ERP is a process used by companies to manage and integrate the important parts of their businesses. Many ERP software applications exist to help companies implement resource planning by integrating all of the processes it needs to run a company with a single system. An ERP software system can integrate planning, purchasing inventory, sales, marketing, finance, human resources, and more.
But new ERP systems are anything but basic. They use the latest technologies – such as machine learning and AI – to provide intelligence, visibility, and efficiency across every aspect of a business.
See how new ERP uses digital assistants to help you focus on what matters, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to automate processes, and predictive analytics to support real-time decision making.
Understanding Enterprise Resource Planning
You can think of an enterprise resource planning system as the glue that binds together the different computer systems for a large organization. Without an ERP application, each department would have its own system optimized for that division’s particular tasks. With ERP software, each department still has its own system, but all of the systems can be accessed through one application with one interface.
ERP applications also allows the different departments to communicate and share information more easily with the rest of the company. It collects information about the activity and state of different divisions, making this information available to other parts, where it can be used productively.
ERP applications can help a corporation become more self-aware by linking information about production, finance, distribution, and human resources together. Because it connects different technologies used by each individual part of a business, an ERP application can eliminate costly duplicate and incompatible technology. The process often integrates accounts payable, stock-control systems, order-monitoring systems, and customer databases into one system.
ERP offerings have evolved over the years from traditional software models that make use of physical client servers to cloud-based software that offers remote, web-based access.
ERP Solutions Providers
Some familiar names are leaders in ERP software. Oracle Corp. (ORCL) originally supplied a relational database that integrated with ERP software developed by SAP (SAP) before entering the broader enterprise market in a big way in the early 2000’s. Microsoft (MSFT) has long been an industry leader, with many customers using multiple software applications from the company.
As cloud-based solutions have grown in popularity in recent years, the traditional ERP industry leaders have seen challenges from upstarts such as Bizowie and WorkWise.
why do you need ERP?
As company’s needs change and they expand, their systems should keep up with them. We’ll define what ERP is and why it’s smart to have software in place that keeps up with your business needs.
What is enterprise resource planning? Yesterday and today.
In the past, businesses had some sort of accounting, finance, or HR process but the software systems they had often worked separately and didn’t talk or work with one another. What makes modern ERP software different is that it brings all these different processes to the table to collaborate and create one fluid system.
Current solutions also allow each department to see what the other is doing. The result is that accounting and HR can easily collaborate with sales and customer relationships.
Why ERP is critical for your businesses
While there’s no all-up solution software for every business process, ERP technology is getting better and better at bringing all your business processes together to improve collaboration, help your company make data-driven decisions, and advance business productivity.
ERP can cover a lot of company functions, but some of the main business processes include:
Modern ERP offers dashboards that give you an overview of your finances, so you can tap into the real-time information anytime and anywhere. It should also help you cut down on entering information manually by automating daily tasks and include tracking abilities that help with your business’s regulatory compliance.
Modern solutions offer ways to manage company data and streamline employee management tasks like payroll, hiring, and other duties. You could also track employee performance and identify HR problems before they happen.
This function improves business communication, automates daily processes, and offers manufacturers the ability to fulfill customer needs and manage resources by accessing real-time data. This solution also optimizes project and cost management as well as production planning.
If your company is still entering information by hand and trying to track down inventory in your warehouse, you can easily save time and money by automating these processes with ERP. Modern solutions also offer dashboards and business intelligence to help you get a handle on your inventory management.
Why some businesses are afraid to embrace ERP implementation
Despite all the options out there, some companies are still hesitant about ERP. There could be many reasons why, but where there’s a fear, there’s a solution.
FEAR: How do I know I’m choosing the right ERP solution for my business?
You don’t have to find the perfect software solution to fix everything. ERP should actually be able to take the best of the business processes you’re using now and bring them together under one system, while letting everyone in your organization view the same information. This is where your choice of at technology partner is important.
FEAR: We can’t afford a major ERP overhaul.
A solution doesn’t have to be an all or nothing implementation proposition. Software solution modules can be purchased separately depending on your business needs. This will help your team ease into the implementation piece of ERP and it’ll save having to invest in a major software renovation without knowing whether or not the functions you’re adding will pay off.
FEAR: We don’t want to lose the systems we have in place now.
As we mentioned, any ERP solution you choose should work with what you’re using now but also include features that can help in your future growth. For instance, if the software you have mostly handles the financial, supply chain, and manufacturing sides of your business, you may want to look for a solution that brings in a strong business intelligence component.
ERP at any size: What are my options?
ERP isn’t just for global enterprises. There is ERP solutions for businesses of all sizes – small, midsize, and large.
- Small Business ERP
250 employees or fewer, ERP software for small business can help you move beyond spreadsheets and efficiently manage every aspect of your growing company from sales and customer relationships to financials and operations.
- Midsize Business ERP
Ideal for midmarket companies and subsidiaries with up to 500 employees, midsize ERP software provides built-in analytics, rapid deployment, and best practices for different business processes – financials, HR, supply chain management, procurement, and more.
- Enterprise ERP
Designed for large companies with global or subsidiary operations, our market-leading ERP systems incorporate intelligent technologies – such as machine learning and predictive analytics.