Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of main business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.
ERP is usually referred to as a category of business management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from these many business activities.
ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materials, production capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data.ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.
The ERP system integrates varied organizational systems and facilitates error-free transactions and production, thereby enhancing the organization’s efficiency.
- ERP creates a more agile company that adapts better to change. It also makes a company more flexible and less rigidly structured so organization components operate more cohesively, enhancing the business—internally and externally.
- ERP can improve data security in a closed environment. A common control system, such as the kind offered by ERP systems, allows organizations the ability to more easily ensure key company data is not compromised. This changes, however, with a more open environment, requiring further scrutiny of ERP security features and internal company policies regarding security.
- ERP provides increased opportunities for collaboration. Data takes many forms in the modern enterprise, including documents, files, forms, audio and video, and emails. Often, each data medium has its own mechanism for allowing collaboration. ERP provides a collaborative platform that lets employees spend more time collaborating on content rather than mastering the learning curve of communicating in various formats across distributed systems.
- ERP offers many benefits such as standardization of common processes, one integrated system, standardized reporting, improved key performance indicators (KPI), and access to common data. One of the key benefits of ERP; the concept of integrated system, is often misinterpreted by the business. ERP is a centralized system that provides tight integration with all major enterprise functions be it HR, planning, procurement, sales, customer relations, finance or analyrics, as well to other connected application functions. In that sense ERP could be described as “Centralized Integrated Enterprise System (CIES)”