Find out more about ERP Software
What is ERP Software?
ERP is the abbreviation for enterprise resource planning. ERP software helps enterprises to use integrated solutions for business management and to automate the functions of departments such as IT, services, and HR. ERP software also serves to integrate the functions of manufacturing, development, product planning, sales, and marketing. It is used by large corporations to customize and analyze business data, and to deploy and upgrade their processes successfully. Small companies can complete all this with a simple ERP that is suitable for their specific industry. ERP software packages typically offer features for product planning, material purchasing, inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, finance, and HR. The latest ERP solutions also offer modules for CRM and business intelligence. Of late, two-tier ERP, social ERP, cloud ERP, and mobile ERP are becoming popular. SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft are just few of the leading vendors of top ERP systems for large corporations. To help you explore all the ERP features, we have listed the details of the leading solutions in this category. For the sake of exploring ERP functions, consider checking the top apps in this category, most of all Brightpearl which our experts rated as the best one.
Most Popular ERP Software
Best ERP Software
How To Choose The Best ERP Software
Regardless of the size of his business, every entrepreneur would agree that the most critical aspect of every corporate decision is the financial one, because numbers exhibit best the quality of the operations, both the internal and external satisfaction of participants in the business process, and the productivity drivers that deserve most attention. Helping a company deal with these challenges online is exactly what every ERP system specializes in: it uses what you have in a smart way, leading to the desired results using minimal time and efforts.
These systems are in fact enterprise resource planners which can offer a multitude of benefits for process manufacturing firms. ERP software for enterprises calculates return of investment better than any manual process can do, automate vital phases of complex workflows, and develop real-time business expectations based on the quality of your past and current performance. As there are thousands of ERP software apps available in the market, it can be a hard task to select a suitable one for your needs. This buyer’s guide aims to help you out by listing the main features to look for in the best ERP software.
Get to know each product with free trial
It’s always a good idea to start your research of ERP apps by testing a fair number of free trials and basic unpaid plans from reliable vendors. It will save you some time and money because you will be able to experience all important features first hand and identify any possible issues. The best thing to do is to try services that currently have the highest results in our SmartScore and Customer Satisfaction Rating in the Accounting & Finances Software category and choose the best ERP software for your company: Intacct reviews, NetSuite ERP, NetSuite OneWorld, and Brightpearl.
ERP software is welcome by any business trying to plan and manage resources in an adequate manner, or to reestablish control over customers. Generally speaking, the businesses that qualify as potential ERP users are the following:
- Small Businesses using multiple complex programs to manage resources. Managing inventory is extremely time-consuming, especially when a small business with a patchwork of on-premise systems and legal programs which require constant and expensive upgrading. Note that each of the systems needs a separate implementation process, and creates an incredible workload for IT teams in charge of integrating them. This is where ERP systems are most helpful: they gather information in a single database, keep it accurate, and dissolve data logjams to free time and help employees make smarter decisions.
- Medium Businesses facing accounting difficulties. Accounting is the first department to signalize inventory management troubles, because employees there are still relying on paper based invoices which they have to enter manually in order to perform quality reporting. As the problem deepens, consolidating requires more and more time, and medium companies still can’t reach key numbers no matter how hard they try. ERPs, instead, collect financial data under one roof, and give them easy access to it, the same as an amazingly relieving report-generation capacity.
- Large Businesses with lots of customers to respond to. The main reason for lack of control over vital business operations this is the lack of an ERP system which would maintain inventory and customer data in a single location, and would, for instance, disable sales of popular products once a certain threshold is reached. The information will be available to every department at the same time, and more importantly-to involved customers wishing to track the status of their order or to make a new one.
What are Examples of ERP Software?
- Brightpearl: An outstanding multi-channel retail management system that simplifies resource management and accelerates growth.
- Intacct: Very efficient cloud-based ERP software designed for starters and mid-sized businesses that want to manage inventory in a single reliable systme.
- Sage 100 ERP: An advanced resource-planning platform with comprehensive financial functionality that handles core accounting, manufacturing, distribution, HR management, and much more.
- NetSuite ERP: A scalable cloud-based solution for small business that organizes fixed assets and manages revenue and inventory using standardized performance indicators.
- NetSuite OneWorld: A smart on-demand platform that addresses real-time global management for small and mid-sized businesses.
Types of ERP Software
ERP Systems are fairly different from each other, mostly in terms of their features and the final beneficiaries. Still, they can be divided in three basic groups:
- Industry-Specific ERP Software. These systems were designed for large manufacturers and distribution corporations, even if they can be customized to suit the needs of nearly every business. Most of them were specifically created to respond to the needs of finance and logistic companies.
- Web-Based ERP Software. These systems are also known as cloud ERPs, either hosted by the vendor (SaaS), or open-source. What basically happens here is that the company pays a monthly subscription to use the software, and then works and stores data on the web thanks to remote access from any location. The lack of complex setup and installation makes this software suitable for every business, in particular startups with limited budgets.
- Small Business ERP Software. These systems are orientated towards smaller companies that need to manage orders and human resources, but lack a manufacturing component. What they get is a set of limited ERP functions, for instance ones that don’t include automated accounting or customer relationship management. Consequently, small business ERPs are the most affordable resource planning solutions on the market.
Key Features of ERP Software
The ultimate goal of every ERP system is to streamline business processes, and to gain real-time data that can be used for a variety of purposes. Therefore, every solid ERP system should include a list of vital functions:
- Human Resource Management. The most important resource of every company are its people, which makes managing of human factors the most critical activity they have. The HR module of ERP systems enable companies to do that fast and accurately, using functions such as KPI, time tracking, performance assessment, payroll, and reporting.
- Financial Management. This is another key module of every ERP software aiming to simplify financial reporting and proper allocation of resources.
- Customer Relationship Management. The CRM component of ERP systems deals with the sales aspect of your business, meaning that it manages leads, handles customers, and tracks growth opportunities. Some ERP systems are also enabled to deal with invoicing and order management.
- Customization. Unless the ERP system is industry specific (or even when it is) customization counts as a number one efficiency criterion. What this means is that they system has to be flexible, and to allow viable tailoring for your current and upcoming needs.
- Integration. Due the fact that every business is unique and works with a different set of applications, an ideal ERP should be able to blend inside its software infrastructure in each and every case. Your best bet here are open API programs which you yourself can configure to suit your other programs.
Benefits of ERP Software
It is not odd for small/mid-size business to refuse ERP software, believing that they still haven’t reached the state of inventory chaos that would require one. While this may sound as a cost-efficient solution at the beginning, companies underestimate the importance of the ‘Better safe than sorry’ slogan, and the fact that the ‘chaos’ is much scarier once it has actually happened.
So, why would you implement an ERP system?
- Industry-specific ERPs reveal best practices. Unlike most B2B tools, ERPs are intentionally tailored to respond to the needs of a specific branch, which means that by purchasing them, you become an active member of an industry community, where you have access to advice and best practices.
- ERPs showcase relevant information for making smart decisions. Needless to say, you’re flying blind without a system to consolidate your inventory. Your standard for making decisions is the rule of thumb, and your guesswork is the only one to blame when an idea doesn’t generate a desired result. Without an ERP, you’re walking on thin ice, not just because you make the wrong choices, but more because you can’t explain which part of that process went wrong at the first place.
- Visibility is made easy. An ERP system gathers all information that is relevant to you as a team, and to the customers. Having it on board would mean that you can instantly accept/refuse rush orders, control delays, or simply monitor each part of your supply chains.
- Operational efficiency is improved. Thanks to advanced ERPs, you can plan production more accurately, and reduce teardowns and downtimes like never before. The system will also help you control costs and margins, improve DIFOT rates and keep customers happy, and will facilitate month-end closure via automated audit trails and fast financial reports. All things together, ERP will reintroduce you to all strengths and weaknesses of your business. Once all business processes are integrated, a company gets a genuine chance to reach top line revenue growth, as the lack of finances to capitalize on prosperous opportunities is no longer present. Advanced demand/supply planning makes sales more efficient, and decreases inventory’s cycle times to the point where you can benefit multiple times from a single investment you’ve made.
- Demand and supply are not only organized, but balanced too. Each ERP system contains a component called MRP, which is the section in charge of balancing between demand and supply in a way that will never allow suffice/deficit of the stockpile.
- The feature suite is advanced. It is a simple sentence, but it reveals more than everything being said so far. Alongside their basic components, popular ERP systems offer advanced modules and functionality for performing more business-specific tasks. The ideal among them should empower lot tracking, commission processing, landed cost tracking, and support multiple languages and destinations.
List of ERP Software Companies
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