You are the owner of a small to medium-sized business (SMB), and you are searching for a computer system that will provide your organisation with the information that you want.
People have told you that you should have an ERP system.
What exactly does this entail?
You are surely aware that it is an abbreviation for “Enterprise Resource Planning,” which is about the most befuddling term that can be given to a system of this kind.
The following is a definition that is provided by Wikipedia; it is more technical than it is instructive.
The term “enterprise resource planning” (ERP) refers to a category of business management software that is typically comprised of a suite of integrated applications. This type of software enables an organisation to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from a wide variety of business activities.
Now, let’s get right down to business.
A single system that can manage all of your company’s requirements is known as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. It should take care of all the charge-out rate computations, as well as the invoicing and project accounting, if you are charging time. The majority of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems may be designed to handle several facets of your organisation, such as an inventory, a property management company, or the requirement to keep track of client relationships. All of this in a one package.
That is what everyone is talking about right now. Having one system that can handle all of your processing demands rather than having a variety of programmes that each perform a specific function is called a unified processing system.
What does it look like to have a collection of systems that specialise in different areas? Using a system similar to Harvest for time input, Elite for time billing, and Sales Force for customer relationship management. The fact that the same information is stored in more than one place is a disadvantage of this arrangement. For instance, customer relationship management (CRM) software provides a list of customers, and so does time billing software. In the same system that you use to record the amount of hours worked by staff, you may also keep a list of customers.
Do duplicates of the same data eventually fall behind? Always. Having distinct systems not only makes it more difficult to maintain them in sync, but it also increases the likelihood of making mistakes that need more effort to fix.
The next step is the transmission of data. The data from the time sheets need to be transferred into the system that manages time billing. It is necessary to re-enter into the billing system the information pertaining to a sale that is stored in the CRM system (such as the project budget and conditions). This is one of the many potential sources of inaccuracy. In the event that it is determined that the system that generates the data requires an update, the transfer will need to be performed again. This is a procedure that is prone to mistake, and there is a possibility that the newly created data will not be sent or will be duplicated. All of this results in issues, the resolution of which takes both time and money.
However, a large number of businesses choose this path since they are unable to locate a system that fulfils all of their requirements. Or, it’s possible that when the company was younger, they just used a single plan, but as they grew, they added more and more distinct systems.
These issues are rendered moot by the presence of an ERP system. Because everything is contained inside the same system, there is no need to move the data from one system to another. Additionally, because there is only one copy of the data, there is not the same challenge associated with maintaining the consistency of the data sets.
In order for you to meet the requirements of modern company, you need invest in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that can be easily customised. When you need the fresh report, you must have it immediately at your disposal.
An ERP system, when it is functioning properly, may provide you with all the information you need to operate your company with the least amount of effort on your part.
However, take precautions, since problems with the ERP deployment might end up costing you a lot of money and harming your company. It is estimated that over half of all ERP deployments will ultimately fail in major ways. The vast majority of ERP system installations run far longer and cost significantly more than originally planned.
Does this imply that you should instead employ a collection of specialist applications rather than an enterprise resource planning system?
Absolutely not. The way to proceed is to invest in a solid ERP system. Putting together a work flow by piecing together several systems is a solution for all of the problems that have been discussed above; nevertheless, it will not provide you with the convenience of use and consolidated information that a single system would.
So make an informed decision. Don’t put too much stock in every ad. They are willing to make any commitment to anybody. You are the one who will be forced to tolerate the system for an indefinite amount of time. If at all feasible, acquire a sample of your unique system so that you can test it out with workers and receive honest feedback on how they feel about it. Diagrams drawn on whiteboards, PowerPoint presentations, and lists of requirements do not provide much assistance. You can’t test anything until you have an actual system that’s already up and running; everything else is just talk.