By looking at what ERP (enterprise resource planning) stands for, we can determine the essence of what business ERP software is all about. “Enterprise” is your business. “Resource” is your businesses resources be it human resources, capital resources or whatever you utilize to give your customers a quality product or service. And “planning” ties it all together with how you will use your resources. Businesses strive to use their resources in the most efficient manner possible. This prevents waste while maximizing profits. Business ERP software is a powerful tool that helps organizations operate in an efficient manner and captures data that can be analyzed and used to make even greater efficiency gains in the future.
When introducing an ERP solution to an organization, there are two ways to go. You can go with a complete software suite (as they call it) that encompasses the entire business, or you can start with one piece for a certain area and build up as you need increased functionality. For both of these options, many companies also offer the ability to customize the software to your businesses specific needs. Oftentimes though, ERP software vendors have already anticipated an organizations needs and have the feature you want built into their product.
Business ERP software can be a holistic solution for a business. The software can link all areas of a business giving your people increased access to the information they need quickly. Implementing this software throughout an entire organization also provides increased visibility of the organization’s inner workings. The data captured by the system can be turned into informational reports that can highlight strengths and weaknesses in the system. Weaknesses can be improved, and strengths can be turned into best practices. The holistic solution is obviously a larger undertaking with greater costs involved and time spent planning, implementing and possibly tweaking after implementation.
Businesses that can’t commit to an ERP solution across their entire organization can still enjoy the benefits of business ERP software. Many solutions are available for different departments and pieces can often be put together at a later time. The big ERP companies offer solutions across a broad range of industries and for departments and areas such as accounting, human resources, finance, accounting, customer relationship management, inventory management and many others.
For those investigating business ERP software solutions, making the choice between a complete software suite for the entire business or just a few modules will depend on many factors. Budget constraints, time constraints and business need are just a few of these factors. Fortunately there are a wealth of resources available to help in the decision making process. Be sure to do your due diligence.