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-scale industries. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they require ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP doesn’t have to be restricted to large and reputed organizations 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 both of these systems, there are also some significant differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in determining the future course of organization charting and it is due to this exact 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 on the local scenario of the organization or the requirement of the company.
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 since it provides better compatibility with many third-party programs and so forth. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the tiny companies, then it would be better to use open source ERP software that has many benefits such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so on. However, the consumers of such open source ERP software has to be certain about the licensing arrangement, they cannot just run the system without any approval or other legal responsibility. Even though there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP software, it is expensive in comparison 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 employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP software. In this way, many advantages are obtained by the company 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 employees whose fees will be three times greater than the expense of a Windows ERP program.
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 internet portals in an attempt to improve the online image of the company. 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 need a whole 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 various other features which make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they would like to save money and yet can receive all the necessary characteristics of ERP software. In this case, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system 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 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 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 costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, make sure you do not fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now’s the right time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you need to weigh the benefits that come with 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 purchasing the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.