ERP Guide for Dummies
ERP systems, to an outsider, sound terrifying. What are they? What do they stand for? Well, my friend, if you’re not quite sure, you have come to the right place. When searching for ERP systems in google, the results can be overwhelming, with so many different definitions of what it refers to. To help battle this confusion, we have created an easy guide to help you understand exactly what ERP systems are.
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. This is a process where a company manages and integrates all of the important parts of its business into one system. Consequently, making it easier to run. For example, an ERP management information system integrates areas such as planning, inventory, sales, marketing, HR, finance and purchasing.
When implemented, ERP software offers a level of synchronised reporting and automation, which allows for a much smoother operation.
For example, if orders were placed at a sales company, they would automatically flow into the financial system without any manual input needed. This means that orders could be process quickly and easily – reducing time and improving accuracy.
Other common ERP features include a portal or dashboard, in order to enable employees to get to grips quickly and view how their business is performing against key metrics.
ERP in Practice
Historically, ERP was only used by large companies. However, it is being adopted by a growing number of medium-sized organisations.
A factor that has contributed to the popularity of ERP systems is the introduction of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). It also goes by the name cloud computing – which you may be more familiar with.
ERP systems can provide a real-time view of a company’s data in order to help identify problems and in turn, drive the improvements needed. They also improve financial compliance by reducing possible risks and increasing standards, due to the improved accuracy that comes with it. For example, Nestle invested in a $200 million contract with SAP to roll out an ERP system to leverage its size.
Cloud based solutions make ERP systems more affordable and easier to implement and manage. Companies of any size or industry can adopt cloud ERP systems. There are many variations of the systems, so plenty to choose from. It’s best to go with one that will suit the company the best to get the most out of the service.
Cloud systems are being taken up by a number of companies including Cisco IT, who have installed the ERP system with an Oracle finance infrastructure, in order to help enhance their business. This system was installed in a three day period – displaying the quick installation enabling the business to improve their productivity quickly.
It’s easy to see why cloud based ERP systems are being used by many organisations.
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