ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organisation. But ERP systems are not just restricted to big organizations and they’re also used within the small-scale industries. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they require ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not have to be restricted to large and reputed businesses only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale industries have ERP systems. They have 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 due to this exact same reason the government is trying to develop its own ERP system. There are two types of ERP system – ERP based on Microsoft Windows platform and ERP based on the Java platform. But the choice between both of these systems depends on the local scenario of the organization or the requirement of the business.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost all big and medium scale companies throughout the world. Though many companies have switched to Windows because it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so forth. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the tiny businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP software which has many advantages like multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so on. However, the users of such open source ERP software must be certain about the licensing agreement, they can’t just run the system without any consent or other legal responsibility. Even though there are many benefits of using such open source ERP applications, it is expensive in comparison 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 location. This can easily be achieved by hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP program. This manner, many benefits are obtained by the business concerning cost saving, decrease in travel and time, productivity improvement, availability of latest software updates etc.. However, you cannot afford to employ such employees whose charges will be three times greater than the expense of a Windows ERP software.
Another alternative available for many companies is to use web enabled ERP software that is not installed in the computer system on the local level. A number of companies have made their internet portals in a bid to enhance the online image of the corporation. In cases like this, the system has to be accessed from remote locations and can be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems need a whole lot of customization and so the cost will be bit higher. However, it is going to provide you with the basic features of a conventional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the modern ERP packages include various other features which make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another choice available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can receive all the necessary features of ERP software. In this case, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted applications from third party sellers. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no excess expenditure.
Even if you are planning to purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you need to make certain that the cost of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they purchase the software, they believe that it will be installed in their whole infrastructure with no additional costs. In actuality, many businesses find out to their cost disadvantage later when they have to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, be certain you don’t fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now’s the ideal time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you need to weigh the benefits that have an ERP system against the expense 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 company.