An Overview of ERP Software and Its Usage in Companies

Today many companies use an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to better compete with their market rivals. This software architecture facilitates the flow of data sharing across organizational units and geographical locations.

An ERP application helps to balance the business functions and represent the next generation planning solution. It integrates customer relations, accounting, finance, manufacturing, inventory, sales, human resources, asset, workspace and any other business functions.

An ERP mainly includes module for work force automation, business intelligence, customer relationship management and supply chain management. Easy integration, custom software extensions, web based application, high-quality ERP support services at the lowest possible cost urges ERP towards commercial success.

Rapid data collection and Input feeding, real-time aid to decision making, integrating distance information, disciplined and uniform approach, invoicing and accounting, maintaining the record up-to-date are some of the benefits achieved using an ERP system.

Employees get the best understanding of the business process using the better access of Information from the ERP package, which eventually improves overall operations and provides faster customer response.

The management processes can be simplified with the successful implementation of ERP. ERP delivers single database through online and real-time platform. It reduces data redundancy, increases personnel's ability and reduces capital equipment maintenance costs.

Investment, training cost, customization and maintenance charge pulls small and medium companies from being familiar with ERP, but larger companies finds ERP a better product as it ensures systematic approach, perfect functioning and strategic decision-making of Management.

Initially ERP is implemented for back office works to track records, but later ERP has been used front-office works which eases customer relationship management. Today not only retail companies but many organizations including schools, colleges, hospitals, and library require ERP indispensably.

Transactional database, Management dashboard, Business intelligence, Customizable reporting,
Internet based access, Document management, Messaging and chat, Workflow management are the major components of ERP system.

ERP providers do consulting, customization and support for the clientele depending upon organization size, features and modular functionalities and delivery time. Highly customized product will yield competitive, user-friendly and easily maintainable ERP software solution.

An ERP can integrate financial information and customer order information, systematize and boost up operations, reduces inventory and regularize HR information.

General ledger, cash management, fixed assets, payroll, training, recruiting, bill of materials, work orders, scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, cost management, inventory, order entry, purchasing, inspection of goods, costing, billing, time and expense, activity management, sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact, call center support and management of user privileges for various processes can be manipulated using an ERP system.

Business Intelligence, The Top Priority For CIOs For 2009 and 2010

Recently, IBM conducted their first Global Chief Information Officer Study. For this study, 2598 CIOs from 78 countries, 19 different industries and organizations of all sizes were interviewed face-to-face and the results of the survey have been released in September 2009.

Does it come as a surprise that the vast majority (83%) see business intelligence and analytics as their top priority for the next 12 months? Not really if you consider how important timely and accurate information is in this type of economy to not only gain a competitive advantage, but sometimes simply to survive as a business.

The study is titled "The New Voice of the CIO" and reveals that CIOs are playing now an increasingly strategic role and are acting as visionary leaders and drivers of innovation and overall company success. CIOs are currently re-defining their role.

The voice of the CIO is being heard in new ways as they are increasingly recognized as valuable members of the senior executive team. And successful CIOs are now much more actively engaged in defining strategies, enabling flexibility and changing and solving business problems, not only IT related problems.

Sure enough, reducing IT costs is part of their business, but also mitigating enterprise risks and leveraging automation to lower costs in all areas of the company. In addition, helping to improve the company's overall performance is a very important part of the CIO's role. With an improved business intelligence and analytics solution, he can provide crucial information to all management levels of the business, said Pat Toole, CIO of IBM.

Apart from data analytics as their highest priority, the study revealed that data reliability and security are of high importance. 71% of all interviewed CIOs will increase their effort in these two areas. Other areas of high importance for the CIOs were Virtualization (76%) and Customer and Partner collaboration (68%).

In economies like we are in at the moment, CIOs are facing a dilemma: How can they reduce costs while improving services? How can they balance the need to influence business strategies with the need to provide top notch IP support?

So, using IT to produce greater business value is vital, bundled with an ongoing focus on lower cost and higher efficiency. This is why an improved business intelligence solution combined with a great analytics tool with excellent visualization is so important.

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