What Is ERP and How Does It Work?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) consists of technologies and systems companies use to manage and integrate their core business processes. Enterprise resource planning software offers single system solutions that integrate processes across the business. Such applications allow for users to interact within a single interface, share information, and enable cross-functional collaboration.
What Is an Example of an ERP?
With the explosion of the Internet of things (IoT), it’s no secret that Internet-fueled or cloud-based applications are on the rise. As a result, more companies are moving away from on-site ERP systems to adopt the more agile, cloud-based ERP system, managed and maintained by the host or vendor. Oracle, widely known in the tech industry, offers several cloud-based ERP products used by many household brands, such as FedEx, Blue Cross, and Blue Shield.
What Are the Benefits of an ERP?
An ERP promotes the free flow of communication across an organization and results in increased synergies between different business areas, increased efficiencies as processes are streamlined and information is readily accessible to those that need it; and reduced costs associated with outdated and ineffective technology. Adopting an ERP may be a costly endeavor, but the return on investment (ROI) may be achieved quickly. Most certainly, the benefits realized (e.g., increased productivity and reduced administrative costs) may far outweigh the costs to introduce an ERP.
What Should an ERP System Include?
The components of an ERP system are dependent on the needs of the organization. However, there are key features that each ERP should include. An ERP system should be automated—to reduces errors—and flexible, allowing for modifications as the company changes or grows. More people are mobile; therefore, the ERP platform should allow users to access it from their mobile devices. Lastly, an ERP system should provide a means for productivity to be analyzed and measured. Other tools can be integrated within the system to improve a company’s capabilities.
The Bottom Line
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) manages and integrates business processes through a single system. With a better line of sight, companies are better able to plan and allocate resources. Without ERP, companies tend to operate in a siloed approach, with each department operating its own disconnected system.
ERP systems promote the free flow of communication and sharing of knowledge across an organization, the integration of systems for improved productivity and efficiencies, and increased synergies across teams and departments. However, moving to an ERP system will be counterproductive if the company’s culture does not adjust with the change and the company does not review how the structure of its organization can support it.