ERP definition and overview


ERP is an entrepreneurial task that makes the best possible use of existing resources and ensures an optimal operational value creation process. Planning and control are the focal points of the process.

ERP definition

ERP can therefore be defined as the management task of planning, controlling and using all company resources in such a way that they support the operational processes and ultimately the purpose of the company in the best possible way.

Thus, resource planning is a central corporate function that protrudes into every department and every part of the company. Specifically, this includes such diverse things as the optimal use of project employees, warehouse management and timely procurement of materials, the control of production processes, logistics, the management of information, documents and electronic resources, IT use, financial accounting and liquidity planning, the management of customer relationships and much more.

ERP business software

ERP business-software can organize, optimize and integrate different – or in extreme cases all – parts of the use of resources. The more resource-relevant functions and areas are integrated, the more comprehensive the overall picture of business processes becomes, the more precise forecasts and analyses become and the closer the coordination and coordination in the use of resources becomes.

  • Industry solutions

There are many industry solutions in the ERP sector. Of course, hospitals have different requirements than a wholesale company and a forwarding agency has different requirements than a mechanical engineering company. What could be more obvious than buying software that is tailored to your own industry? Large companies often have their own individual solution programmed.

  • Standard software

A cheaper and often useful alternative for SMEs is highly configurable standard software. This offers the possibility to adapt system parts to the respective industry and even to the individual users through appropriate settings. Slimmed-down solutions are even available for small companies and lone fighters. This gives small players a large software that is in no way inferior to industry and individual solutions in terms of functionality and integration.

  • Disparate versus integrated ERP systems

Not everyone is aware that modern, integrated systems are able to map companies and their processes holistically. An undeniable advantage of enterprise software development is the drill down to linked information: from booking to receipt, from contract to project, from processor to holiday planning, from contact to open item.

Elements of ERP software

The elements listed below are still contributed in many companies today through different programs from different manufacturers. Due to the diversity and complexity of modern companies and economic processes, ERP systems of very different forms exist. ERP systems can cover the following areas (or a section thereof):

  • Finance and accounting
  • Controlling and reporting
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Marketing and sales
  • Project management
  • Product data
  • Document management
  • Personnel administration
  • Supply chain management and logistics
  • Production planning
  • Warehousing
  • Merchandise management
  • Production control
  • Research and development
  • Central considerations for ERP systems

The integration of all ERP functions into a holistic system is still a relatively recent development in enterprise software. Many companies still manage their customers in one system and their finances in the other.

Anyone who has always worked in this way – and usually successfully – is often not aware of the optimization and savings potential of an integrated ERP solution. Many also shy away from the effort caused by a migration to a comprehensive ERP system.

Cloud systems are superior

Companies are increasingly resorting to ERP solutions from the cloud. For good reason: The cloud software can be accessed regardless of location. It is arbitrarily scalable and saves investments in IT systems and administration. And it also enables small and medium-sized companies to work as professionally and safely as the big ones.

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