The WHAT, WHEN and HOW of ERP Software

January 16th, 2016

The WHAT, WHEN and HOW of ERP Software

You've probably heard of ERP Software but do you actually know what it means?

It is important to understand what you're getting into before you choose ERP software. Confusing lingo and buzzwords don't help anyone, so we try to make it our mission to make it as clear and easy to understand as possible.

ERP Software

The WHAT: What does ERP actually mean?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. But that doesn't really help or tell you anything about what it does. In short ERP is business management software that lets your business integrate applications and automate business functions. ERP can be used to collect, store, manage and interpret data from different parts of your business, including operations, planning, development, HR, payroll, accounts and even sales and marketing. It gives an integrated view of core business processes, often in real-time, facilitating information flow between the various departments of a business. Because every business is different, ERP software can be customised, with a range of application to suit your needs and processes. 

The WHEN: The history of ERP

The acronym ERP was first used way back when in the 1990's. It was seen as an extension of existing Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software. ERP experienced rapid growth in the 1990s, moving beyond manufacturing to be used in all types of business, including not-for-profits and government organisations. Faced with potential software issues at the millennium, many companies chose to replace old systems with ERP just before the year 2000. Later, as more companies began to take advantage of web-based systems and mobile technology, ERP adapted to fit. 

The HOWS: How does ERP software actually work?

All ERP software is not created equal, but most systems do share some commonalities. The one feature all ERP systems include is a shared database used by different business units. This common database allows different people across the business - whether in sales, accounting, HR or anywhere else - to access to the same information when making business decisions. Increasingly, ERP software also offers automated reporting, giving businesses accurate information in real-time. This makes it easier to plan for the future and make good business decisions. Newer systems, like Greentree4, include a user-friendly portal or dashboard where employees can access instantly information about key performance metrics.

ERP business benefits

It's not just about data, ERP also allows companies to automate processes and streamline functions. This is a good thing for obvious reasons, it gives staff more time to do work that actually grows the business and decreases the chance of human error. It’s about giving people the tools to do their jobs as quickly and effectively as possible. 

The Why: Why is ERP right for your business?

As ERP continues to change and adapt with mobile functionality and cloud based data it continues to be a valuable tool for hundreds of thousands of companies all over the world. Whatever your business does, the right ERP system can transform the way you work, improve efficiency and increase your profits. It really is that simple. Contact us today to find out what ERP solutions will work best for you.