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 big organizations and they’re also used within the small-scale industries. 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 doesn’t have to be restricted to big and reputed businesses only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale industries have ERP systems. They have 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 plenty of time in determining the future course of organisation charting and it’s due to this exact same reason that 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 on the local scenario of the company 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 many companies have switched to Windows because it provides better compatibility with many third party programs and so on. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the tiny businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP software that has many advantages such as multi-tenancy, open development environment, higher scalability, minimal cost, access to new extensions and so forth. However, the users of such open source ERP applications has to be certain about the licensing arrangement, they can’t just run the system without any approval or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are many benefits of using such open source ERP software, 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 achieved by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP software. This way, many benefits are obtained by the business in terms of cost saving, decrease in time and travel, productivity improvement, availability of latest software updates etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such personnel whose fees will be three times more than the cost of a Windows ERP software.
Another option 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 web portals in an attempt to enhance the online image of the corporation. In cases like this, the system needs to be obtained from remote locations and can be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems need a lot of customization and hence the cost will be bit higher. However, it is going to provide you with the basic features of a conventional ERP system without the high costs and without compromising on the required functionality. All the modern ERP packages come with various other features that make them attractive to many companies.
There’s another choice available to organizations if they would like to save money and yet can receive all the required features of ERP software. In cases like this, 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 accessing the ERP software with no excess expenditure.
Even if you are planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you should ensure that the cost of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they buy the software, they believe that it will be installed in their entire infrastructure without any 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 certain you don’t fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any business today. If your company 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 that the complete cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of purchasing the software, you should definitely buy one for your organization.