HR Glossary  >   Enterprise Resource Planning – ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is designed to manage and optimise business operations and processes. While large corporations have long utilized ERP to manage their processes, an increasing number of small firms are adopting it to improve efficiency and long-term growth.

The statistics prove that from 2009 to 2023 there is a significant increase in all the companies investing in ERP software. If you want to know more about what is erp, In this article, you'll learn more about ERP, including its benefits, how it works, and which sectors already utilize it.

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise resource planning software enables firms to manage day-to-day activities such as inventories and accounting. ERP can benefit your organisation by serving as a centralised, shared database that cross-functional teams can use for their requirements.

Every firm has several stakeholders working together to make things function. However, spreading essential information across disparate platforms becomes difficult. For example, the accounting and FP&A departments could use separate spreadsheets with distinct spending monitoring figures.

ERP systems centralise data, provide cross-departmental visibility, allow for efficient analysis, handle data discrepancies, and encourage process improvement. This contributes to cost savings and increased productivity as staff spend less time searching for necessary data.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a form of software that organisations use to handle day-to-day business tasks like accounting, purchasing, project management, risk management, compliance, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP package also contains enterprise performance management software, which assists organisations in planning, budgeting, forecasting, and reporting on their financial results.

Why is Enterprise Resource Planning Significant for Business?

ERP systems have become essential for firms that want to make the best use of their resources. They may assist executives in reallocating human and financial capital, as well as developing more efficient fundamental company procedures that save money while maintaining quality and performance.

ERP systems are also useful for planning and coordination. Employees can view detailed information about current inventory and customer orders, compare supplier purchase orders, and estimate future demand. If necessary, they can make adjustments to avoid complications. The software also promotes communication and collaboration by allowing employees to monitor the state of other departments and guide their own decisions.

Different departments use it for different purposes as Finance uses ERP to close books, Sales uses ERP to manage orders from clients, Accounts needs ERP to pay suppliers properly and on time, Logistics uses ERP to deliver the appropriate goods and services to customers on time, and Management uses erp to gain real-time visibility into the organisation's performance to make informed decisions. The ERP system allows banks and shareholders to access financial details.

Besides being a complete data source, an ERP system delivers reports and analytics that can significantly impact the organisation. ERP executives like the capacity to convert massive amounts of data into charts and graphs that clearly explain trends and assist model potential outcomes.

Benefits of using ERP

When considering the benefits of enterprise resource planning, the following are listed:

Workflow Transparency

ERP systems' most compelling value proposition is its ability to save your organisation money in a variety of ways. By automating numerous easy, repetitive operations, you reduce errors and the need to hire new staff at the same rate as the organisation grows. Cross-company insight makes it easier to identify inefficiencies that drive up costs, resulting in better resource deployment, including labour, inventory, and equipment. And with cloud erp, businesses may immediately discover incremental value from the software that exceeds their spending.

Business risk management

Mobility and ERP technology can lower risk in several ways. Granular access control and predefined approval protocols can improve financial controls and decrease fraud. Furthermore, more precise data reduces errors that could result in missed sales or fines. Finally, knowing the state of the entire operation allows staff to respond rapidly to dangers posed by business disruptions.

Advanced data security

ERP vendors prioritise data security by safeguarding vital and sensitive information. This care is more crucial than ever as the number and scale of cyberattacks grow. Vendor-managed cloud ERP software, in particular, employs cutting-edge security mechanisms to protect your firm from a harmful attack.

Reporting and Analysis

Data is only useful if businesses can analyse and comprehend it. Leading systems provide powerful reporting and analytics tools that enable users to track KPIs and present any metrics or comparisons they may imagine. Because an erp is all-encompassing, it can assist a firm in understanding how a change or issue with a process in one department affects the rest of the organisation.

Centrally managed Data

ERPs can reveal significant trends and provide vast business insights since they have access to real-time data from across the organisation. Organisational leaders benefit from having simple access to all important data, resulting in better decision-making.

Compliance with regulations

Financial reporting requirements and governmental and industry-specific data security regulations are subject to continuous change, and it can assist your organisation in being safe and compliant. It creates an audit trail by documenting the lifespan of each transaction, including compliance with needed approval protocols. Automation can also help businesses reduce the risk of errors and other regulatory issues.

Higher efficiency

Employees are most productive when they work together. It enable teams to easily communicate information such as purchase orders, contracts, and customer-support records. It breaks down departmental barriers by providing employees with timely access to data about linked business operations.


The ideal ERP system will be adaptable and flexible enough to satisfy your company's current and future requirements. Cloud systems adapt to minor and substantial operational changes as the volume of data captured and the demand for access grows.


Finance and FP&A departments face pressure to produce accurate forecasts in response to changing conditions. Dynamic financial forecasting enables organisations to quickly change plans depending on real-time data and new insights. The seamless synchronisation of your enterprise resource planning and planning and budgeting systems enables finance teams to easily inject actuals and information into daily planning and forecasts, removing the need for departments to work together and consolidate offline.


While enterprise resource planning (erp) software assists firms in following best practices, it also provides the flexibility to accommodate specific procedures and goals. The technology enables administrators to develop company-specific procedures and automated reports for various departments and executives. An enterprise resource planning system boosts your organisation's innovation and creativity.

Customer Service and Partnership Management

An enterprise resource planning system can improve a company's partner and customer connections. It can provide insights into suppliers, shipping carriers, and service providers, with the cloud facilitating even better and more convenient information interchange. In terms of customers, the solution may track survey replies, support requests, returns, and other data, allowing the organisation to focus on customer happiness.

Major components of ERP

An enterprise resource planning (erp) is made up of numerous modules, which are bundles of features specialised to different elements of the business, such as back- and front-office jobs. This extends beyond finance and core tasks such as managing the supply chain and customer communication. The following are said to be the major components of ERP:

Financial Management

Every ERP system is built on a finance module, which maintains the general ledger and all financial information. It keeps track of all transactions, including accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR), and manages reconciliations and financial reporting.

Human Resources Management (HRM)

A human capital management module is similar to a workforce management module. It maintains personnel records with extensive information, such as available PTO and performance reports, and can detect workforce patterns across departments or demographics.

Supply Chain Management

The supply chain management modules allow businesses to monitor the flow of goods from suppliers to manufacturing and finally into customers' hands. Keep production operating smoothly by ensuring that all materials are available and in their proper locations, as well as precisely scheduling machines and labour.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM is a popular module among enterprises across industries. It monitors all client conversations, helps with lead management, and can improve customer service and sales.


Manufacturing can be hard, and this module assists businesses in coordinating all of the steps required to produce items. The module can ensure that production meets demand while tracking the number of things in progress and finished.

Inventory Management

An inventory administration module displays current inventory levels down to the level and updates them in real-time. It also tracks crucial inventory data. Any product-based organisation needs this module to optimise stock on hand based on current and expected demand.

Project Management

Businesses that provide services, often use a professional services automation (PSA) or project supervision methods to plan and track projects going on in an organization. This is particularly to track the employee working time and resources spent on them. It can simplify client billing and foster communication among project team members.


With an e-commerce module, retailers and brands may manage the back and front ends of their online storefronts. They can use this tool to change the style and feel of the website, as well as add and update product pages.

Marketing Automation

This module automates marketing efforts across all digital channels, including email, online, and social, and allows businesses to optimise and personalise their messaging. Marketing automation technology can help increase leads, sales, and customer loyalty.


The procurement module oversees the purchase of raw materials and finished items. When used in conjunction with demand planning, it can automate quote and purchase order requests while reducing overbuying and underbuying.

Order Management

This application monitors and prioritises customer orders from all channels as they arrive and tracks their progress till delivery. An order management module can reduce fulfilment and delivery times while improving the client experience.

Warehouse management

A warehouse management module controls activities such as receiving, picking, packing, and shipping. finding more efficient ways to carry out these duties can save time and money in the warehouse.

Workforce Management

A workforce management (WFM) module monitors attendance and hours worked; some can also handle payroll. This program can track absence and productivity for departments, teams, and individual employees.

What are the challenges you may face?

Despite the benefits of enterprise resource planning (erp), businesses may face problems when developing a business case for a system or deploying it. It is critical to be aware of these potential hurdles before implementing a system so that you may fully prepare and alleviate stakeholder concerns. Here are some risks and challenges you may face when implementing ERP:

Budget Considerations

Because they were expensive to buy, implement, and maintain, early systems were only available to large corporations. However, that has not been the case for more than two decades. While ERPs still take time and money, the technology has become significantly more inexpensive as a result of SaaS systems that levy a monthly cost and the introduction of new solutions tailored for small and medium-sized organisations onto the market. For example, organisations can utilise tools to estimate savings after one and three years to decide when returns will outweigh expenditures.

Employee Training

Like any new technology, ERP has a learning path. Everyone who will use the program, hopefully, the majority or all of your staff, will need some training. Although there may be some resistance initially, it should pass when people realise how much the technology would benefit them. Newer systems with frequent updates are more intuitive and user-friendly, requiring less training and increasing acceptance.

Data Transfer and Migration Problems

When migrating to a new ERP, you may need to convert some data to a format that is compatible with the new platform. This can result in unforeseen expenditures and delays, so go over your databases and collaborate with your IT staff or an integration partner to identify any data compatibility concerns early on. Then, you can include conversion efforts in your ERP installation plan.

Resistance to change

The system is packed with capabilities that may be intimidating to your employees. However, modern software is significantly easier to operate than legacy systems since makers have prioritised user experience. Furthermore, employees should only have access to the modules and dashboards necessary for their employment, which might make them more approachable. Concerns regarding complexity should be alleviated with thorough training.

Exclusive IT Resources

Historically, lower-revenue enterprises were discouraged from implementing erp due to the high cost of upkeep. Not only did a corporation require an IT staff to handle patches, security, and system updates, but it also had to pay the vendor or a third-party service provider for their expertise. This is less of an issue with a SaaS system because the provider handles all maintenance and frequently upgrades all users to the current version, which is all included in the subscription price. Companies concerned with maintenance should thoroughly investigate potential suppliers to guarantee they provide a true vendor-managed SaaS system.


Enterprise resource planning controls and combines company processes using a single system. Companies that have a better line of sight can plan and allocate resources more effectively. Without ERP, businesses typically operate in silos, with each department utilising its unconnected system.

Enterprise resource planning - erp full form systems encourage open communication and knowledge sharing, system integration for increased productivity and efficiencies, and increased synergies between teams and departments. However, switching to an ERP system will be unproductive if the firm's culture does not adapt to the change and the company does not assess how its organisational structure can support it.


What Can Enterprise Resource Planning Do?

ERP solutions also facilitate communication and information sharing between departments and the rest of the firm. It collects data on the activities and state of various divisions and makes it available to other portions for productive use.

How Does ERP Effectively Work?

Over time, ERP has developed from classic software models that used physical client servers and data entry systems to cloud-based software with remote, web-based accessibility. The platform is usually maintained by the firm that established it, with clients renting its services.

Who uses an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system?

ERP systems can be used by any organisation, regardless of size. It can be tailored for small, medium, and big businesses. It is intended to be industry and company-specialized, meeting unique business needs. The only thing to remember is to plan the ERP deployment based on the company's needs and adhere to best practices.

How much does Enterprise Resource Planning cost?

ERP costs vary depending on the software vendor, module selection, and deployment technique. In general, cloud-based ERP is less expensive than on-premise software because there is no need to acquire hardware or hire expensive in-house IT expertise. The vendor handles the upkeep and charges the consumer an annual or monthly subscription cost, which is normally determined by the number of users.

What is ERP Execution?

Transitioning to a new ERP system differs from each project and necessitates careful planning and strategy to meet your company's specific requirements. Choosing the correct installation approach is critical to ensuring success with your new system. Any erp project requires effective implementation. A variety of factors influence the amount of time and money invested.

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