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-scale industries. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten million employees and they need ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not have to be confined to big and reputed businesses 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 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 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 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 just about all large and medium scale companies across the world. Though a number of companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third party applications and so forth. Many experts feel that if ERP software is to be used by the small businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP software which has many advantages 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 can’t just run the system with no approval or other legal obligation. Even though there are lots of advantages of using such open source ERP applications, it’s 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 done by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP program. This way, many benefits are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in travel and time, productivity improvement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you cannot afford to hire such personnel whose charges 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 enhance the online image of the corporation. In cases like this, the system has to be obtained from remote locations and may 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 the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the required functionality. All the modern ERP packages include several other features that make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another choice 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 system or hosted applications from third party sellers. This will allow them to use their existing network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no extra expenditure.
Even if you are planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you should 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 believe it will be installed in their entire infrastructure without any 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, be sure you do not 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 is the right time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you want to weigh the benefits that have 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 buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.