Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is made up of tools intended to facilitate the management of all information that impacts a company’s business decisions. Depending on your company’s niche, you’ll benefit from different functionality available in ERP software. Manufacturing companies have different needs than consulting firms. Businesses that focus on retail require distinct capabilities than those in the financial sector. This article can help you learn more about what functionality is available in different ERP examples and evaluate which might be best for your corporation.
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What is an ERP system?
Before we get into our list of top ERP system examples, we want to address the basics. So, what exactly is an ERP system?
ERP software is a large suite of integrated applications that manage everyday business processes and automate back office functions. It’s designed to centralize and optimize operations with its connectivity, while reducing manual labor.
For example, in the supply chain industry, an ERP system could automatically run a financial analysis and predict future stock needs to keep inventory at a healthy level. This process control ensures that the manufacturing department is performing at optimal capacity and in-demand products are in stock. At the same time, the CRM module could record customer data such as order history and billing information. This visibility can improve sales strategy. CRM systems are their own standalone software, but robust ERP systems come with a CRM built in, eliminating the need for integrations with one streamlined product. In this scenario, a couple of ERP capabilities work together to ensure a company will have the products that their customers want, and ultimately, improve customer satisfaction.
We just demonstrated the abilities of two features, but ERP systems come with several. Below is a comprehensive list, and then next we’ll explain what a couple of these features can do.
- Financial Management
- Human Resources
- Inventory Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Business Intelligence
- Customer Relationship Management
- Distribution Management
- Manufacturing Management
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An ERP system can automate, simplify and evaluate most accounting processes. What can take employees days to analyze and compute can be achieved within minutes using an ERP solution. This type of software can facilitate payroll, budgeting, billing and banking operations. It can conduct cost analyses to better manage cash flow and forecast future growth. Using an ERP product to perform these functions can reduce human error and help cut costs.
An ERP solution can not only help with hiring and training new employees, but also tracking their individual productivity. Each employee can log into the system and enter time worked and manage benefits and vacation time. ERP systems can automate payroll processes, removing the need for an extensive payroll department. It can send out employee surveys and news, provide an online community for employee collaboration and contain the policies and procedures for a company.
Inventory and Supply Chain Management
What begins with the sales team needs to flow seamlessly to the inventory management team. Inventory and materials management helps companies keep track of stock, set appropriate price points and locate items within the warehouse. Supply chain management eliminates the human error that can result in costly mistakes in the distribution system.
Some functionality included in ERP software can benefit the manufacturing department by providing production control, process synchronization and quality evaluation. An ERP system can also analyze the financials of a manufacturing company and automatically adjust processes based on cost analysis and forecasting. The software can automate distribution scheduling that often takes up precious employee time.
We’re going to move onto examples of ERP systems now, but if you’d like to read more about ERP system features, we have that information for you here.
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