An ERP software system is a set of integrated applications or modules for managing a company’s core business processes – including finance and accounting, supply chain, HR, procurement, sales, inventory management, and more. ERP modules are integrated into one complete system and share a common database to streamline processes and information across the enterprise. Businesses can expand the scope of their ERP as they grow.
Cloud ERP is the deployment of ERP in the cloud rather than on premise. The cloud provides an ideal environment for ERP as it is an accessible, reliable, secure, and highly scalable platform for mission-critical software. True cloud ERP software is developed specifically for cloud deployment and takes full advantage of the cloud environment. Learn more about cloud ERP and ERP deployment options.
In accounting, the acronym ERP stands for enterprise resource planning – which is a type of business management software. ERP finance modules offer many of the same features as accounting software, such as tools for accounts receivable and payable, general ledger, expense management, reporting and analysis, and more. In addition to finance, ERP includes modules for different lines of business, such as supply chain and HR, and integrates everything together in a single system.
Most businesses start out using a variety of simple, standalone tools to manage different business processes – such as QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets. Here are five signs you’ve outgrown them and need a modern ERP system.
- You’re spending more time on daily activities. If it’s taking longer to manage key activities, like closing the books, too many disparate applications may be to blame. ERP software integrates solutions and data into one system with a common interface, making it easier for business units to communicate and do their jobs effectively.
- You have many unanswered business questions. Can you easily answer important questions about your business, such as revenue per product line or number of returns? If not, segregated systems and a lack of access to metrics and KPIs may be holding you back. Enterprise resource planning software is designed to address these challenges.
- You have runaway business processes. Are there areas where your processes are getting away from you? Maybe it’s harder for you to manage inventory, satisfy customers, or keep costs in check. If so, your business processes may need to be restructured to accommodate growth or changing priorities – a natural fit for ERP software.
- You have manual processes with multiple data sets. Are most of your departments using their own applications and processes to get things done? If so, chances are you’re spending too much time on duplicate data entry. When information can’t flow between systems, reporting takes longer, errors happen often, and decision-making is hampered.
- You’re missing out on fast-moving opportunities. Are you spending so much time running your business that you can’t pursue exciting new opportunities? Newer ERP systems include advanced, intelligent capabilities, like machine learning and predictive analytics, that make it easier to identify and capitalize on profitable new ventures.