AN EXECUTIVE'S GUIDE TO ERP SOFTWARE SYSTEMS
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software applications act as the central company-wide information system. ERP systems integrate all of an organization’s departments, divisions, lines of business and geographical locations into a single, shared, unified and enterprise-wide information system.
In order to bind this organizational definition with the plethora of new and expanding commercial ERP software applications, in the early 1990’s some of the more notable analyst firms proposed a more quantifiable software definition that continues to be frequently referenced. This definition advocates that for a business software application to be a true ERP software application, the software must include the five integrated business software suites of:
Financial or Accounting Software
General ledger, cash management, accounts payable, accounts receivable, project accounting, job costing, fixed assets and financial statements
Distribution or Supply Chain Management (SCM) Software
Procurement, sales order, e-commerce, inventory management, product configurator, supply chain planning, supplier management and claims processing
Bill of materials, work orders, engineering, capacity planning, capacity scheduling, quality control, requirements planning, manufacturing flow
Human Resources (HR) and Payroll Software
HR management, payroll, employee self service, time and attendance, commissions calculations, benefits administration
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Sales force automation (SFA), marketing management, customer support, call center and partner relationship management (PRM)
To many of the industry pundits, only when a business application includes the above five core suites in an integrated fashion and leveraging a single data repository (relational database) is the true ERP software definition achieved and the best opportunity to realize the benefits of ERP software possible.
The ERP section of this website is oriented toward information systems which posses all five business software components in a single integrated application suite. Business software systems which posses strong departmental or specific line of business applications, however, do not satisfy all five designated business application types, are not included in this ERP section however may be included in the other application specific categories. Also due in part to the dramatic growth and adoption of software as a service ERP applications, much of the website content has been separated based on the application delivery methods of on-premise (locally installed) or on-demand (hosted remotely).
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ERP Software Definition
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