what is erp

If you have worked in industry since the 1980’s the chances are good that you have heard the acronym “ERP” brandished about your workplace. But you may not know necessarily what people were talking about.  If you have never been employed in the finance or operations sectors of your organization, the chances are greater still that ERP was chalked up as just another disposable acronym amongst thousands of others you have come across.  You have also probably heard of the brand names SAP, Oracle or Infor?  Well these are the brands that are leading the charge of the ERP revolution that has been sweeping industry since the early 1990’s.

If you are reading this post you must have seen or heard of the term ERP and finding out what all of the buzz is about has struck your curiosity.  So what is ERP anyways?  In a nutshell, ERP is short for Enterprise Resource Planning and this business planning software allows organizations to integrate all areas of the operation including sales, financials, manufacturing, and distribution amongst others.  The end result it is hoped would be increased efficiency within the organization by allowing key decision makers to have access to key corporate data at their fingertips. This would enable them to spend their time where it really matters:  making decisions for the company instead of gathering the data needed to make those same decisions.

The foundation of ERP systems that makes all of this happen is the concept of a central database within an organization that collects all of the data whether it be from accounting, the shop floor, inventory, or marketing, and then shares this data easily and without duplicate entry throughout the enterprise in a single package.

It is important to understand that there is not a “one size fits all” ERP suite that is offered by a software vendor.  Meaning that an out of the box software package is not going to be able to address every company’s every need.  There will be some need for additional modules to be implemented or in some cases, some customization to the code of the software to suite specific business processes.  With that said, ERP systems are built upon “best practices” in business and prior to selection of an ERP solution it is often prudent to do a review of your organizations work flow to avoid the potential of attempting to pound a square peg into a round hole.

Equally as important to selecting the right ERP software solution for your enterprise is selecting the appropriate hosting and implementation strategy; but that is a conversation to be had in a future blog post along with how quick should you expect your return on your ERP investment!

We hope that this has given you a high level if not rudimentary understanding of what ERP is.

Interested in learning more about how ERP can help your business?  Essential Software Solutions Inc. has both on-site hosted and Saas (Software as a Service) options from Infor that can be configured to help improve efficiency at your organization.

Please contact as at 1.800.661.4456 or info@essoft.com to learn how we can bring the benefits of ERP to your business, as well as bring your business into the cloud. (For more on that, see our post on Cloud Computing and benefits of Software as as Services (ERP SAAS).

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