ERP is also known as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)...
So what does ERP mean...please?
You may have heard the acronym ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), but what is it? ERP refers to business software and systems used to collect, store and manage data needed to run and grow a business. These applications are integrated with all areas of business, including:
- Inventory Management
- Manufacturing and Distribution
- Sales and Marketing
- Service Delivery
- Project Management
ERP software leverages a single database to store all company information that can be shared and used by multiple users at one time. In addition, ERP systems update the data in real-time, so each department is up-to-date on what’s happening as it’s happening.
Used heavily to manage customers and vendors, a shared database provides immediate insight for customer service representatives and other departments to access important information such as order status, shipping, receiving, and accounting information to provide excellent service. You can also utilize ERP’s to communicate directly with plant floor equipment with enterprise appliance transaction modules or (EATMs), which can employ a staging table, web services, and specific system program interfaces to fit your companies needs and requirements.
10 Questions to Ask Before Considering ERP
If you are a small or medium-sized business, here are 10 questions to ask to determine if your business is ready to get started with implementing an ERP strategy and begin evaluating ERP software options:
- Are there limitations to growth within my business? Is it hardware, software, operations, people, training, technology, etc...
- Does my business have industry-specific requirements that are not met by my current software?
- Is my staff spending too much time on manual or mundane tasks that lower productivity and morale?
- Is communication a problem between people and departments? Do we have a data communication problem?
- Do the right people have access to the right data to get their job done efficiently?
- Are there security controls and rules in place to ensure that the right data is shared by the right people?
- Is my business at risk of internal fraud or theft? Do I suffer from revenue leakage or inventory shrinkage? Are there things that worry me about my business and keep me up at night?
- Is my business able to compete in today’s market? Are my competitors outperforming when we really do have a better product or service?
- Is the cost of doing business eating into our profits?
- Is my business ready to take the next step to grow?
Often an ERP software system can be customized to accommodate simple and complex business processes if there are requirements that are not met out of the box. If you rely on a separate application and can't replace it, there are customized integration options that can be run on both workstations or server-class computers. Another bonus is their scalability, as having software that can’t grow with you is a waste of money.
ERP systems get a bad reputation because there are many horror stories of companies having poor expectations about the time and money required for implementation. Careful planning and methodical budgeting can make those downsides less intimidating. Mantralogix is the company to help you be less intimidated.