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 large organizations and they’re also used within the small-scale businesses. Small scale industries, as per 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 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 a lot of time in deciding the future course of organisation charting and it is due to this 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 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 a number of companies have switched to Windows because it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so forth. Many experts believe if ERP applications is to be employed by the tiny businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications that has many benefits like multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so forth. However, the consumers of such open source ERP applications has to be sure about the licensing agreement, they cannot just run the system with no approval or other legal obligation. Even though there are many benefits of using such open source ERP software, it is 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 way, many advantages are obtained by the business in terms of cost saving, reduction in travel and time, productivity enhancement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such personnel whose charges will be three times greater 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 internet portals in an attempt to enhance the online image of the company. In this case, 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 hence the cost will be little higher. However, it is going to provide you with all the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the required functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages come with various other features which make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There’s another choice available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can get all the required features of ERP software. In cases like this, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted software from third party vendors. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software without any extra expenditure.
Even if you are planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you should ensure that the cost 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 purchasing any software from vendors, be sure 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’s the right time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you want to weigh the benefits that come with an ERP system against the cost 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 company.