What Is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software systems are a combination of core business processes using an integrated database management system. ERP systems track a variety of business resources such as finance and inventory management. As ERP software links system processes together, it leads to more accurate data and business efficiency.
Benefits of ERP Systems for Companies
Although ERP solutions streamline and manage business processes better, the ultimate goal of using an ERP system is business growth. With an efficient ERP system, a company can upgrade outdated software, enabling firms to strategize better business decisions for their future needs.
Precise Business Reporting
When you accumulate data from different departments, ERP systems have detailed reporting tools that will aid the company in daily operational tasks. When business processes are streamlined, everyone in the company will gain access to the same real-time reporting data. With concurrent and updated information in the ERP software, the company can collaborate simultaneously. The company’s secure data will be stored in the same database of the ERP system to streamline information from a single source.
Customer Service Made Efficiently
Using Enterprise Resource Planning software, first contact personnel – such as sales or logistics – can access customer information easily to provide better customer service for their clients. This efficient customer service advantage results in precise order accuracy, faster response times, and on-time deliveries.
Easily Manage Inventory and Costs
With an ERP system in place, the organisation’s inventory is updated automatically and synced with the system, making cataloging fuss-free and effortless. Real-time updated inventory assists the procurement process with vendors, companies will not have a surplus or shortage caused by too much or too little inventory.
This allows the company to have a balanced and accurate inventory without the overhead costs or lost business while concentrating on important areas such as customer service.
Effective Supply Chain Management
An ERP system enables effective supply chain management through robust demand forecasting and a balanced inventory system. This software solution is also able to reduce production bottlenecks and allow for stock transparency throughout the business.
Better Cash Flow and Savings
Using a combination of inventory and financial modules, a company can plan its finances easily. ERP software can integrate business processes like accounting and sales tools to enable better invoicing and financial collection methods for improved cash flow management.
Stronger Data Management and Cloud Security
A company would not need any additional software as all ERP modules work together to prevent a company from installing dangerous malware from suspicious sites. The ERP system also has dedicated security modules installed to prevent data breaches and hackers.
Improved Business Processes
In the long run, an entire ERP system will bring convenience to the company, automating various tasks, enabling smart workflows, and eventually gaining efficiency in daily business operations.
The Limitation of ERP Systems
ERP Systems are a Premium Product
The costs of an ERP system may be expensive due to the third-party software add-ins, implementation costs, maintenance, and continuous training. However, the benefits of regulating inventory costs and cash flow through daily businesses far outweigh the costs and will bring larger savings and enhanced business capability in the long run.
Onsite Vs. Cloud ERP Systems
The difference between an onsite ERP system and a cloud ERP system is the location where data is stored. Onsite ERP systems are stored on the company’s server and managed by the organisation’s own IT staff. Cloud ERP solutions are primarily a service that is managed centrally in an internet cloud where the Cloud ERP software is virtually accessed through a website browser or ERP mobile app.
Costs of Running Onsite Vs. Cloud ERP Systems
Onsite ERP systems are generally more costly as everything is managed in-house. There are running costs associated with owning hardware such as servers, software, and having dedicated IT staff to run its maintenance and daily operations.
Cloud ERP systems on the other hand are typically more cost-effective to run because the company only needs to select the modules it needs and run them through its intranet or secured internet. The cloud ERP software provider hosts and maintains all of the IT infrastructure, security, and continuity of the business.
The difference in ERP System IT Infrastructure
Onsite ERP systems can be fully customised, these customisations are tailored to the company’s hardware and company’s IT capabilities. However, they are not easy to install, upgrade or update. The constant inability to update causes most onsite ERP systems to become outdated quickly, in fact, two to three-thirds of mid-sized companies are running outdated versions of their ERP software. However, housing an onsite ERP system means they are fully customizable and more secure with the trust of the company’s own IT staff without any third-party interference on the premises.
On the contrary, most cloud Enterprise Resource Planning systems are easily purchased and enhanced by the ERP software provider to ensure a company has continuity – as most new versions and upgrades are constantly updated over time. Cloud ERP systems might not be as modular or customised as onsite ERP systems, but their applications are always the most advanced, latest versions of the software.
Although onsite ERP systems (depending on their configurations) are able to work offline, cloud ERP systems are also a lot faster as they are designed to work on high network loads. Be cautious of cloud ERP vendor security, be sure to look for a reputable ERP provider to keep the company data safe.
Varying Speeds of Deployment
The deployment of both onsite and cloud ERP software is almost the same. However, onsite ERP solutions require hardware and software installation that will take longer than cloud ERP software which can be installed via a simple, fuss-free installation.
Types of ERP Software Systems and Modules
At MSC Consulting, we offer several Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP solutions) for your Singaporean business:
Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a dedicated Enterprise Resource Planning software application from Microsoft, the product is part of the Microsoft Dynamics family. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is suitable to deploy onsite or in the cloud. This ERP system is designed for small to medium-sized businesses.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV includes the following modules:
- Financial Management and Accounting
- Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Operations
- Sales and Service
- Project Management
- Flexible Deployment
- Business Intelligence and Reporting
- Support for International Currencies
- Manufacturing Management – Extended
- Customer Relationship Management
- Human Resource Management
- Project and Resource Management
Interested in Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP System for your Singaporean company? Click here for a demo.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is part of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions family and has both Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a business management Enterprise Resource Planning system for small and medium businesses that streamlines business processes and effectively manages a company’s business processes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central includes the following modules:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Microsoft Dynamics ERP
- Microsoft Power BI
- Financial Management
- Artificial Intelligence
- Customer Relationship Management
- Project Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Warehouse Management and Inventory
- Increased Financial Visibility (Financial Management)
- Other Features (Analytics Reports, Job Management, and Reporting, Etc.)
- Premium Functionality (Extra Features: Service Order Management and Manufacturing)
Interested in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP Solutions for your Singaporean company? Click here for a demo.
Sage X3 Enterprise Resource Planning modules integrate all of the company’s business processes and information together in one single ERP software system and database. Sage X3 is affordable and suitable for medium-sized companies in various industries.
Sage X3 features modules such as:
- Accounting and Finance Management
- Manufacturing Management
- Sales Management
- Inventory Management
- Customer Service
- Role-Based Workplace
- Document Management and Microsoft Office Collaboration
- Reporting and Business Analytics
- Workflow Automation and Alerts
Interested in the Sage X3 ERP System for your Singaporean company? Click here for a demo.
With a Sage 300 All-In-One Enterprise Resource Planning system, one can manage multiple locations, regions, languages, and currencies through various entities easily. Sage 300 ERP solutions are suitable for small to medium enterprises. Sage 300 has powerful support for accounting, sales, service, purchasing, and inventory management tasks.
Sage 300 includes the following modules:
- Finance Management
- Sales Operation and Project Management
- Purchasing Management
- Business Intelligence and Analytics
- Optional products and other applications (POS systems, Mobile Sales/Inventory, Process Manufacturing, Etc.)
Interested in the Sage 300 ERP System for your Singaporean company? Click here for a demo.
Recommended ERP Best Practices
Purchasing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a major step for any organisation as most employees will likely be involved in using, managing, and viewing the system. Businesses with ERP systems will boost work productivity when equipped with ERP use knowledge, communication, and collaboration.
1. Establish a Strong Project Team
The company’s project implementation team to install, manage and maintain ERP software is the most crucial part of the ERP solutions process. The project team must be knowledgeable enough about ERP software, IT solutions and equipped with both the business and technical knowledge of the company. The project team needs a representation of all key business processes involved in the ERP system.
The selected team should also have synced Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), goals, and requirements for the ERP system to fulfill for the benefit of the entire company.
2. Organise the Project Management Workflow
Implementation of the ERP system might take up to a year or more in larger companies. It is important to organise the project management workflow to keep all parties informed. When planning the development of the ERP system, it is important to gather feedback or review the system as a team to meet all business prerequisites. The team also needs to keep track of the goals, technicalities, and timeline of the ERP system implementation.
3. Ensure Data Migration Security
Security is a major concern when migrating information to an ERP system, the team must carefully plan while migrating data without any data loss or corruption. A huge consideration for data migration is whether to manually transfer data or to use tools to automate the process. MIgrating data manually might be time-consuming, but the company can use this opportunity to clear obsolete information in the process. On the other hand, automation is a less tedious and faster process, but all of the unfiltered data will be transferred and needs to be reviewed afterward.
4. Prepare the Company for the New ERP System
Employees who aren’t in the ERP system project team will probably not know or understand how the system works. It might be an extra task that the team is undertaking but it is important to conduct training for the new ERP system or prepare a training deck for those who are inexperienced using the system. Employees unfamiliar with the ERP system can refer to their material when they are having difficulties using or troubleshooting the software.
The organisation can also consider having a company-wide support department or an online forum to help fellow employees out when they come across any questions or issues. The project team should still monitor the ERP system after implementation for any future issues or problems.
6. Gathering Employee Feedback
Getting other employees to feedback during the implementation is crucial to revise the company’s business goals aligning with the ERP system. During the review, the project team can also gain insight into how the ERP system can benefit and suit employees from different departments.
Types of Businesses that Benefit Most from ERP Systems
Some industries can have an edge over their competitors when they use ERP solutions, these industries are:
- Professional Services
- Industrial Services
- Service Business
Which ERP System is Best for Your Organisation?
Consider the company’s needs and budgets when selecting an ERP system, some companies prefer cost-effective systems and faster implementation while others prioritize data security.
With a plethora of various modules to choose from, remember to align the company’s business goals together while applying ERP best practices for your organisation. To learn more about our modern ERP solutions, speak to a reputable vendor about your business requirements, goals, and needs today.