About ERP systems
There was always a debate about ERP's and also about the value they bring to companies, especially to those medium and large. But what is an ERP, when do we need such a system and what are the benefits it can bring our business?
What is ERP system?
An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a system designed to coordinate all resources, information and activities within a company, the result being a full and effective business process. It has a common database and a modular structure. Common database provides a single time processing of all documents within a company and allows each department to store data and retrieve reports in real time. The modular structure allows the selection and purchase of needed modules, but also the integratation and purchase of others when necessary. Modules can operate independently or integrated. It is preferable to work with integrated modules because the power of an ERP is exponentially more than the sum of all its parts.
When do we need an ERP?
The basis for the emergence of the first ERP systems was the need to reduce manual labor and time consumption for each activity within a company. A solution was also needed for the lack of coordination between departments in different locations and the need to improve managers` access to real time information which facilitated proactive management attitudes.
Nowadays, the business world is constantly changing and putting pressure on companies and their managers towards:
Effective cost control;
The need to correctly analyze the costs and profitability per product;
The need for flexibility towards customers and satisfying their requirements;
Data-driven decision making.
What are the features of an ERP?
A customized integrated system can improve or even solve any difficulties that may arise in a business. In general, an ERP responds to business needs as following:
Facilitates the integration of information in areas such as production, sales and distribution, human resources, accounting, etc..;
Improves the quality of customer service, this having a beneficial effect for the company image in the market;
Fills empty space information within the organization;
Ensures the integration of all information not only between company departments but also between companies within a group;
The most efficient solution in Project Management;
Allows integration of emerging technologies such as electronic funds transfer, electronic commerce, EDI, etc..;
Removes current problems and insufficient stocks of raw materials and productivity, customer satisfaction, inventory problems, cash flow, etc.;
Enables continuous improvement and refining processes;
Provides appropriate tools for decision making like reporting, data mining, etc..