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 businesses. 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 businesses 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 a lot of time in deciding 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 these two systems depends upon the local scenario of the organization 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 many companies have switched to Windows because it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so forth. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the small businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications that has many benefits such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so forth. However, the users of such open source ERP software must be sure about the licensing arrangement, they can’t just run the system without any consent or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are lots of advantages of using such open source ERP software, it is expensive in comparison to Microsoft Windows ERP software.
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 achieved by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP software. This way, many benefits are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity enhancement, 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 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 a bid to enhance the online image of the corporation. In this case, the system has to be accessed from remote locations and can be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems need a whole lot of customization and hence the cost will be bit higher. However, it is going to supply you with the basic features of a traditional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the essential functionality. All the modern ERP packages include various other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There’s another choice available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can receive all the required characteristics of ERP software. In cases like this, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system software from third party vendors. This will enable them to use their current network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no extra expenditure.
Even if you are planning to purchase 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 buy the software, they think 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 buying any software from vendors, make certain that you do not fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now is the right time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you want to weigh the advantages that come with an ERP system against the cost 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.