What is an ERP System?


An ERP system is made up of applications and tools that help all areas of your business communicate with each other more effectively. ERP systems integrate all facets of an enterprise into one comprehensive information system. Employees in planning and scheduling, for example, have access to the same data as the staff in financial management for their specific needs. All data is available in real-time, which enables employees to make faster, more informed business decisions. With ERP systems, all vital business functions—estimating, production, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, purchasing—share a central source of up-to-the-minute information. Enterprise resource planning systems streamline the collection, storage and use of your organization’s data. The right ERP system can help you collect and store data into one centralized place from different areas such as:

  • Finance & Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Production Management
  • Business Intelligence
  • Warehouse Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Point-of-Sale (POS)
  • eCommerce

Primary Benefits of ERP Systems


Why are more businesses of all sizes implementing ERP systems today than ever before? Here are some of the main reasons and benefits why organizations use ERP systems.

  • Finance & Accounting
  • Provide business leaders with real-time visibility into their operations
  • Provide business leaders and teams with instant access to their global supply chains
  • Enable business leaders to identify challenges, uncover opportunities, and make faster decisions that impact different areas of their businesses
  • Help automate and streamline tedious tasks and redundant processes
  • Give employees the tools and data they need to be successful
  • Provide a single point of truth for organizations
  • Can often be accessed from anywhere (off-site and from mobile devices)
  • Help increase productivity among your team
  • Make it easier for teams to collaborate with each other, and with third-party vendors
  • Offer powerful reporting and forecasting tools that you can use to make informed decisions about the future of your business
  • Keep data secure, and help you ensure that your business continues to operate in compliance with global regulatory laws and guidelines

Primary Benefits of ERP Systems


Research

Form an implementation team that can communicate effectively and has the knowledge and commitment to guide the project from beginning to end. Document and examine current business processes. Identify common problems or errors, duplicated or unnecessary efforts and missed opportunities with customers. Set goals and objectives for the implementation, and define the key performance indicators that will be affected.

Installation

Evaluate your current operations and re-engineer business processes into standard operating procedures. Build the infrastructure, such as networking facilities and data collection or display devices. Install the software.

Migration

Review and edit your data for accuracy and uniformity. Set up new databases, map database fields between the old and new systems, and transfer your data.

Testing

Test all interfaces, functionality and reports with real-life scenarios and transaction data. Make sure business processes are flowing correctly between departments.

Training

Train users in the new software. Users may find it difficult to change old roles, processes and behaviors. Manage change by providing users with the opportunity to offer feedback on the software.

Deployment

Choose between three types of deployment: big bang (instantaneous), phased approach (in stages) or parallel operation (run both systems simultaneously). Be prepared for challenges on the go-live date. Test and audit the system for accuracy, reliability and speed.

Support

Maintain ongoing support of the software and its users. Budget time and resources to identify issues and fix errors. Evaluate the success of the ERP project using key performance metrics that are tied back to your goals and objectives.


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