What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP for short, is business management software that enables an organization to utilize an integrated applications system to run the operations. All aspects of business operations such as manufacturing, production, research and development, plus sales and marketing are integrated by the ERP software.
Choosing an ERP System
It is crucial to choose an ERP system that is most appropriate for the company and this is not easy. Usually, an IT executive opts for the first one he or she sees and then is often disappointed with the performance.
Doing online research is mandatory before selecting any ERP sytem and software, and there are websites that provide comparisons and ratings of several software options. ERP software comprises many enterprise modules that any company would choose based on specific needs and technical capacity. Each module is based on a particular area of business procedures, including product planning, material purchasing, inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, finance and human resources.
With widespread adoption of ERP software, other applications --- such as CRM and business intelligence --- have been developed to help executives use ERP service in various activity and business operations. These other applications are usually provided on one single module.
The basic objective is to have one central repository for all the company information that is shared by all the ERP modules. Having a centralized repository streamlines data flow and establishes efficiency through all the departments of the organization.
The quality of data is an important aspect as that helps the ERP system work in a more efficient manner. While an ERP system would help coordinate the diverse components of the data flow, the value of the system would depend on the quality of the data that is moving through it. To ensure the optimum performance of the ERP software, steps should be taken to implement quality of the data.
- Perform audit of data quality;
- Business intelligence procedures should be integrated with the ERP when implemented; and
- Organize a data quality solution, either through a software cleansing package or by buying a relevant ERP module.
Customize the platform
An ERP system is usually looked at as a uniform solution to all problems. However, this approach can have a negative impact on user productivity. To achieve optimum performance from the ERP system, it is necessary to work with a professional services provider to customize the software to make it appropriate to the company’s needs. This could entail hiding those fields not required, and keeping particular features or functions turned on or off. Customization is the way to implement an effective ERP solution and make it most useful for business operations within any organization.
Apart from the customization, it is also necessary to update, upgrade and extend the ERP system on a regular basis. Again, it is essential to do this expansion at a reasonable pace and not add too much innovative functionality which could, at least in theory, cripple employee productivity. Adding processes, modules and other aspects is important. However, this expansion should be phased in with careful planning --- not done in a random manner.
Let us help you find the right ERP systems provider for your needs, saving you time and money. Just complete the simple form above to get free price quotes from industry leading providers.