the other hand, many organisations saw the ideal solution being one system that did it all, but, that often lacked specific features for a set purpose, or struggled to keep pace with industry requirements due to costly and lengthy development cycles.
However, the speed of which technology has advanced, means Best of Breed solutions have been empowered, making them the preferred choice. This is mainly down to how API’s have been developed. That being said, it’s important that businesses review the many factors that will impact business goals and evaluate the long-term benefits of both options. To help, we have reviewed the benefits Best of Breed carries and summarised those that have revolutionised its offering.
Attaining a system that enables your preferred solutions to work together seamlessly is a massive benefit to companies. In the past, it was the biggest issue Best of Breed providers faced, as the different technologies sat alone and did not talk to each other. This caused many problems, the main one being that users needed to duplicate work into many different packages making it difficult to ascertain a true ROI for their chosen systems. However, as technologies have advanced and as businesses can no longer ignore the disconnect, Best of Breed has developed stronger, more agile API’s, which allow for flexible links between diverse purpose built software solutions.
In fact, API’s are now so mature, it’s like you’re using a single system. It means that businesses can continue to use their existing systems and seamlessly transition between them. Plus, integrations can be easily built because companies that provide Best of Breed solutions are devolving middle-layer functionality that allows for expansion that won’t interrupt workflows and processes.
Not only does a Best of Breed solution mean you can integrate specialist systems with your existing software, it also gives you the infrastructure to grow. Having a system sustainable to change is a huge long-term benefit as you can easily add additional systems or review solutions on a case by case basis and swap to an alternative provider if necessary.
Many rental businesses require a system that has focus and offers comprehensive functionality at an affordable price point, something which you will struggle to find when looking at an ERP suite. Each department or small groups of users within a company will require dedicated functionality that helps increase efficiencies and improves performance. Therefore, having a specialist Best of Breed solution which gives people the right tools for the job will inevitably give power to teams. Additionally, Best of Breed is adaptable and will incorporate existing business processes.
The companies, and people, that deliver Best of Breed applications have extensive experience in a select field. They’ve implemented solutions for hundreds of organisations big and small as well as helped thousands of end-users become more productive and companies more profitable. As a result, providers of Best of Breed solutions are often able to help their customers uncover additional ways to leverage mobility within their business or manage customer information more effectively. Best of Breed providers understand how you work and exactly what you need your systems to do, thanks to their own invaluable industry experience. This therefore, enables them to empathise with situations and provide ideal solutions to the problems, through both customer service and development of new products and features.
The technology market can be challenging since it’s always changing. But, because Best of Breed is driven by a specific purpose, it’s much easier for providers to react to changes in the industry or environment quickly. It also means they can develop features and functionality that are highly targeted but that still work for tailored processes. Most leading companies have used technology in some way to differentiate their businesses and Best of Breed products allow them to do this by developing fully supported solutions to key industry challenges, reducing the delivery time for such developments by, in some cases, 90%.
Secondly, Best of Breed systems tend to be updated more frequently. If you want to know that your system is future proof, allowing your business to move with the times, then having a strategy that lets you adopt new technologies regularly is important. Consistent and continuous development is a must. Most best of breed providers don’t want to stand still, they want to be the best, they want to set the trends and they want to help their customers evolve. Knowing that your software provider gives you the latest features as part of your package is almost a hidden saving and proves to be a great ROI.
When evaluating the cost difference between a Best-of-Breed solution and an all incumbent, you have to include all of the various Best of Breed elements before you can truly compare like for like. For example, when going down the Best of Breed model, at the very least, you will need to implement a rental management solution, which will take care of all the operational related activities a rental business may undertake, and a separate Finance solution which would be used solely by the Accounts function to manage the various ledgers, banking and dunning activities carried out.
Even with the above elements priced into the equation, when comparing between the two models you will typically find that the All Incumbent solutions are far higher in terms of a total solution cost to that of the Best of Breed option. This is usually down to a combination of a bloated price per licence which is pushed upwards by the OEM, and by extremely high rates for consultancy, training and development, all of which combined can make the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) double that its BoB competitor.
Transitioning to a Best of Breed solution can deliver ROI which is easy to instantly notice. Due to the specialist processes and features on offer, time and cost savings are a natural by-product of the implementation. Having a completely linked BoB solution stack ensures that all processes are carried out efficiently in a holistic environment that works in harmony. Too often companies using All Incumbents resort to carrying out various processes / activities off-system due to being quoted expensive or lengthy development timeframes for a system led solution. Doing this increases the overall risk to the business as this information isn’t usually visible companywide, nor secured. Reducing the reliance on such disparate ‘islands of data’ naturally mitigates the risk, something BoB solutions help with hugely.
Giving individuals tools that are made specifically for their role empowers them to be more efficient and productive, in turn allowing the business to make cost and time savings. Not only will you see benefits internally, your customers will see benefits too. Moving towards fully digital processes will inevitable speed up processes as well as allow customers to self-serve economically. New technological advancements are enabling businesses to serve their customers in a variety of different ways, quickly, thus giving the customer an even better experience and a happy customer is one that is always likely to return. Finally, having access to the latest technology first helps keep your business and processes at the forefront of the industry, enabling you to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the market fast.
These are just a few examples of the benefits, ROI presented and latest improvements Best of Breed systems have to offer. As mentioned previously, it’s an important decision with many factors to consider. Be sure the systems you choose are sustainable and facilitate the vision you have for your business, not just now, but for years to come.
For any advice or guidance on Best of Breed software, please drop us an email hello@inspHire.com or call us on +0333 254 1970.