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 large organizations and they’re also used within the small 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 need to be confined to big 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 these two systems, there are also some major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in determining the future course of organisation charting and it’s because of 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 both of these systems depends upon the local scenario of the organization or the requirement of the company.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost all large and medium scale companies across the world. Though many companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third party applications and so on. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the small businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications which has many benefits such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so forth. However, the users of these open source ERP software must be certain about the licensing agreement, they can’t just run the system without any consent or other legal obligation. Even though there are lots of advantages of using such open source ERP applications, it’s expensive compared to Microsoft Windows ERP program.
The second option 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 employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP software. This manner, many benefits are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, decrease in time and travel, productivity improvement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such employees whose fees will be three times more than the expense of a Windows ERP software.
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 web portals in a bid to enhance the online image of the corporation. In cases like this, the system needs to be obtained from remote locations and may 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 supply you with all the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the required functionality. All the modern ERP packages include several other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There is another choice 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 applications 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 purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you need to make certain that the expense of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they buy the software, they think it will be installed in their whole infrastructure with no additional costs. In fact, many companies find out to their cost disadvantage later when they have to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance expenses. So, before buying any software from vendors, make certain that you don’t fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any company today. If your company is still running without one, now is the right time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you want to weigh the advantages that have an ERP system against the expense 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 company.