Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a comprehensive system that helps companies of all sizes store, manage, access, and use critical information to help them run their processes more efficiently. ERP began as an outgrowth of Manufacturing Resource Planning in the 1990s, and today, is a popular way for businesses of all sizes to manage information.
Applications and Benefits
Because ERP is so flexible and modular, companies can ramp up the areas that are the highest priorities for them first and add other components later. For example, most companies will benefit from the financial and accounting portion of an ERP system. Since this accounting component can later integrate business-wide, its valuable to use an ERP system vs. a standalone accounting software package.
Many companies will use ERP systems to manage their supply chains and inventory systems. By doing so, the provide top management with real-time visibility into what’s going on both internally and throughout their global supplier network. This means that better, smarter decisions can be made in a more timely manner, which can result in significant cost savings and revenue increases.
For many individual employees, an ERP system means the automation of boring, tedious tasks that simply need to be repeated on an ongoing basis. By shifting this work to an ERP, businesses can free up employees to learn and grow professionally and take on higher level, higher paying tasks.
The Right Time to Invest
If your company has not embarked on a major software implementation yet, you may be wondering about the right time to start. Here are some clues on when you might reap enough benefits to invest in an ERP system.
One clue is that you sense that too many of your employees are working on mundane tasks that could be automated and you have several non-integrated software products that require manual information transfer between them.
Scattered employees, suppliers, and contractors will be able to work much more effectively together if they can all tap into one system and access the same information through mobile networks accessing an ERP.