ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software system is mainly implemented to integrate the major functional units of an enterprise with the latest advancements of information technology. Integration of business units helps in better flow of information and collaboration within and outside the organization, irrespective of its geographical location. ERP mainly targets in integrating three important components of a business procedure like Practices in Business Management, Information Technology and the business targets. This integration has helped the big and medium organizations to streamline their business processes, through the optimized use of assets, ultimately producing multi benefits. The beneficial features of ERP coupled with its successful implementation, have encouraged small and medium sized enterprises to switch over to this software system, to face new challenges in this competitive market. As a result, there has been marked improvement in productivity and profit margins.
ERP software system involves huge software architecture to streamline the distribution of data and information throughout the enterprise scattered in different geographical locations. This streamlined flow of information and communication is managed through the well developed central repository, which forms the core of the ERP software system. The central repository gathers all the important information from the organization and supplies the same to the different units as per requirement, which enhances the speed, performance and the competence of the organization.
Integration is the main aspect of ERP software system. Present day's ERP architecture supports the various major functions like customer relationship management, human resource management, asset management, Finance, Supply chain management including the logistics and manufacturing warehouse management. ERP system has enabled the integration of the operations of the standalone units in a single platform in a coordinated and unified manner. This integration has enabled fast decision making irrespective of the geographical location and synchronizes the workflow that contributed a lot in the business growth. ERP architecture also provides the flexibility to accommodate customized software modules according to the organizational requirement, which can be updated regularly.
ERP implementation is a daunting task that requires very careful planning by a team of experts. This implementation involves huge expenses and is time consuming. So it is necessary to judge the requirements of the organizations first, and then plan for the ERP implementation accordingly. This planning involves five crucial stages like Structured Planning, assessment of the business process, compilation of data, educating the staff and testing and finally the usage of ERP and its evaluation. Any flaw in one of the stages can cause a failure in ERP implementation resulting in heavy financial loss for the organization.
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