ERP, Enterprise Resource Planning has gained popularity all over the world and ERP systems are the backbone of any modern organization. But ERP systems are not just restricted to large organizations and they’re also used within the small-scale industries. Small scale industries, in accordance with the definition, have less than ten million employees and they require ERP systems that can manage the small volume of business. In other words ERP does not need to be restricted to big and reputed organizations only.
In Malaysia, too, many small scale businesses have ERP systems. They have developed their own ERP system and although there are many similarities and differences between these two 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 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 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 applications and so on. Many experts believe if ERP software is to be used by the small companies, then it would be better to use open source ERP applications which has many advantages like multi-tenancy, open development environment, high scalability, minimal cost, availability of new extensions and so forth. However, the users of these open source ERP software has to be sure about the licensing agreement, they cannot just run the system with no approval or other legal obligation. Despite the fact that there are many benefits of using such open source ERP applications, it’s 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 site. This can easily be done by employing a telecommuting staff who will act as an intermediary between the organization and the ERP program. This way, many advantages are obtained by the company in terms of cost saving, reduction in time and travel, productivity improvement, availability of latest software upgrades etc.. However, you can’t afford to hire such employees whose fees will be three times more than the expense of a Windows ERP program.
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 businesses have made their web portals in a bid to improve the online image of the corporation. In this case, the system has to be accessed from remote locations and can be operated from either a laptop or mobile device. Such systems require a lot of customization and hence 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 required functionality. All the modern ERP packages come with several other features that make them attractive to a lot of companies.
There is another option available to organizations if they want to save money and yet can get all the necessary characteristics of ERP software. In cases like this, they can opt to use Windows servers for ERP hosted or system software from third party vendors. This will enable them to use their current network infrastructure for obtaining the ERP software with no extra expenditure.
Even if you’re planning to buy ERP software from third party vendors, you should make certain that the cost of implementation is minimal. This is one aspect where many companies get into trouble. When they purchase the software, they think that it will be installed in their whole infrastructure with no additional costs. In fact, many businesses find out to their cost disadvantage later when they have to spend a lot on ERP hardware, software and other maintenance costs. So, before purchasing any software from vendors, be sure that you do not fall into this snare.
Enterprise resource planning software is an essential component of any company today. If your organization is still running without one, now’s 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 the total cost of implementing an ERP is lower than the cost of buying the software, you should definitely buy one for your company.