What is ERP? For many, the term Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is nothing more than an obscure term.
If you are running a business, we expect you may already be familiar with acronyms such as ERP. For many, the term Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is nothing more than an obscure term for a software system that’s somehow related to a company’s business practice.
However, for others, it is an essential part of their daily business practice. So what does ERP actually mean?
If ERP was given a less ambiguous term like, say, business management software, then the uninitiated would begin to grasp the actual concept of the technology. And if they were further told that ERP is an amalgamation of three of these business software components; Business Management Practices, Information Technology, and Specific Business Objectives, then their understanding would start to become more crystal.
And yes this is not just a software solution…… it’s nearly always a technology one.
The need, say, for a time and attendance machine that feeds information directly to accounts and payroll, and which in turn can be shown as a business report to management. Or the tracking of stock through all stages of the supply chain to the capture of the signature at the end delivery. These are examples of how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is not just a software solution but also a technology one.
It’s up to the business owners to decide what software is specific to them, and what technology solutions are best suited to their enterprise specific needs. An ERP system, according to the technology website tech-faq.com, “Would qualify as the best model for enterprise-wide solution architecture, if it chains organizational processes together with a central database repository and a fused computing platform.”
The fused computing platform they speak of, is the technology part, and the manipulation of the database by users, the software. The organizational processes they reference are those most common to vertical markets. The integration of an enterprise’s manufacturing, financials, HR, supply chain management, job costing, and customer relationship management (CRM) are all processes which all share a common database and allow information to be used by the ERP software, to deliver an integrated solution. The resulting streamlined business processes, include improved efficiency, performance and productivity levels, which in turn can increase sales, turnover and profits.
We at Hybrid Technology Partners, have managed the implementation of many ERP projects. With our software partner, Herbst Software and their business management software system Herbst Insight, we have implemented to SME’s an ERP that brings the advantages of streamlining their business processes and mitigates the hindrances of implementation.
So, if the hyperbole involved is taxing, you can talk to us about any aspect of this mercurial but highly effective software solution.
In the next blog I’ll talk about the role of hardware in choosing a software solution such as ERP.
If you want to learn more about ERP systems and their applications, look at our guide on ERP systems and benefits