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 businesses. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten thousand employees and they need ERP systems that can deal with the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not 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 major differences. The government of Malaysia has taken a lot of time in deciding 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 on the local scenario of the organization or the requirement of the company.
Microsoft Windows ERP applications has been widely acclaimed and is used by just about all large and medium scale companies across the world. Though many 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 employed by the small businesses, then it would be better to use open source ERP software which has many advantages 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. Despite the fact that there are lots of advantages 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 achieved by hiring a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the company and the ERP software. In this way, many advantages are obtained by the business in terms of cost saving, reduction in travel and time, productivity improvement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you can’t afford to employ such personnel whose charges will be three times greater than the cost 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 web portals in an attempt to improve the online image of the company. In cases like this, the system needs 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 is going to provide 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 several other features which make them attractive to a lot of 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 opt to use Windows servers for ERP system or hosted software from third party sellers. This will enable them to use their existing network infrastructure for accessing the ERP software with no extra 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 buy the software, they think it will be installed in their whole infrastructure with no 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 purchasing any software from vendors, be certain that you do not fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an integral part 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 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.