What is ERP and how can it benefit my business?

Choosing a new software solution often represents an important crossroads for businesses aiming for expansion

Companies want to make sure they get a fast return on their investment and partner up with the right supplier, but with endless jargon out there, businesses may struggle to understand the benefits on offer. OrderWise provide this initial guide to ERP…

For businesses just starting out, it is relatively easy to manage information across multiple platforms and spreadsheets. However, as the company grows this can become costly, time-consuming and prone to problems. This is when investing in an ERP system can help meet customer demand and avoid any data mismanagement issues.

But what exactly is an ERP system and what does it represent in terms of business management?

What is ERP software?

The term ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and typically represents all-in-one software that acts as a central hub for managing data. ERP represents the evolution of software created to streamline business processes, with its popularity in recent years owed to the way it aims to integrate all essential strands of a business. Although the scope of an ERP solution will vary from supplier to supplier, typical functions include eCommerce management, order processing, stock control and accounting.

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Where does the term come from?

Created in the 60s, ERP software was originally known as Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) software. Only really affordable to larger businesses, MRP helped companies balance factory production with inventory management, enabling them to keep stock levels low and reduce the amount of money tied up in their inventory. The software soon expanded beyond manufacturing and stock control, beginning to integrate with other back office functions such as finance, order management and distribution.

Today, ERP systems have become more advanced, offering powerful real-time data whilst significantly reducing paper processes. Although a lot of modern ERP systems can be cloud-based, this can cause issues and disruption if there are no offline capabilities, such as in the case of a server outage. This is why most businesses still prefer a desktop-first ERP solution, which can then be accessed remotely through cloud or app technology.

One central database

With an ERP system, all of your data is kept in one single location, making it easier to find and keep up-to-date with real-time integration. This not only helps staff to know exactly where all the data is kept, but it also ensures full operational visibility, enabling any issues to be easily identified and staff to make more informed decisions.

Improved efficiency

With all the data being collected within one platform and the system doing some of the work for you, you can reach a good level of automation. This enables you to effectively streamline your processes, reduce time spent on tasks, while also enhancing staff collaboration.

Reduced costs

Using one system means your staff only need to learn how to use one system, with costs also being saved through greater accuracy and efficiency as a lot of information is automatically transferred. Additionally, it means your business only has the cost of one system to consider moving forward.

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Increased security

Reduce the risks of inaccurate, inconsistent or lost data by using one system and enhancing data restrictions.

OrderWise software is designed to be used by businesses of all sizes, industries and sectors, using cutting-edge desktop and mobile technology. OrderWise offers the flexibility to be installed on your own server or cloud hosted for easy access online – anytime, anywhere.

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