5 Typical Characteristics of ERP Software
Tags: ERP   Workflow   UI   Reports  
22/12/2011 6:58 PM

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a business management solution that combines all the functions of a business into a central and easily-accessible database. These functions include planning, quoting, manufacturing, accounts, stock control, order tracking, sales and marketing. If implemented correctly, ERP is the kind of business software that will lead to tremendous return on investment (ROI) in the long term – often, the outlay can be recouped in the first 12 months. In this article, we'll look at some of the common characteristics of ERP software.

1. It's all about workflow
All ERP systems should have workflow as a central concept. The definition of workflow is quite simple: it involves doing things in the right order to maximise productivity. In this sense, having workflow as part of your ERP solution is akin to having your own quality control system. Your first step is to ascertain the most productive way to go about all the daily tasks of your business. The second step is to build these workflows into the ERP software application. All ERP software is customisable so that it can suit the unique characteristics of your organisation.

2. Big-time cost cutting
There's a point in the growth of your business where improving sales is no longer the best way to increase profits. Instead, you'll want to focus on cutting costs. This is one of the ways a great ERP software application really shines. By automating as many tasks as possible and recognising redundancies and inefficiencies, ERP software has a tremendous cost-cutting effect. In the long term, the automation provided by your ERP software can save you hundreds of hours in administration costs every year.

3. It's a search party
Everybody knows how to use a search engine such as Google, right? Well, great ERP software typically has its own search function. While Google searches for information on the internet, ERP software's search engine scours only your company's central database for relevant information. You'll be able to find accurate history on every item within your stock according to its serial number, or other metadata such as date received or supplier. You can track all the products quickly and easily, eliminating unnecessary time searching for information in order to complete your tasks.

4. Happy to report...
With ERP software, you're able to customise reports so that you can figure out anything associated with your business. Because all processes are automated and the potential for human error is greatly reduced, any reports produced will be much more reliable as well. Some of the reports that a great piece of ERP software can typically generate include profitability reports, job costing reports, daily labour reports, contract profit and so forth.

5. The ultimate flexibility
One of the best characteristics of ERP software is its scalability. Because it is so flexible it can grow with your business, making it appropriate for small, medium and large organisations. As you add more staff, the entry-level accounting software that you once relied on becomes obsolete, and upgrading to a more suitable system can be costly and complicated. With ERP software, this is no longer a problem.

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