ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organization. But ERP systems are not just restricted to big organizations and they are also used within the small businesses. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they need ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP doesn’t have to be confined to large and reputed businesses only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale industries have ERP systems. They’ve 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 determining the future course of organization charting and it’s because of this exact same reason the government is attempting 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 these two systems depends upon the local scenario of the company or the requirement of the business.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost all large and medium scale companies throughout the world. Though many companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third-party programs and so on. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be employed by the tiny businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications which has many advantages like multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so on. However, the users of these open source ERP software has to be certain about the licensing arrangement, they can’t just run the system with no approval or other legal responsibility. Even though there are many advantages of using such open source ERP software, it is 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 achieved by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP program. In this manner, many advantages are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, decrease in travel and time, productivity enhancement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you cannot afford to hire such employees whose charges will be three times more than the cost of a Windows ERP program.
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 web portals in an attempt 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 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 traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages come with various other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There is another option 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 decide to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system software from third-party sellers. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for obtaining the ERP software with no extra 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 think that it will be installed in their entire infrastructure with no additional costs. In fact, many businesses find out to their cost disadvantage later when they need to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, be certain that you don’t fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any company today. If your organization is still running without one, now is the right time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you need to weigh the benefits that come with an ERP system against the cost of implementation. If you think that the complete cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of purchasing the software, you should definitely buy one for your company.