ERP Software

Guide to enterprise resource planning software

Enterprise resource planning software, usually abbreviated as ERP software, is a complex and powerful suite of computer programs that will help you manage all aspects of your company's current and future operations. It offers a means of consolidating and streamlining all the information generated by customer service queries, marketing efforts, supply chains and sales departments. You can also track a comprehensive range of revenue and expenditure data as well as apply advanced analytics that identify patterns, create revenue and sales projections, and earmark potential efficiency improvements.

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A Note About the Implementation of ERP Software Solutions

Typically, ERP software runs over a local area connection created at your place of business, so it runs in tandem with network software. Professional installation will be required if you don't have an in-house IT team.

Many companies find it easier to hire consultants to install the software and train your staff in its proper use, as there are often integration issues with ERP software solutions. It may be easier for your company to use a simpler, more limited computer program; for example, ERP software can help you manage supply chains, but simple supply chain management software might provide you with all the features you need and none of the implementation issues.

Features and Advantages of ERP Software Systems

However, if you're trying to manage an extensive and complex business operation, the advantages of ERP software are undeniable. You can use ERP software solutions to:

  • Oversee manufacturing processes. ERP software can help with everything from quality control and volume management to scheduling and capacity calculations.
  • Manage supply chains. Place and manage purchase orders, schedule shipments from suppliers and track your inventory by using the supply chain management features of ERP software.
  • Track company financials. You can manage assets, general ledgers and cash flow with ERP software's extensive financial tools. Specialized ERP accounting software is also available, and it offers an in-depth and advanced suite of financial tracking features.
  • Manage human resources. You can schedule personnel, conduct training sessions, manage payroll and administer benefits with the HR tools found in ERP software systems.

ERP software can also help you track projects as effectively as dedicated project management software and care for your customer relationships as easily as you can with CRM software. If you have extensive automation and process management needs, it often makes more financial sense to invest in a complete ERP system than to simply install single-use programs or modules.