ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organisation. But ERP systems are not just restricted to big organizations and they are also used within the small industries. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they need ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP doesn’t have to be confined to big and reputed organisations only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale industries 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 significant differences. The government of Malaysia has taken plenty of time in determining 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 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 business.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost 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 applications is to be employed by the tiny businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications that has many advantages such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so forth. However, the consumers of these open source ERP software has to be sure about the licensing agreement, they cannot just run the system with no consent 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 program.
The second option 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 hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP software. In this manner, many advantages are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity improvement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you cannot afford to hire such employees whose charges will be three times greater than the cost 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 businesses have made their internet portals in an attempt to improve the online image of the corporation. In this case, the system needs to be obtained 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 little higher. However, it is going to provide you with all the basic features of a conventional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the required functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages include several other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There’s another choice available to organizations if they would like to save money and yet can get all the necessary features of ERP software. In cases like this, they can opt 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 obtaining the ERP software with no excess expenditure.
Even if you are planning to purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you should make certain 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 fact, many companies find out to their cost disadvantage later when they need to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance expenses. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, make sure you don’t fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any business today. If your company is still running without one, now’s the right time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you need to weigh the advantages that come with an ERP system against the expense of implementation. If you think the complete cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of purchasing the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.