ERP Software Packages

ERP is a modern merge of the components of business management practices, modern information technology (IT), and specific business objectives.  Modern ERP software packages are a massive software architecture that supports the streaming of information across a company’s departments or business units, even those that are geographically dispersed.

ERP software packages allow executives and other upper management to make better decisions based on real-time information about the business’ current financial situation.  Now a common solution in the largest corporations, ERP software is now trickling down to small- and medium-sized businesses.

At the core of every ERP solution is a centralized database with information on every facet of the business.  Prior to ERP’s introduction, information in the largest corporations was scattered across various servers in various business units and often separated by geographical boundaries.  These islands of information worked well for the individual units, but did nothing to enhance and support the overall performance of the business.  With the advent of ERP, corporate executives have the most up to date information on the entire enterprise so that decisions are informed and more accurate.

ERP software packages today are not only for the largest corporate customers.  Now smaller companies can take advantage of the newest technology that merges stand-alone applications, such as supply chain management, human resources, and logistics, under the single umbrella of an ERP solution.  With the strong growth of internet shopping and global customer bases, ERP software has proven its value and prospects for the industry’s continued growth are strong.

The key to any successful ERP software system is integration.  The integration of business processes is critical to developing new avenues of communication and information distribution, which can lead to significant increases in speed, performance, and productivity across the enterprise.  In ERP solutions, integration is accomplished by the construction of a single centralized database that communicates with the myriad of software applications to provide all aspects of the business with statistics and information for better decision making.

Prior to the evolution of ERP software packages, each department within an enterprise had their own applications and systems which did not interface with each other.  With such an isolated framework, there was no synchronization between departments.  This served to slow down productivity and led to other issues, such as incompatible exchange standards, unproductive decisions based on incomplete data, and lack of synchronization.   With the deployment of an ERP system, a company’s workflow can be synchronized and a complete transparency into all business processes is easily achieved.

Immediate Effects of ERP Software Packages

The advantages of ERP software packages are tangible and can have an immediate positive effect on the company’s bottom line.  Despite somewhat high implementation costs, ERP solutions typically achieve ROI within two years; however, “soft dollar” benefits add even more value.  Using ERP software, information can be easily and quickly be communicated across different departments and company boundaries.

With improved communications and processes, a better product is produced making for more satisfied and loyal customers.  ERP systems allow for better tracking and forecasting of future production requirements and provide clear audit trails that detail all information about any given transaction.

ERP software packages will continue to evolve and grow more sophisticated as vendors place more emphasis on mobile CRM solutions that work with smart phones and leverage viral marketing strategies through popular social networks.