ERP software has its roots in the Nineties manufacturing industry, where earlier forms of the applications were
used for manufacturing resource planning (MRP) and computer integrated manufacturing (CIM).
However, ERP has grown to cover all core functions of a business, regardless of its industry sector. As a result, both private and public sector organisations now use ERP systems in some form or other.
ERP applications tend to be modular in nature, sharing vital business information which is held on a central database repository, or repositories.
ERP systems typically carry out financial and business planning functions, which might formerly have been carried out by many smaller standalone applications. Examples of ERP system modules include: product lifecycle management, supply chain management (for example purchasing, manufacturing and distribution), warehouse management, customer relationship management (CRM), sales order processing, online sales, financials, human resources, and decision support system.
One major benefit of having a single modular ERP system is that it can unite and link together multiple processes and parts of the business,
making the business run more efficiently.
By automating various functions, you can also benefit from having, for example, good order tracking, from acceptance through to fulfilment. In terms of the revenue cycle, you can track invoices through to cash receipts.
ERP systems also centralise the data in one place, which can eliminate the problem of synchronising changes between multiple systems, and allows business managers to get a more accurate view of the business’s information.
Having a single data repository can also lower the risk of losing sensitive data, if you use appropriate data security and authorisation.