ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all around 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 businesses. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten million employees and they need ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not have to be confined to large and reputed businesses 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 major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in deciding the future course of organisation charting and it is due to this exact same reason 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 both of these systems depends on the local scenario of the organization or the requirement of the company.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by just about all large and medium scale companies throughout the world. Though a number of companies have switched to Windows because it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so on. 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 that has many benefits like multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so on. However, the consumers of such open source ERP software must be certain about the licensing arrangement, they cannot just run the system without any approval or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP applications, 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 site. This can easily be done by hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP software. In this manner, many benefits are obtained by the business concerning cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity enhancement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you cannot afford to employ such personnel whose charges will be three times more than the expense of a Windows ERP program.
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 web portals in a bid to enhance the online image of the company. In cases like this, the system needs to be accessed from remote locations and can be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems require a 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 required functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages come with several other features which make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can get all the necessary characteristics of ERP software. In this case, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system software from third party vendors. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no excess expenditure.
Even if you’re planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you need to ensure that the expense 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 entire infrastructure with no additional costs. In actuality, many companies 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, make sure you don’t fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now is the ideal time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you want to weigh the advantages that have an ERP system against the expense of implementation. If you think the total cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your company.