Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used by companies looking to manage a wide variety of their every day business operations including accounting, project management, procurement, supply chain management, as well as compliance and risk management. These solutions help to plan, budget, forecast, and report on a business' overall financial and operational performance. Read the full software guide...
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, offers users the ability to use integrated solutions designed for business or enterprise management. It assists with decision making and planning when it comes to ensuring the success of a project.
The main focus of resource planning is to determine, analyze, and understand the effectiveness and efficiency of a company’s resources, including the ways they are used and the workload that goes with them.
ERP software solutions automate the core functions of many departments including human resources (HR), accounting and IT. It is essentially a software system tailored to combine all key aspects of an organization’s business processes such as product planning, development, manufacturing, marketing and sales into a unified system.
Resource planning software solutions help users to come up with detailed work plans. This allows them to track the needed resources, as well as what the requirements are and how long it will take them to complete the plan or project. Furthermore, resource planning solutions allow users to not only track or monitor projects but also to receive notifications that can help them improve inefficiencies and other similar issues.
More importantly, resource planning allows users to find out, in the course of working on a project, whether there is a need to add resources. This includes how and when it should be added so that the plan meets the deadline.
ERP solutions come with a variety of advanced software components, more commonly referred to as modules, which center on essential business processes like customer relationship management (CRM), finance and accounting, production and materials management, human resources and supply chain management.
Resource planning solutions are often integrated with a variety of other business software solutions via APIs. As such, their functions can also cover human resources and financial management. Other capabilities include resource auditing, resource scheduling, forecasting of resource availability, resource discovery and reporting of resource utilization.
Resource planning solutions allow users to view everything in one place, meaning they can see all the updates and reports that will help them determine whether their plan is going in the right direction and following specified time frames.
Resource planning deals primarily with identifying the available and useful resources for a specific plan or project. These resources can range from simple to complex. The most common type of resource is a human resource in the form of employees. Other resource examples are equipment, machines and project sites. The resources used are dependent on the exact type of business and the project.
On a more specific level, there is a range of examples of the resources users need to identify when working on a project: the kind of team that will run the project, the team members’ roles and responsibilities, how many people are involved and needed for each role, what kind of equipment is needed, the purpose(s) of each equipment, how much equipment of each kind will be used, the sites or locations and venues for project meetings and other such activities and the total number of materials needed for the development, implementation, and efficient delivery of the project.
Software solutions for larger enterprise solutions are generalized in the sense that they are designed to adapt effectively to various business processes across multiple industries. Generalized ERP software is a highly flexible system that offers robust customization and seamless integration to meet the demands and requirements of different businesses and industries.
This type of solution would be better suited for a larger enterprise as it can accommodate the needs and is scalable to the level that is required.
There are different varieties of resource planning software solutions. An example is a small-scale, or scaled-down, resource planning solution that caters mostly to small businesses. This is a comprehensive system that works not only for resource planning but also for other management needs. As such, this is a cost-effective option for small and medium-sized businesses.
Small business ERP systems are designed for businesses with a need to adequately manage orders and human resources but are lacking in the manufacturing aspect of the business.
This type of solution utilizes a modular approach with fewer features instead of providing a fully integrated and full-featured platform. For example, small business ERP software may offer based features and the accounting functions with options to upgrade to more advanced features.
Businesses can choose to have the software as a cloud-based solution. Most companies prefer this option because they are often SaaS solutions, which means they do not have to physically install the software on an office computer and be accessed through a web browser or mobile device.
Likewise to smaller-scale solutions, businesses can benefit from cloud-based solutions as they offer fewer upfront costs and the reduced need for maintenance as well as regular updates for the software.
Once registered on the platform, they will then be able to access the ERP software and all the available features and tools included in their chosen package via the cloud. Through remote access capabilities, users can work and store data in the cloud using any internet-enabled device from any location.
One of the biggest selling points of this type of ERP system is the minimal setup and the lack of complex installation processes. These characteristics make a cloud-based solution the preferred choice for the majority of small startups with a limited budget.
Businesses can also choose a solution designed for a particular industry or organization. These are made to answer certain needs of businesses. Users can choose commercial or a more tailored solution. Industry-specific resource planning solutions are often divided into different categories depending on which market vertical they are targeted at.
This type of ERP system is ideal for a large enterprise, especially those in the manufacturing and distribution industries. While this kind of enterprise resource planning system can be customized to match the needs and specifications of nearly every business, the ones that usually prefer industry-specific ERP solutions are larger manufacturers and distribution companies.
This is because most of the products that belong in this category are specially developed to address the unique demands of finance and logistics companies.
The goal of ERP implementation is to help improve your efficiency, streamline your day-to-day processes and nurture a business built around collaboration. If these goals are met, the subsequent results would be reduced expenses and an increase in overall productivity.
There are many benefits for businesses utilizing resource planning software, including:
Resource planning software solutions help increase efficiency because most core business processes such as marketing, sales, accounting, production and inventory management are incorporated into a single centralized ERP solution. As the information is collected and stored into a single platform, it gives all employees easy access to any data they need and streamlines cross-departmental processes and workflows.
With additional functionalities like material requirements planning (MRP), repetitive tasks and processes can be done automatically by the system, giving you or your staff more time to focus on other aspects of the business.
This type of software can also help nurture a collaborative environment within an organization. A robust feature-rich solution is capable of improving communication between departments easily due to the centralized approach when it comes to access to information and core applications. The software allows teams to effectively collaborate with other individuals and teams within the ERP platform itself.
ERP solutions also help cut down operational costs as a result of streamlining processes, improving efficiency and closely monitoring key metrics. Businesses in manufacturing and distribution are among those that can really benefit from using an ERP solution, especially with product planning and other core modules offered by a number of ERP vendors in the market.
Also, with resource planning software, all teams can work closely together, have more efficient workflows and become more productive using well-allocated company resources, integrated tools and real-time data to accomplish tasks and resolve potential issues faster.
A resource planning solution or project is beneficial because it is a good way of determining the necessary amount of workload and activity, which can be used as a guide for identifying what to scale down and which processes to have or do more of. A major contribution of resource planning solutions to small businesses is providing different ways of easily understanding what their needs are.
Businesses of all sizes can also better manage their operations through the software. Using the solution helps them keep track of the most important task and activities like workload volume and deadlines.
Resource planning software allows businesses to use integrated solutions for better planning and resource management. It can help with making key business decisions and helping plan the future of your business.
The main focus of resource planning is to determine, analyze, and understand the effectiveness and efficiency of a businesses' resources, including the ways they are used and the workload that goes with them.
The majority of businesses will require resource planning software to help them effectively manage projects and operations. When choosing the right solution, there are many things to be considered, including:
You should carefully consider what your business needs from the software to ensure that you choose the solution that will help maximize growth and scale your business.
Whether you’re running a small business or a large enterprise, you should know which modules you believe are most useful to your organization based on your specific needs, which key areas of your business processes need some improvement and the particular industry you operate in.
Some businesses may require an all-in-one solution that covers the full spectrum of resource planning while smaller businesses may need a scaled-down or more industry-specific software to help them better manage resources.
Finding an enterprise resource planning software that comes with the features and capabilities that you actually need to streamline your business processes is very important. With that said, here are some of the key functions you need to consider when choosing your resource planning software:
The CRM component of best-in-class ERP solutions is responsible for the marketing and sales aspects of the business. This will enable you to manage your leads, take care of your customers and keep track of growth opportunities. More advanced ERP systems also offer invoicing and order management capabilities.
This component of your enterprise resource planning system is what enables you to properly manage employees, their scheduling, payroll and performance. Human resource management is a crucial factor for any business.
The HR module of ERP solutions allows HR departments and managers to efficiently manage personnel using core functions like key performance indicators (KPI), time tracking, payroll management, performance evaluation/assessment, skills development and training and onboarding and reporting.
This module is designed to facilitate both financial reporting and the proper distribution of company resources. Both SMBs and large companies can equally appreciate the advantages that this function offers when it comes to managing financial resources.
Customization is an important deciding factor as it can affect the efficiency and adaptability of the software upon implementation.
Whatever type of solution you choose, you should ensure that the software is easy to customize and flexible enough to allow you to adapt it to match your company’s current and future needs.
Seamless integration into existing platforms is also an important factor to consider. Every business has unique and highly specialized needs that have to be incorporated into the applications they utilize. When it comes to proper ERP implementation, the product you choose has to have the ability to integrate effectively with other existing ERP applications and business management solutions..
An ideal enterprise resource planning system should blend effortlessly inside your current software infrastructure. The software should be able to cover all of your resource planning needs, including access company data, manage inventory, grab reports and do product planning using a centralized platform.
|API||Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.|
|Budgeting||Planning and tracking capabilities for financial budgets and plans often used to manage funds across different departments or for investor / shareholder oversight.|
|Calendar Management||Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.|
|Customer Management||Manage customer databases and/or track outstanding shipments, payments and more.|
|Dashboard||Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.|
|Data Export||Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.|
|Data Import||Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.|
|Data Visualization||Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.|
|Expense Tracking||Track employee travel and other expenses to stay on top of budgeting requirements and reimbursements.|
|External Integrations||Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.|
|Forecasting||Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.|
|Inventory Tracking||Stay on top of inventory levels, to manage the storing, reordering or production of stock items.|
|Multi-Currency||Support of different currencies for payments, accounting purposes, taxes, reports and more.|
|Multi-User||Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.|
|Notifications||Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.|
|Project Management||Manage projects from conception through the planning stage to delivery and post-project reporting phases. This allows organisation teams to organise resources, plan budgets and improve efficiency in the delivery of project objectives.|
|Resource Management||Manage company's internal and external resources efficiently.|
|Scheduling||Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.|
|Supplier Management||Manage suppliers and purchases required in the day-to-day operation of a business.|
|Task Scheduling/Tracking||Schedule and track tasks and deliverables in form of to-do-lists.|
|Third-Party Plugins/Add-Ons||Offers additional features or integrations built by third-party developers in form of plugins or add-ons.|
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