What is an ERP: the complete guide

When managing a business, regardless of its turn and trajectory, it is important to complement human talent with technological tools. For that reason, you need to know what an ERP is!

An enterprise resource planning system or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is an administration system that optimizes all operational processes and improves the labor productivity of companies.

Regardless of whether it is the accounting, sales, inventories, production or finances of your organization, these administrative software give you all the technological tools to manage the key information of a company.

Would you like to know more about ERP software? If your answer is “yes”, you are in the right place! Let’s start by learning what are its main peculiarities.

Main features of an ERP software

Knowing in detail all aspects of these systems will allow you to have a better idea about their operation, as well as the advantages of having an ERP in your business.

For that reason, here are six of the features of these software so you can find out if this type of administration tool is the best option for your company. Here we go!

1. It focuses on the internal operation of the company

Unlike other types of systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM), an ERP specializes in the internal functioning of the organization without delving into external variables.

A good ERP prioritizes information related to accounting, financial operations and, especially, inventory, which is very helpful for decision-making and other key aspects to properly manage a business.

2. Provides access to a centralized database

One of the main features of an ERP system is that it facilitates you access to a centralized database where you will find all the information you need to direct the direction of a project.

If you wonder how an ERP manages to concentrate the data, the answer is simple: it condenses the activities of each of the departments of a company and integrates and connects its different variables.

Although it is said easy, to have a high level of efficiency in the operations of your company, it is essential that you apply this tool with the advice of professionals.

3. Capture data automatically

Although it is important that you know the operation and development of an ERP, that does not mean that you have to perform complex procedures to provide you with valuable data and information.

Another feature of this administrative system is that it captures completely reliable statistics automatically.

Simply put, an ERP operates alone; You simply have to worry about getting the most out of the reports it will give you.

4. It is a configurable system

While you do not need to operate an ERP system to capture and provide data, you will have the possibility of shaping it to the needs of your company and management team.

And it is that an ERP allows you to configure each of its parts by developing the software code so that its operation is much more efficient.

5. Structure the work according to modules

To increase its effectiveness, this technological tool segments its field of action.

Structuring the work according to modules allows the ERP to analyze the operation of each area separately and then condense the information in the centralized database.

6. Demand synchronization between departments

When implementing ERP software, it is important that all members of the organization be aware of its use and understand its operation and purpose.

In order for this technological tool to be more effective, it is essential that there be synchronization between the departments and that, in addition, they take advantage of the information to which they will have access.

All right! These 6 features are some of the things you should know before “marrying” with an administration software , in this case an ERP.

However, there are still more aspects you need to know so you really know what an ERP is!

Benefits of having an ERP in your company

An ERP software operates under a high quality standard, so it will undoubtedly be a great help for your business. That said, we will talk about eight benefits your company will enjoy if you implement one of these instruments.

1. There will be better internal communication

One of the great advantages of an ERP system is that it improves communication between different areas of an organization.

By having a centralized database and providing accessibility to different users, this tool breaks with informational barriers between departments and members of the company.

Having a good internal communication, of course, will provide many benefits to your company, such as:

  • Promote trust among employees and a positive organizational climate.
  • Contribute to the dissemination of corporate identity among employees.
  • Facilitate the creation of lines of action in times of internal crisis.
  • Provide information about the objectives and achievements to all workers.

Of course, each of these extra benefits will be noticed more frequently as you involve your ERP in more business processes.

2. Inventory related tasks will be automated

Like all quality technological software, an ERP will allow you to automate fundamental operational processes of your company, especially those that are related to inventory.

Invoices, inventory audits and other tasks that are commonly heavy and repetitive for companies, you can optimize thanks to the implementation of this technological tool.

By automating processes like these, you will reduce the time in which personnel were traditionally executed and, in addition, you will exponentially decrease the risk of making mistakes.

Yes! Implementing an ERP does not mean that employees will go to the background; Simply, those who collaborate in your company should focus on other types of tasks in which human talent is essential, such as customer service and strategy design, for example.

Another great benefit that will provide you with automating tasks through an ERP is that you will be much more constant. What does this mean? Basically, you will standardize the order delivery time and the quality of your products or services.

Ready! Now that you know why an ERP is a great instrument for managing your inventories, you should know what are the main features that you should look for in your system in this matter:

  • Multi branch and multi warehouse: ability to establish the minimum and maximum stock of your products, as well as carry out transfers.
  • Transfers and product adjustments: possibility of monitoring the relocation of your products and having easy access to data such as total entries, exits, adjustments, sales and all movements.
  • Always updated stocks: opportunity to know where your goods are located from when they enter your warehouse until they are delivered to your customers.
  • Import from Excel: the ability to import all the information you need from the items you sell without having to capture all your data manually.

By not having an instrument to help you with all the aforementioned tasks, you can lose a lot of money in the company, which will keep you from fulfilling your goals.

3. Duplicate tasks will be eliminated

Duplicate tasks can become a real headache for companies that do not include business management information systems.

Luckily, starting to use an ERP will show you the way to minimize repeated activities exponentially.

When there is no technological system that provides reliable and centralized information, the departments usually operate independently and, often, collaborators from different areas of the organizations make reports, records or other tasks without knowing that someone else has already done them, which It translates into a waste of time and lack of operational efficiency.

It is possible that if you implement an ERP in your business, many of these tasks are no longer necessary, since the software will be responsible for providing certain data and information, and the different sections of the company may be responsible for specific tasks that do not They run the risk of doubling.

4. Your company will have a system adapted to it

One of the characteristics that makes an ERP one of the best information systems is that it fits the companies in which it is implemented.

Before launching an ERP within your business, the supplier and his team of specialists will perform a comprehensive analysis that will allow them to identify the unique characteristics of the company.

That way, you can accommodate the tool to the real needs of your business.

In addition, as mentioned before, an ERP has the ability to segment work in modules. This feature allows the software to develop the modules that your organization needs at a given time and even grow and evolve in parallel with it.

Some of the factors that influence what type of system you need are:

  • The maximum number of sales movements you have per month.
  • The amount of electronic invoices you issue.
  • The users that you will require within the software.
  • Your product catalog.
  • The projection of your business in the short, medium and long term.

Of course, your provider can offer you a change of plan whenever necessary.

5. There will be greater control of the operation

Although inventories are the main field of action, an ERP also facilitates the monitoring of production operational processes.

This means that the information it provides can help you detect failures at any time during the product development cycle, from when the raw material arrives at the warehouse until the item is produced.

This traceability, as the series of procedures that help to follow the development and evolution of a product is known, will give you many advantages over your competitors such as: having transparency regarding the amount of materials used at the time of manufacture true well and optimize logistics.

6. You will optimize the use of your monetary resources

Business management demands very specific tasks that include uncertainty, such as the visualization of future scenarios.

A company that aspires to endure over time and improve its market positioning, needs a management team capable of making short, medium and long-term planning.

If you implement ERP software in your business, these schedules will be much more effective, since this tool will make it easier for you to draw realistic scenarios.

When making estimates, the data and information provided by an ERP are of great help and reduce, exponentially, the risk of designing strategies based on scenarios that will not happen, since it allows you to have a detailed knowledge of the flow of cash and capital that your company has.

In addition, you should not worry if you buy or sell in foreign currency, because with an administration system of this type, you can keep precise control of all your operations regardless of the exchange rate in which they are made. Similarly, you will have easy access to all deposits, withdrawals and transfers that your company generates.

7. Increase the effectiveness of immediate decision making

Having an ERP, in addition to helping you improve planning, will allow you to make accurate immediate decisions that will be beneficial for your business.

The centralized database offered by an ERP has an important feature: it can be displayed in real time. That way, different departments will always have accurate data at hand when it comes to designing an action plan.

For this reason, this technological tool is very helpful in times of contingency or when unexpected events arise.

8. You will improve the management of your income

Having a good management and control of the collection of your company is vital so that it can exist and subsequently expand.

With this in mind, an ERP should support you with strategic tools that help you coordinate your sales in the most effective way.

An example of this is the catalogs of prospects and clients, since they allow you to have access to all the information of those who come to you and you can offer a personal and close attention.

Also, your administration system should make it easy for you to make quotes and orders quickly, because you never know when you can be about to close a deal.

Of course, the ideal is that if you manage to close a sale, your management tool also allows you to send referrals and issue invoices with fiscal validity. Additionally, it should allow you to consult all the data about your transactions and create reports by seller, branch, product category, among other options.

In conclusion, it is an extremely valuable tool that, thanks to its benefits, will reward you and multiply the money you invested to apply it.

Of course, enjoying those eight benefits will be great for your business, but for you to get these advantages, it is also important that you choose the right type of ERP.

Although all ERP models are beneficial, you need to know them so you know which one is most likely to adapt to the characteristics of your company, so do not forget to read the next section!

ERP types

All right! Now that you know what an ERP is and what its characteristics and benefits are, the time has come for you to know about the variety of options that exist in the market.

If we take into account its installation and design, we can segment these systems into three groups: custom or predefined, local ERP and those in the cloud.

Custom or predefined ERP

Do you remember that we mentioned that ERPs fit the characteristics of business? All right! Well, in addition to adapting, there is also the possibility that they are created to suit an organization.

There are specialists who create ERP systems from scratch so that each of its properties and functionalities match the particularities of a particular company.

To apply this type of system, professionals will use ideal software for the size of your business and its characteristics.

Local ERP

One of the ways to implement an ERP software is to install the instrument locally, that is, in the computer network of the business in which it will be applied.

This allows that the ERP can be used from the different technological equipment of the company, and that the personnel of several departments can access the system at the same time without it being a problem.

However, these attractive features are not unique to local ERPs, as cloud-hosted tools also offer these possibilities.

ERP in the cloud

This kind of ERP, perhaps, is the most sophisticated and, therefore, it is a great idea to apply it to your business. And it has a very clear advantage: it can be used from any place that has an Internet connection, since it is hosted on a specific server.

In short, the operation of this type of systems transcends the barriers of the company. If you apply it, you will be able to access valuable data and information from your home or at the hotel where you spend a few days on vacation.

Knowing these types of ERP systems will allow you to choose the right one for your business.

Before choosing one, analyze which one adapts to the characteristics of your company and, above all, it will help you improve the management of your finances and your inventories.

In addition to specific needs; The volume of work, the budget and the number of departments are other factors that you should assess before choosing an ERP system.

Luckily, a company specialized in the application of computer systems can provide you with the advice you need in this regard. That way, you won’t run the risk of making a wrong decision.

Remember that a thorough analysis and diagnosis of your company is part of the service of implementing an ERP system.

In addition, it is also important that both you and the employees receive an induction from a specialist that allows them to learn how to use an ERP.

After the experts thoroughly evaluate your company, choose an appropriate ERP system and the staff knows how to use it, the next step is to know what the support and follow-up plan that the professionals you hired will offer.

For this system to provide good results in the short, medium and long term, it is vital to have the help of specialized people who are responsible for updating it from time to time and, in addition, offer support if any eventuality arises.

The implementation of an ERP is part of a business management that involves the members of the organization and the specialists who developed and applied the system.

For that reason, it is not only necessary to adopt this technology by the internal members of the organization, but it is also important that the company responsible for implementing the ERP is close and offers you a follow-up service.

If you go to a computer services company that has these characteristics, your business will be the next success story of ERP systems.

ERPs have been very helpful for many companies. An example of this are the success stories of the companies Via Pet, Novaideas and Artromed.

According to the management of this business of the lodging industry, the autonomy of the management control department, the appropriate decision making and the total control of the state of the rooms were some of the benefits they enjoyed after the application of this system .

Now you know! In addition to knowing what an ERP is, it is important that you choose the right specialists to implement this system that can provide great benefits to your business.