Business software is expensive and never does exactly what you expect it to. You need things in your system to work slightly different than they currently do. So, you call up your software provider and ask for what seems to be an obvious feature. They tell you that it is a “custom modification” that they estimate will have a five or six figure price tag. They also tell you that you have to spend a bunch of time reviewing and signing off on specifications. Once that is done you have to wait, sometimes months, for the change. Inevitably this change will not be exactly what you wanted, and the software provider will tell you that it is your fault because you got the specifications wrong in the first place.
It’s not totally their fault. You know your business better than they do but it takes way too much time and effort to accurately describe your needs. That description is essential for them to write the coded instructions that the software uses to do anything. But you don’t know how to write the code. What’s more, you don’t even really know for sure what you want the system to do until you see it in action. Ideally, you could get a rough version first and then change it before putting it into practice. Software does not do this so well yet.
This is what happens whenever the knowledge and understanding of a problem does not coexist with the skill required to build tools to solve that problem. It is not unique to software, but given how much we have been trying to use software to improve pretty much all processes recently, it seems to be coming up a lot.
The software industry is full of experts whose job is to guide you through this complicated customization process. They generally suggest that any business faces two options: take it or leave it. Traditional advice would recommend that you need to either adapt your business functions to your ERP or pay (in time and in money) for these customizations. Others would advise that customizations are a necessary evil so the best approach is just to be aware of the bumpy road ahead.
But what if there was a better option? We took this “no-code” concept and applied it to creating workflows, business logic and basic customizations within ParagonERP. We call it the Rules Wizard.
In Paragon, rules allow you to change the behavior of the software to suit your specific needs without having to change the software itself. The Rules Wizard is designed to let you think your way through a business problem using business language and your own data, break the problem down, and make it work the way you want. All without having to know how to write a single line of code.
The Rules Wizard will lead you through a series of steps that help you choose the values, actions and even notifications you want your rule to include. Then you turn the new rule on and watch it work in a test environment. If you like it, you put it into production. If you don’t, you can change it as much as you want and keep testing it until you are ready to start using it in your live system.
The Rules Wizard really does seem like magic because it lets you make your software do all kinds of new things that fit your needs perfectly, without needing an engineering degree. It puts the power back into your hands without massive cost or delay. And, it turns the traditional conflict of ERP customizations (i.e. take it or leave it) on its head by giving you an infinitely better option.