ERP - enterprise resource planning
ERP is short for enterprise resource planning.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate back office functions. ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including product planning, development, manufacturing processes, sales and marketing.
ERP Software Modules
ERP software typically consists of multiple enterprise software modules that are individually purchased, based on what best meets the specific needs and technical capabilities of the organization. Each ERP module is focused on one area of business processes, such as product development or marketing. A busines scan use ERP software to manage back-office activities and tasks including the following:
Distribution process management, supply chain management, services knowledge base, configure, prices, improve accuracy of financial data, facilitate better project planning, automate employee life-cycle, standardize critical business procedures, reduce redundant tasks, assess business needs, accounting and financial applications, lower purchasing costs, manage human resources and payroll.
Some of the most common ERP modules include those for product planning, material purchasing, inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, finance and HR.
As the ERP methodology has become more popular, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP into other business activities and may also incorporate modules for CRM and business intelligence and present them as a single unified package.
The basic goal is to provide one central repository for all information that is shared by all the various ERP facets in order to smooth the flow of data across the organization.
Depending on your organization's size and needs there are a number of enterprise resource planning software vendors to choose from in the large enterprise, mid-market and the small business ERP market.
Large Enterprise ERP (ERP Tier I)
The ERP market for large enterprises is dominated by three companies: SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. (Source: EnterpriseAppsToday; Enterprise ERP Buyer's Guide: SAP, Oracle and Microsoft; Drew Robb)
Mid Market ERP (ERP Tier II)
For the midmarket vendors include Infor, QAD, Lawson, Epicor, Sage and IFS. (Source: EnterpriseAppsToday; Midmarket ERP Buyer's Guide; Drew Robb)
Small Business ERP (ERP Tier III)
Exact Globe, Syspro, NetSuite, Visibility, Consona, CDC Software and Activant Solutions round out the ERP vendors for small businesses. (Source: EnterpriseAppsToday; ERP Buyer's Guide for Small Businesses; Drew Robb)
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