Implementing ERP in Business
There are several ERP systems available in the market today, but only a few can say that they are the best. This is because there are many considerations that the buyer of an ERP system has to keep in mind. From the product point of view, the buyer must look for the functionality it will provide, but also consider the cost. If the cost is not a factor, then the choice would be about functionality and cost. But if both these factors are crucial for the buyer, then the system has to be customized in order to meet the requirements of the company.
In a recent survey, it was found out that the top five functional areas for ERP systems in Malaysia are manufacturing, distribution, services, information technology and health care. These are the most popular functional areas in the countries which use ERP system. The manufacturing industry in Malaysia is the largest, so it follows that it is one of the most important areas of ERP. The manufacturing companies usually have their own ERP system, but they integrate with an external ERP system. They also have custom ERP solutions to suit the needs of their Malaysian customers.
In manufacturing, the process of production is very complex, which requires a lot of calculation and documentation. The functions of inventory management, warehousing and distribution can easily be integrated in an ERP system, but the question is whether it is still efficient enough. In order to find out if ERP is really the answer to all the production-related conundrums in manufacturing, an internal review of the processes must be conducted as well as a survey of the present systems in place.
The next in line is services. It includes the functions of customer support, sales and after-sales service and even the legal support. Customer relationship management (CRM) is another popular ERP module that has become almost mandatory by all the large firms these days. This application helps the company in managing its customers efficiently by keeping a track of their preferences, needs and expectations. CRM can also be used for planning and promotional activities.
On the other hand, the third section is the business units. The companies dealing with large volume of transactions will require an ERP system. These business units are involved in international trade as well as domestic market. Integration of the modules is quite difficult unless it is done correctly. Integration with ERP software requires extensive research on the part of the programmers. This is because not every ERP system will work properly with each other.
Some of the companies do not incorporate ERP in their ERP systems. It is true that this application is mostly applicable to large companies with thousands of employees, but small and medium sized organizations can also take advantage of it. Smaller companies that do not have any global presence can also integrate it in their business with little difficulty. The biggest advantage of ERP for the small and medium sized industries is that it will provide them with a flexible resource without affecting the functioning of the business units.
Since the integration of ERP varies according to the nature of the organization, it is better to check the nature of your business before integrating it. ERP system will help you streamline all your processes and improve the overall efficiency of your company. But if you integrate it in the wrong way, your efforts may be useless. So you have to select a team that has plenty of experience in ERP integration of ERP applications. The best team would be one that will help you integrate your ERP system as per your current needs and situation.
Before implementing ERP solutions you have to check out whether your company is ERP ready or not. If you are ERP aware, then you can integrate it in a proper way. However there are still many areas that need to be worked on for ERP implementation. Few other applications like SCM, MSN and Oracle are similar to ERP in nature and can be integrated in an easy manner. However, these applications are mostly used by big players in the market and so are quite expensive in comparison to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).