ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organisation. But ERP systems aren’t solely restricted to large organizations and they’re also used within the small industries. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten million employees and they need ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP doesn’t have to be restricted to big and reputed organisations only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale businesses have ERP systems. They’ve 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 is because of this 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 these two systems depends upon the local scenario of the company or the requirement of the business.
Microsoft Windows ERP applications 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 since it provides better compatibility with many third party applications 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 that has many advantages like multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so forth. However, the consumers of these open source ERP applications has to be certain about the licensing arrangement, they cannot just run the system with no approval or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP applications, it is expensive compared to Microsoft Windows ERP software.
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 hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP program. In this manner, many benefits are obtained by the business concerning cost saving, decrease in time and travel, productivity enhancement, 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 option 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 an attempt to improve the online image of the corporation. In this case, the system has to be obtained 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 little higher. However, it is going to supply you with all the basic features of a conventional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages come with several other features which make them attractive to many companies.
There’s another option available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can receive all the required features of ERP software. In this case, they can decide to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted software from third party sellers. This will enable them to use their existing network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no extra expenditure.
Even if you’re planning to purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you should ensure that the expense of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they buy the software, they believe that it will be installed in their entire infrastructure without any additional costs. In actuality, 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 buying any software from vendors, make certain you do not fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your company is still running without one, now is the ideal 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 total cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.