ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all around the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organization. But ERP systems are not just restricted to big organizations and they are also used within the small-scale businesses. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they need ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP doesn’t need to be confined to big and reputed organizations only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale businesses have ERP systems. They have developed their own ERP system and although there are many similarities and differences between both of these systems, there are also some significant differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in deciding the future course of organization charting and it is due to this exact 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 on the local scenario of the company or the requirement of the business.
Microsoft Windows ERP applications has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost all big and medium scale companies throughout the world. Though a number of companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third party applications and so forth. Many experts feel that if ERP applications is to be employed by the tiny companies, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications which has many benefits such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so on. However, the consumers of these open source ERP software must be certain about the licensing agreement, they cannot just run the system with no consent or other legal responsibility. Even though there are many advantages of using such open source ERP software, it is expensive compared to Microsoft Windows ERP software.
The second choice is to use either Blackberry software or Apple iPhone based smartphones for accessing the ERP system from a remote site. This can easily be done by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP program. This manner, many benefits are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity improvement, availability of latest software updates etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such personnel whose fees will be three times more than the cost of a Windows ERP program.
Another alternative 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 improve 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 require a whole lot of customization and hence the cost will be little higher. However, it is going to supply you with the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the modern ERP packages include various other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can receive 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 vendors. This will allow them to use their existing network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software without any extra expenditure.
Even if you are planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you need to ensure that the cost of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they purchase the software, they think that it will be installed in their whole infrastructure without any additional costs. In fact, many businesses find out to their cost disadvantage later when they need to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, be sure that you don’t fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your company is still running without one, now’s the ideal time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you want to weigh the benefits that come with an ERP system against the cost of implementation. If you think that the complete cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.