What Is ERP?
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It is a “catch-all” term which describes powerful business software used to run all your departments. ERP usually includes sales (CRM) and finance software as a minimum but can also include: inventory management, fulfilment, e-commerce, project management and planning, manufacturing, supply chain management and logistics software.
Some ERP providers will offer all the functionality as standard, whilst others will provide a modular payment model where you pay for what you use. Typically you will buy named licenses which relate to a particular job role of function.
One of the benefits of buying ERP software is that you don’t need to connect disparate software together to get a complete view of your business performance. Many people choose to buy ERP software even though they are only using one “module” (like finance) in the first instance. People are now looking to ERP software companies to provide alternatives to traditional products like Sage. By selecting ERP they are starting as they mean to go on, knowing the software is extensible and that extra functionality can be rolled out as the business grows.
It works like this: By using a single data source which is shared between all departments, you will be streamlining your business processes, removing duplication of effort or manual intervention and benefiting from a complete bird’s eye view of your business information.
ERP can also help to futureproof your business. You might have a five or ten year plan but things change, businesses grow and branch off in different directions. By deploying ERP you can be sure that the software will have functionality for what you know you need now but also what you might need in the future.
The downside is that ERP can be expensive to purchase and difficult to implement. The perception is that it is used for big business only. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ERP software products with affordable entry packages.
When completed as part of a thought through and well-structured implementation, businesses who use ERP can reap the benefits for many years to come.
Written by Emma Stewart – Sales and Marketing Director at Cofficient
Want to find out more? Why not invest 90 mins of your life to change your business forever and attend our free cloud ERP seminar on Edinburgh 26 April 2016