Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) is a business-planning software tool that allows individual company databases to merge all the different processes that are so vital for the efficiency of the business. The principle is that all staff can access a shared database at any time, allowing them to constantly update the system throughout the working day.
Nuts and bolts
Synchronicity is the key word with this tool. For example, if the members of the accounts team needed to alert the sales team to some accounting changes, rather than having to send out a multitude of internal emails, ERP would update the whole company about these changes. The current economic slow down means that companies have a vital need to be on top of the day-to-day running of their businesses rather than relying on a monthly round-up of figures and projections from individual departments. The ERP tool can facilitate this procedure and bring all the relevant information together in one database.
All companies, whether small or large, will appreciate the benefits that this type of centralized software can bring to their business. The large, multinational company finds it just as important to identify potential problem areas as the small to medium enterprise (SME).
Even SMEs are aware of the increased globalization in business and an ERP system can enhance connectivity between countries and company departments across the world. This software tool can also cut down on costs. Anyone in business recognizes the importance of management control, forward planning and effective production control, one of the main benefits of ERP is that all of the information that is so important in these processes can be integrated into a single database. This ability to integrate and synchronize also means that stock control and other processes can be monitored on a global scale. All businesses need to know how the company is running, which departments are cost effective and also how to plan for the future. Users of ERP claim that the efficiency of their business has been maximized through the use of this software tool.
Some companies have reported difficulties in persuading their staff to use ERP. Training is all-important here; if the staff are trained properly on ERP and are taught about the benefits to themselves as well as to the company, it will prove easier to implement. Some businesses ask their staff for their thoughts on how they feel this database should be organized and this is a valuable course of action, since collaboration with staff on all levels will integrate them into the process.
Another useful suggestion is to have refresher courses for all staff members; this will ensure that everyone is using the system properly and that they fully understand its benefits. This is also the perfect time to iron out any of the creases that inevitably occur with the introduction of new company-wide software.
The adoption of ERP has proven to be a major step forward in business administration.