In order for your enterprise business to achieve a major competitive advantage, it is vital that an effective tool that could help you manage the tedious task of your business efficiently be implemented.
The basic idea is to centralize the repository of data to be shared by the entire network to create a smooth flow of operation. The most effective management tool that could help you achieve this is the Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) Software. ERP is a software package which is fully integrated with systems of operational processes. It covers the modernization and automation of all back-office functions such as financial and accounting management, logistics management, human resources, production management, customer relations management (CRM), supply chain management and business as well as unifies them in a single package. This incorporation and automation of all operational processes and flow of information organizes your entire business network and is the key to running your business efficiently and smoothly.
As it once was, ERP software packages are exclusively used only by larger enterprises. But as time goes by, more and more software providers started to cater to smaller businesses (SMBs). No matter of the scale and type of enterprise business you are operating, ERP software is an essential tool that you must acquire to maximize potential income, limit expenses, and guarantee growth in the short and even long run. But with the vast number of available ERP option to choose from, how can you tell which is the right package for your business?
Tier-Specific Software Package
Not all ERP Packages are created equal. Depending on the size of your business and your specific needs, there will be a right package among the many options available in the market that would best fit your business. You must have the knowledge of what it is you need to look for. Assessing your business’ general status is first on the list of things that you need to do before you go out in the market. After that, you can start by understanding the different tiers of ERP software.
ERP packages are divided into three tiers, I, II and III. They are not categorized as good, better and best but simply small-medium-large pointing out to the scale of the enterprise business. You must get this one right as the implementation of ERP software is considered to be an investment and the future of your company depends on the right package.
1. Tier I ERP (Large Enterprise): This tier is dominated by global enterprises or Fortune 1000 companies with offices and branches spread across the globe and employ thousands of employees. The net worth of companies that belong in this tier is up to the multi-billion dollars, that is why operating a business in this scale requires a tailor-made ERP solution built to comply with the specific needs of these companies, a dedicated team, and an in-house infrastructure to handle the entire system and to keep up with the overwhelming number of steps and complexity. This tier is dominated by the leading software providers SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.
2. Tier II ERP (Mid-Class Enterprise): There are many software providers to choose from in the market that cater to this tier. Generally, it is a lot less complex and is not as complicated to cater to mid-class enterprises than Fortune 1000 companies in tier Typically, companies from this tier have a single or a few other locations nationally or across the globe. There are two types of software solutions that are available in the market for this tier, the vertical software application (VSA) for industry-specific and horizontal software application (HSA) which is flexible and can be adopted by different types of industries. Choosing between the two still depends upon the needs of your company so once again, make an assessment of your company’s status. These are some of the popular mid-class ERP providers: NetSuite ERP, ACL Analytics and TRUEERP.
3. Tier III ERP (Small Business Enterprise): This tier is where you’ll find a vast amount of ERP providers as it consists of many small businesses, others that prefer to test the water, and start-up small-scale enterprise operations. This has also become a popular battleground for many software providers that are thriving to get to the top of the food chain. That is why the risk of not getting the right ERP software is high compared to getting it right. Make sure that you look for a solution that is flexible enough and will not be outgrown by a growing business.
Now that you know the different tiers of enterprise industry, let’s go through the different delivery models of ERP software.
Top Delivery Models of ERP Software
There are several delivery models of ERP in the market. But choosing the one that’s right for your business doesn’t depend on how you want it to be, but ultimately depends on how your business needs it to be. Not all software providers support all the models, mostly focus on only one. Listed below are some of the models you can choose from.
1. On-Premises ERP. This delivery model is the most traditionally used in the implementation of ERP software. This is where software and hardware are housed in the confines of your business. Data can be directly accessed and controlled by the management and is much safer if you can successfully do all that’s necessary when implementing this system. However, only Fortune 1000 and some tier II companies use this type of model because of the high cost in facilitating it. This requires having an infrastructure dedicated to running the system and a team of personnel that will handle all data, maintenance of the system, and to ensure the operation of the system will never go down.
2. Hosted ERP. If you think it’s too much for your company to handle all the requirements of having an on-premises delivery model, but you feel that the scale of your company would require a server that could help you manage the continuously growing data generated by your entire operation, then look for an ERP provider that can handle hosting for clients. With this, you will be able to use their software with them doing the server handling, securing, doing back-ups, etc. of all your data. You don’t have to worry about the hassle of system maintenance as they will be the one doing it.
3. Cloud ERP. This type of hosting is particularly popular with most small and medium scale businesses (SMBs). Without the substantial amount of overall management, the cost of being able to use all features of the application is a very fair price to pay. This is a practical solution for thriving businesses. You can choose between:
- Public Cloud. This solution is essentially retained and remotely hosted by the provider or the vendor. Usually, clients of this particular solution pay a subscription fee for their services rather than have them licensed, which is called Software as a Service (SaaS).
- Private Cloud. This is a type of cloud computing that offers almost the same features of public cloud-like scalability, and self-service in a patented design. However, it differs with public clouds as this specific solution is solely dedicated to a single organization. With this, a private cloud is considered the optimal solution for businesses with dynamic and unpredictable computing needs and which need direct control over their environments.
Benefits of Implementing the Right Software Package
There are a number of benefits that a company can gain when they implement the right ERP software for their business. Among these benefits, implementing ERP enhances productivity, increase efficiencies, decrease, costs and streamline processes. Aside from these, below are the most common that are reported by companies who already use them:
1. Efficiency is defined as the capacity to do things right. In this context, finding the right ERP software for your company or business would essentially contribute to performing tasks in the right way through removing routine processes and reducing the need for manual entry of information. This kind of system will likewise modernize business processes and make data collection easier for companies.
2. Integrated Information.With the right ERP software, companies will have a single location for all their data and which, at the same time, are kept consistent and up-to-date.
3. When using ERP software, reporting is made easier and customizable because the software provides enhanced reporting capabilities that give your company the ability to effectively respond to complex data requests.
4. Customer Service. Some of the most popular brands of ERP software offer features that make providing excellent customer service easier. Through faster, more accurate access to customers’ information and history, sales and customer service people are able to interact with customers effectively and this results to improved customer relations.
5. With ERP software, companies will be able to improve the accuracy, consistency and security of their data as well as enhance their restrictions to data.
To further help you in deciding which is the right ERP software for your business, check out CrowdReviews.com for client reviews on the top software packages available in the market.
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