ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning

Short for enterprise resource planning, ERP is business management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business.

ERP software integrates all facets of an operation, including development, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Most companies use some form of ERP, be it business intelligence, CRM, accounting, or an integrated mixture.

ERP Modules

ERP software consists of many enterprise software modules that an enterprise would purchase, based on what best meets its specific needs and technical capabilities. Each ERP module is focused on one area of business processes, such as product development or marketing.

Some of the more common ERP modules include those for product planning, material purchasing, inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, finance and HR.

As the ERP methodology has become more popular, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP in other business activities and may also incorporate modules such as CRM and business intelligence and present them as a single unified package.The basic goal is provide one central repository for all information that is shared by all the various ERP facets in order to smooth the flow of data across the organization.

ERP Vendors

Depending on your organization’s size and needs there are a number of ERP software products to choose from.

Large Enterprise ERP (ERP Tier I):

The ERP market for large enterprises is dominated by four companies: SAP, Oracle, Sage X3 and Microsoft

Midmarket ERP (ERP Tier II):

For the midmarket vendors include SAGE Accpac, Sage Evolution, Infor, QAD, Lawson, Epicor, and IFS.

Small Business ERP (ERP Tier III):

Exact Globe, Pastel, Syspro, NetSuite, Visibility, Consona, CDC Software and Activant Solutions round out the ERP vendors for small business.