Best of Breed vs. Best of Suite in Sheet Metal

Lately, many ERP companies have been adding countless new features. Taking more and more production functions on themselves. This is all with the goal of providing a complete solution.

But:

In the past year, I’ve talked with more than 10 exciting new software startups in the metal industry.

These new companies have been working to make apps that solve various problems. They use the cloud. They have solutions like quality management, CAD, quotation software, and CAM programming etc.

So, fabricators have a decision to face:

Should they play it safe and stick with one vendor, getting everything they need from them?

… Or do they take a leap of faith and explore many vendors?

This is the argument between “best of suite” and “best of breed”.

  1. Best of Suite is going for a one-stop shop for all your needs. You will receive a comprehensive toolkit from a single brand. The toolkit includes everything you need: customer orders, design, and machine monitoring.
  2. Best of Breed is like hand-picking the best tool for each job from different brands. By using this method, you can have many apps working in tandem. You can tailor and integrate each app to suit your needs.

So, which one is better?

None of them are, but they must be all Industry 4.0-ready.

This means you need to choose vendors that give you control over your digital future. You need to access your own data, define your own workflow and adapt as you need. Some platforms do excel in this, but many don’t.

To begin, check if you can access the database and API of your software. Also, learn about your migration options if you want to switch vendors.

Yours,

—Luke

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