ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organisation. But ERP systems aren’t solely restricted to big organizations and they are also used within the small businesses. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten million employees and they require ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not need to be restricted to big and reputed businesses only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale businesses have ERP systems. They’ve developed their own ERP system and although there are many similarities and differences between these two systems, there are also some major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken plenty of time in deciding the future course of organisation charting and it’s because of this same reason that the government is attempting to develop its own ERP system. There are two different types of ERP system – ERP based on Microsoft Windows platform and ERP based on the Java platform. But the choice between these two systems depends upon the local scenario of the company or the requirement of the company.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost all big and medium scale companies across the world. Though a number of companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so forth. Many experts believe if ERP applications is to be used by the small businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP software that has many benefits like multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so on. However, the consumers of such open source ERP software has to be sure about the licensing arrangement, they can’t just run the system with no approval or other legal obligation. Even though there are lots of advantages of using such open source ERP software, it’s expensive compared to Microsoft Windows ERP program.
The second choice is to use either Blackberry software or Apple iPhone based smartphones for accessing the ERP system from a remote location. This can easily be done by hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP software. This way, many benefits are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in travel and time, productivity improvement, availability of latest software updates etc.. However, you can’t afford to hire such personnel whose fees will be three times more than the cost of a Windows ERP software.
Another option available for many companies is to use web enabled ERP software that’s not installed in the computer system on the local level. A number of companies have made their internet portals in an attempt to enhance the online image of the company. In cases like this, the system has to be accessed from remote locations and may be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems need a lot of customization and hence the cost will be bit higher. However, it is going to provide you with the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages include various other features which make them attractive to many companies.
There is another choice available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can get all the required characteristics of ERP software. In cases like this, they can decide to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted software from third party sellers. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software without any extra expenditure.
Even if you are planning to purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you need to make certain that the expense of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they buy the software, they believe that it will be installed in their whole infrastructure without any additional costs. In actuality, many companies find out to their cost disadvantage later when they need to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance expenses. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, be certain you do not fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any company today. If your organization is still running without one, now is the ideal time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you want to weigh the benefits that have an ERP system against the cost of implementation. If you think the complete cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.