There has been always hype of Enterprise Resource Planning and a never ending debate whether an organization should adapt it or not. There are many disadvantages associated with traditional standalone applications, that isn’t present in the ERP. But one needs to know why exactly the need is to install an ERP in your organizational system. Following are the reasons why we need Enterprise Resource Planning:
1. There is no easy access of information – Being a business owner, there are lots of questions that he or she has to face, if their firm is analyzed on overall basis like revenue, turn overs, profits, in a day/month/year, etc. If your system comprises of an ERP, finding out wouldn’t be a huge deal. But if your firm follows the traditional standalone application, it is extremely difficult to, first of all, manually do the updates, and then retrieving whatever has already been done, in case of calculating and/or giving stats. The statistics play key role in the overall business performance. If one isn’t able to find out anything within few minutes, or even if he/she takes out certain information, chances are everything isn’t that accurate.
2. Different softwares for different processes – Find out if your Sales staff uses one system for customers’ orders’ entry and Accounts staff uses another for payables and receivables. This is how you will come to know how your employees deal with recording, processing and tracking the information. If Accounts and Sales staff need to communicate each time customers are concerned, learn that other departments work in the same way and this is why you definitely need Enterprise Resource Planning.
3. Too complex IT management – Customizing the already existing software systems, integrating and maintaining them with upgrades every year becomes a nightmare because of cost and time. It takes a toll on the overall functioning of the organization. It is quite evident that around two-third of the businesses are working on outdated systems, and even if they upgrade, it makes no sense because such upgrades aren’t cost effective and flexible solution to the present requirements. Since the existing system is already ineffective, it actually adds more difficulty even if the update is being made.
4. Frustrated Customers – Many a times customers or clients need to contact the firm’s customer support, in case there arises any issue and these issues could be anything from not getting their parcels to tracking their packages, claiming for refund, and so on. If the system doesn’t follow the ERP module, the organization will be clueless of how much stock is there in the warehouse, how many parcels have been dispatched, how many have reached the consumers, how many purchases are being made by each customer, and so on. Moreover on to this, other departments such as Accounts and Sales have hard time in communicating with each other.
5. Difficulty in Accounting – If it takes like ages to retrieve financial information by going through countless spreadsheets, ERP is for sure your immediate need, since it has the capability to instantly implement the query whenever needed and your frustration is spared. The Accounts department then would be more productive through delivering critical reports without any delay. This obviously results into better overall functioning of the organization.
The time which gets wasted in calculating stuff could be rather utilized in company’s better strategies at getting more and more profits, turnovers, and so on.
Which is the best ERP system?
There are countless ERP systems in the market but finding out which is the best is quite a tricky task. As per the needs and size of the organization, different kinds of Enterprise Resource Planning softwares are required.
SAP versus others
SAP is the leading ERP software company which is extremely flexible and is capable to customize all kinds of traditional softwares, thereby enabling all the departments retrieve the kind of data they wish to seek, keeping in mind about the firm’s security measures as well, plus the authenticity. Any company which has a strong customer base and whose turnover and profits seem to increase significantly high in the coming months, SAP must be their first choice. If the company isn’t organized enough, it will gradually lose its worth, no matter how capable it was before.
For small to medium scale industries, SAP seems highly costly and so other kinds of ERP softwares could be preferred that are cost effective and as well flexible in working. It might also be the case that your business is continually growing and has branch offices at multiple countries. SAP seems too costly to invest but once you learn that it is going to save your potential time, although has a huge investment, still would be an excellent deal if expanded future is in the mind and a huge probability of flourishing. Why would one go for risking his/her company’s future?
But again SAP takes long time to implement plus employee training for the initial few months is an additional requirement, since the technology is new and every employee is going to use it. There will always a second thought intervening in your mind like what if my business is doomed! There are some reliable mid-tier ERP players that are more user-friendly than SAP or Oracle, plus their training isn’t that costly. Additionally the employees who are going to use such ERPs are going to learn much more quickly.
One of the affordable and easy solutions to this is Office Karma which provides the efficient Human Resource Management System. It is an automated system that manages the workload by running all HR activities without human intervention. It comprises of varying modules like Recruitment Management, Administration, Company Details, Communication, Employee Self Services, Payroll/Appraisal Management, ISO/PCI Document Management, Quarter’s Management, and CAB Management.
Few other examples of ERP are – Blue Link ERP, Foundation 3000, BatchMaster ERP, Ventus, Entree, and so on. One needs to do a brief research on all of these, plus on his/her company’s requirements as well, before actually deciding to purchase.
Relational Database and SAP
One might get confused with these two terms since both claim to merge everything so that changes being made at one place get reflected everywhere. Know that relational DB is a back-end support which SAP uses to keep its data. SAP is a kind of application which also provides the front-end design for end-users’ interaction to carry successful operations. These operations involve all sorts of queries in any department, whether those are being executed at Accounts department or Sales department, or anywhere else.
The other ERP solutions also use the same principles as SAP, having the user-friendly front-end and a relational database that connects all the minute and necessary details.
Cloud based ERP
You must be familiar with the term Cloud Computing. Enterprise Resource Planning can be implemented using this technique as well. Everything works as it is supposed to, just the difference is everything is installed at the remote server so that anybody could retrieve or access the data from any part of the world if internet connection is present, which is obvious in most cases; quite contrary to the traditional ERP which uses the organization’s personal servers, where data could be accessed within the premises itself.
Cloud based ERP has many advantages. It is not dependent on the organization’s premises and could be globally used, despite of the physical location. The upgradation, hence, could be done easily on the server by the provider itself. In such a case, security measures should be optimum, else the firms that have put their faith on such kinds of ERPs will either rely on it for life or everything is lost altogether.
Author :Ankita Purohit