31 Dec 2012

What Is ERP?

You’re told that your business needs a new ERP system, but you don’t even know what ERP stands for. It seems like everybody who’s saying you need ERP is speaking a different language. So how are you supposed to make a purchase decision?

This article provides the basics of what business owners and corporate decision makers need to know to in order to understand ERP and what it can do for your business.

What is ERP?

“ERP” stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning” software. It’s a company-wide computer software system that manages and coordinates all your business’s resources, information, and functions by sharing data from disparate departments. ERP creates an efficient information flow across the entire company, enabling significantly more agile workflows.

Consider the way information flows through your organization. Is the process a paper-based journey from one desk to another around the company, copied and slipped into manila folders and inter-office mail envelopes?  Is information entered into each department’s system as necessary, but not giving other departments access to that information?  Is information duplicated in more than one system?  Are human error, redundancy, and delays a routine part of business for your company?

ERP solves that redundancy, reduces errors and inefficiency. It integrates all departments and functions across a company to better serve all your departments’ particular needs. ERP is a single software program that works for people in finance as well as the people in human resources and people in the on the production floor. ERP systems can include functionality to coordinate product lifecycle management, supply chain management, warehouse management, customer relationship management (CRM), sales order processing, financials, and HR. The benefits include:

  • Improved workflow and efficiency by streamlining processes and workflows with a single integrated system
  • Reduction of redundant data entry and processes while still sharing information across the company
  • Establishment of uniform processes based on recognized best practices
  • Improved customer satisfaction based on improved on-time delivery
  • Reduced inventory costs resulting from better planning, tracking and forecasting of requirements
  • A consolidated picture of sales, inventory and receivables

With an ERP system, all this information is available and updatable company wide. When one department completes its task, information travels seamlessly to the next department. It’s all instantly traceable and moves at lightning speed through the system. That makes your business far more agile and able to win in the ever-more-competitive marketplace.

Get a Free ERP Consultation to learn more about how an ERP solution can help your business.