Expert Answers to Biz Questions
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What Is Enterprise Resource Planning Software & How Can It Help Your Business?
As businesses grow, separate departments tend to have their own idea on what software they need. This leads to a situation where different departments are using software from a variety of vendors which won’t actively communicate with other software used elsewhere in the organisation. As a result, systems information like human resources (including payroll), sales, customer services, and ordering systems all work separately.
The idea behind enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is that it brings the tools under a single roof with one software package covering many, if not all, software requirements of the growing business. The package may also incorporate business intelligence software which provides analysis of big data stores for managers who are looking for key insights and a better direction in the business.
Why Do Companies Deploy EPR Solutions?
EPR is designed mostly for enterprises, not SMEs. There are special versions of some EPR software with fewer features or reduced capabilities that’s offered to smaller businesses or in other cases completely different software solutions. With the smaller packages, it’s not always the case that everything is housed under one roof with the EPR software delivering only some solutions for data analysis and better management which is the trade-off.
Usually, a company wants to replace one or more legacy software systems with a single solution that will get the job done more efficiently using fewer resources. Some companies put together their own in-house EPR solutions which have become unwieldy over the years and they’ve finally acknowledged that they’ve outgrown the solution’s capabilities believing further expansion to be unwise. Or, sometimes the ability to slot in a modular solution specific to a department (accounting, sales, stock management) is the most appealing feature.
The Modular Structure of ERP Software
With larger ERP solutions, these are designed for enterprises with sufficient computer resources and greater requirements. As such, the software tends to offer both depth and breadth of features with the ability to cover a myriad of business activities through modules that are purchased individually in most cases.
The types of modules that are available with complex ERP software includes accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, inventory management, ordering systems, product development, and others. Most businesses will require several of the modules to make best use of the ERP software to organise back office processes properly and let the modules share data where necessary to complete their functions.
With smaller EPR solutions, these usually focus more on SMEs that don’t need as many resources in a single solution. The software is often industry-specific and keeps that as the central focus rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades which keeps development costs and the retail price down.
Understanding Which is the Right ERP Package is Challenging
Every business is different and has its own software requirements. Whether needing to centralise their processes, bring various functions under one roof at their headquarters or even to simplify staff training to a single software solution, choosing the best enterprise resource planning software is a challenge.
It’s a good idea to learn as much as you can about what software is available to appreciate the packages that will offer the best collection of tools to simply business’ operations and improve its efficiency going forward.
ERP software is useful for companies who are finding that the software they’re currently using is not doing what they need. Be sure to fully review the choices available to ensure it’ll do what the company needs. There are trial versions or demos of most packages to make selecting the right package easier.
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