ERP software (or enterprise resource planning software) is an integrated system used by organizations to combine, organize and maintain the data necessary for operations. ERP systems merge an organization’s key operations, including the manufacturing, distribution, financial, human resources and customer relations departments, into one software system. Selecting an ERP software package and implementing it correctly can be an extremely complex and intimidating process for many executives and project teams. When the ERP evaluation and implementation is performed correctly, ERP software can revitalize an organization by streamlining and synchronizing its separate departments into one unified software system. When these tasks are done without focus and solid planning, the ERP software project can have severe repercussions that negatively effect the organization for many years to come.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.
ERP software typically integrates all facets of an operation — including product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing — in a single database, application and user interface.
ERP software is considered to be a type of enterprise application, that is software designed to be used by larger businesses and often requires dedicated teams to customize and analyze the data and to handle upgrades and deployment. In contrast, Small business ERP applications are lightweight business management software solutions, often customized for a specific business industry or vertical.
ERP software typically consists of multiple enterprise software modules that are individually purchased, based on what best meets the specific needs and technical capabilities of the organization. Each ERP module is focused on one area of business processes, such as product development or marketing.
Some of the most common ERP modules include those for product planning, material purchasing, inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, finance and HR. A business will typically use a combination of different modules to manage back-office activities and tasks including the following: