Enterprise resource planning (ERP) streamlines and integrates business processes across all departments via a central database where information can be accessed in real-time. ERPs were originally designed to aid manufacturing companies but have since expanded to service a wide range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, hospitality, higher education and government. When leveraged correctly, ERP systems can save companies time and money, and support unhindered growth.
What Is ERP and What Does It Mean?
ERP is an acronym that stands for enterprise resource planning, a category of software that deals with all of the core processes needed to run a company. While there is no single software solution for every business, ERP is highly effective at bringing business processes together to advance productivity, improve collaboration and help company leaders make data-driven decisions.
How Does an ERP Work?
ERP systems rely on a central database. Authorized users have access to a dashboard that contains real-time information across units like personnel, sales and supply chain management. The software also includes applications that help automate business functions like sales quoting, production and accounting.
How Are ERPs Different from CRMs?
While both ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) systems offer countless benefits to businesses, each has its unique functions. ERP is commonly referred to as the “back office,” while CRM is the “front office.” The main difference between the two is that ERP is primarily used for financial data and CRM is used for customer data.
Deployment Methods for ERP Software
There are various deployment methods available for ERP software, but not all vendors support every option. The ERP software that a business chooses should heavily depend on the preferred delivery model. These include:
Local or ‘on premise’ deployment is a traditional option in which ERP software is installed and run on dedicated servers in-house. The business both owns and services the software licenses and hardware infrastructure.
ERP software is also available on both the public or private cloud. With public cloud, ERP solutions adopt a web-hosting model where data and applications reside in a remote server and can be accessed via the internet or a non-browser application. A private cloud solution is a self-service, virtualized model of the public cloud.
Hybrid deployment combines both local and cloud deployment to support a company’s unique needs. The most common types of hybrid ERP arrangements include two-tier ERP and the support of specific business functions. A hybrid deployment offers several key advantages, including reduced costs, less complexity and greater responsiveness to business needs.
The Benefits of Utilizing an ERP System
Organizations that implement or upgrade to an ERP system can enjoy a wide range of benefits, including:
1. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Repetitive or manual tasks can be time-consuming and can damage employee morale. ERP systems can improve business processes by automating manual or routine tasks. The result is smarter workflows and improved efficiency in the workplace.
2. Improve Planning and Decision Making
ERP systems give businesses access to a wide range of reporting tools that make planning and decision-making fast and simple. Combined with real-time information from a single integrated database, companies can achieve enhanced business reporting, cost savings and better customer service.
3. Supervise Operations Whenever, Wherever
Business information found on an ERP system can be accessed by authorized users in real-time, from anywhere and from any device.
This means that employees across an organization can gain access to the same data, whether working in the office or from home on a tablet or smartphone. Management can utilize this solution to supervise operations from any location and device.
Speak with Hartman Executive Advisors for More Information
Today, enterprise resource planning solutions are increasingly being used by both small and large organizations across many industries. These practical software options can help manage many core processes with just one system. If you’re thinking about an ERP system and want to learn more about how they can help scale a business, start a conversation with Hartman Executive Advisors to discuss your unique situation today.