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 big organizations and they’re also used within the small-scale businesses. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten million employees and they require ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not need to be restricted 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 these two systems, there are also some major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken plenty of time in determining the future course of organisation charting and it’s due to this exact same reason the government is attempting 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 big and medium scale companies across the world. Though many companies have switched to Windows since it provides better compatibility with many third party applications and so forth. 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 which has many benefits like multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so forth. However, the consumers of these open source ERP applications must be certain about the licensing arrangement, they can’t just run the system with no consent or other legal responsibility. Even though there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP software, it’s 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 location. This can easily be done by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP software. In this manner, many benefits are obtained by the business concerning cost saving, decrease 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 software.
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 businesses have made their internet portals in a bid to enhance the online image of the company. In cases like this, the system needs 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 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 modern ERP packages include various other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can receive all the necessary features of ERP software. In cases like this, they can decide to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted applications from third party sellers. This will enable them to use their existing network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software without any 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 purchase the software, they believe that it will be installed in their entire infrastructure with no additional costs. In actuality, many companies find out to their cost disadvantage later when they need to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, make sure you don’t fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any company today. If your company is still running without one, now is the ideal time to equip yourself with you. As a business person, you want to weigh the advantages that have an ERP system against the cost of implementation. If you think that the total cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.