ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organisation. But ERP systems aren’t solely restricted to large organizations and they are also used within the small-scale industries. Small scale industries, as per the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they require ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not have to be restricted 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 major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in determining the future course of organisation charting and it’s because of this 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 these two systems depends on 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 throughout 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 applications is to be used by the tiny companies, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications that has many advantages like multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so on. However, the consumers of these open source ERP software must be certain about the licensing agreement, they can’t just run the system with no consent or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are lots of benefits of using such open source ERP applications, it is expensive compared 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 hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP program. This way, many advantages are obtained by the company concerning cost saving, reduction in travel and time, productivity improvement, availability of latest software updates etc.. However, you cannot afford to employ such employees whose fees will be three times more 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 companies have made their internet portals in a bid to improve the online image of the company. In cases like this, the system has to be accessed from remote locations and may be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems need a whole lot of customization and so the cost will be little higher. However, it will provide 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 come with various other features that make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they would like to save money and yet can get all the necessary characteristics of ERP software. In this case, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted software from third party sellers. This will allow them to use their existing network infrastructure for obtaining the ERP software with no excess expenditure.
Even if you are planning to buy 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 purchase the software, they believe that it will be installed in their whole infrastructure with no additional costs. In actuality, many companies find out to their cost disadvantage later when they have to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance expenses. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, make certain you do not fall into this trap.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your organization is still running without one, now’s the right time to equip yourself with one. As a business person, you need to weigh the advantages 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 purchasing the software, you should definitely buy one for your company.