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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to a method of proficient utilization of hardware, software and people to simplify a company’s business processes, thus improving productivity and profit. ERP could include several software applications or complicated individual software packages which disseminates the data required by different and unique business departments.
The need for ERP software grew with the mandate of big businesses for a centralized solution for managing all the information system requirements. An ERP could include several business modules, such as but not restricted to:
In a nutshell, an ERP solution enables every department of an organization to be managed centrally, and they continue to operate independently. ERP also augments the quality of decision making.
ERP software integrates several functions into a single comprehensive system for streamlining information and processes across an organization. The dominant feature of all ERP systems is a common database which supports various functions used by different departments in an organization. In practice, it means that people in different business divisions—for instance, accounting and payroll—could rely on the exact information for their business requirements.
ERP also provides some degree of orchestration and standardization in reporting as well as fosters automation. Instead of pushing employees to keep separate spreadsheets and databases which have to be merged manually for the purpose of generating reports, some ERPs allow individuals to pull the reports from one system. For example, with the sales orders flowing into the financial system automatically without the need of manual intervention, the department managing the orders could process the orders at a better pace with more accuracy, and the accounts department could close the books on time.
Enterprise-oriented technologies are changing at a rapid pace. For an organization to keep up with these technological advances, one must be able to control such changes while restricting disruption. In case your business system does not integrate or utilize modern technology, and you feel that your business is finding it difficult to remain competitive, you might have to invest in an ERP system.
When deciding about the right platform for your business, it is crucial to consider both the pros and cons of the ERP system. However, the potential downfalls shouldn’t scare you away from tools which could take your organization to the next level. Experts recommend making an open and fair assessment of your business needs and problem areas and before seeking out an ERP system which would give your organization the potential to improve and succeed. For most of the companies, the merits of an ERP system often outweigh its demerits.
The potential for completely streamlined business functions combined with boosts in productivity makes the benefits of ERP systems a meaningful investment of time and resources.