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 are also used within the small-scale businesses. Small scale industries, in accordance with 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 need to be confined to big and reputed organisations only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale industries 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 deciding the future course of organisation charting and it’s because of 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 these two systems depends upon the local scenario of the company or the requirement of the company.
Microsoft Windows ERP software has been widely acclaimed and is used by almost 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 programs and so on. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be employed by the small companies, 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, availability of new extensions and so forth. However, the users of these open source ERP software has to be sure about the licensing agreement, they cannot just run the system without any approval or other legal obligation. Even though there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP software, 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 location. This can easily be done by hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP program. This manner, many advantages are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity enhancement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such employees whose charges will be three times greater than the expense 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 a bid to enhance the online image of the corporation. In cases like this, the system has 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 will supply you with all the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the contemporary ERP packages include several other features which make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another choice available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can get all the required characteristics of ERP software. In cases like this, they can decide to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system software from third party sellers. This will allow them to use their current network infrastructure for obtaining the ERP software without any extra expenditure.
Even if you’re planning to purchase ERP software from third party vendors, you need to make certain that the expense of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they buy the software, they think 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 have to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before buying any software from vendors, make sure you do not fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now is the ideal time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you want to weigh the benefits 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 company.