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Enterprise Resource Planning: Types, Features & Benefits

  • 14-15 min read
  • September 20, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (5 votes)

All business companies have many separate departments that are responsible for a particular range of tasks. However, it is still the entire company that needs to stay united and share information about all the updates inside the organization.

Each department needs to have access to the data from the other departments. The absence of a single unified system for the whole company complicates and delays many work processes and makes them slow and inefficient.
To avoid these awkward situations, your company needs smart software solutions that can sync the work of all the departments. ERP is this kind of solution. 

In this article, we will discuss the details about how ERP functions, what the ERP types are and how to implement them successfully into your organization. 

What is Enterprise Resource Planning?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution unites all the company departments in a single system that shares access to business data for all employees. This system helps to accomplish all the daily tasks on time while making it easy to search for the required information.

Of course, here comes the need for the different levels of access. It is important to connect those departments that work directly with each other on a daily basis. 

So, ERP is a software solution that manages the company’s data, providing optimization and accessibility for the enterprise departments.  Implementing ERP has many benefits for your enterprise as it makes the workflow more efficient. So ERP optimizes the following work processes:

  • API access
  • employee info and updates
  • HR
  • payment gateways
  • receipts
  • project management
  • expense management
  • asset management

ERP features

Types of ERP systems

ERP by industry

ERP systems can be used in all business areas.  However, there are some industries that have a special need only for one system and stable connections between the departments or even organizations. Among them are:

  • Healthcare;
  • Construction;
  • Manufacturing and distribution;
  • Food and beverage delivery;
  • Education;
  • Professional services;
  • Hospitality;
  • Agriculture and farming;
  • Retail;
  • Technology and electronics;
  • Nonprofit organizations;

ERP is a flexible system that can be easily customized for a particular industry. Adding the needed functions gives the ability to automate more work processes and make them faster and easier. 

ERP types by the implementation

Besides different business areas, ERP systems can have different integration types, depending on the size of your organization and its requirements. Mainly, there are three of them:

  • cloud-based;
  • on-premise;
  • hybrid;

Cloud-based integration
Cloud-based integration is considered to be the most popular type of ERP implementation. Here is how it works. Companies choose the ERP systems from the third-party vendors that maintain them during a particular period of time. That decreases some costs as the companies don’t need to hire additional IT specialists for maintaining the systems. Also, it is critical to find a reliable vendor as you need to give full access to your organization’s data. So this type of integration is the cheapest one and can meet the demands of smaller companies with fewer employees. 
On-premise integration
This type of integration is the opposite of cloud-based. ERP system is inserted in an in-house data center and you need to hire IT specialists to maintain it. ERP is installed inside the organization only so you have full control of this system as you have a license. Also, you need to keep abreast and constantly update your ERP with new technologies. This type of integration suits large business companies and controls every aspect of work processes.
Hybrid integration
A hybrid type of integration embodies the two other types – cloud-based and on-premise. It mostly suits a particular business niche and large companies. This type provides data recording on the company’s hard drives as well as clouds. Mostly, it is used when the company has started as a small organization and is growing on a constant basis. Therefore, you will need more space for organization data. As you may understand, the types of implementation that suit your company depend only on the demands and needs of your company, its size, and the speed of growth.
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What type of ERP you need?

We can conduct the discovery stage for your project.

ERP modules

Custom ERP platform is responsible for managing numerous processes within a particular organization, and the range of these processes depends on your individual needs and requirements. Custom ERP tools can be integrated with diverse modules that are tasked with managing certain operations. Among the core modules that ERP should include are:

ERP modules

Common features of Enterprise Resource Planning

The ERP system brings a lot of benefits to your organization. It automates workflow, structure, and updates all data that needs to be saved. We defined the main features of ERP integration that explain how your company can profit from using this system. They are the following:

Enterprise-wide integration

The company’s work processes concern all the departments. It is important to adjust and automate the workflow step-by-step with no possibility for errors.

Real-time operations

As the operations go through several departments and it takes several seconds, a key feature is to check the data quickly and accurately to reveal possible problems and fix them.

Database

Usually, the database includes data that should be defined and recognized by all departments with the same definition. Splitting the physical data can be used to improve performance. 

Consistency

A consistent user interface is considered to be a more professional software solution. This way of creating UI design reduces costs as there is a need to create only a small number of reusable templates for the pages. 

Benefits of ERP for enterprises


Competition
ERP, like any other software solution for business, needs investments and time for integration. If you think that this is too expensive and not really rational, we would like to show you why investing in ERP is worthwhile. As you may know, many enterprises still keep the old standards and don’t care about technology implemented in their organizations. They tend to trust all work to employees that can let you down more often than technologies. ERP takes your company to a higher level and keeps you ahead of your competitors. Implementing this system reduces the number of mistakes made by employees as some processes become automated. This will keep the highest rank on the market.
Process efficiency
As we mentioned before, human resources tend to make mistakes much more often than technological systems. ERP optimizes and automates some work processes to make them faster and more efficient. Also, this system eliminates the possibility of errors and inaccurate data delivery that can cause critical problems for the business. ERP is a kind of additional assistant for the employees that help to keep track of all business processes.
Department connection
Despite the number of departments, the organization needs to be united. It is important to keep the collaboration activities between the different departments. It is a critical business need as often projects involve several departments simultaneously and they need to work unitedly. It means uninterrupted sharing of information, effective communication, and collaboration. ERP helps to update the real-time data to avoid mistakes between the different departments and make the work processes accurate.
Scalable resource
ERP systems grow together with your company. The bigger your organization becomes, the more requirements ERP gets. New employees mean new users and new data records. It is important to cover all bits of new information and structure them. So you need to be sure that your ERP can be expanded with time and meet all your demands in future.
Integrated information
The main purpose of ERP implementation is to gather, manage, and maintain all information inside the company. Business projects, customer orders, employee data, daily operations, policies have to be recorded and saved in case of need. Also, ERP not just keeps this data safe but gathers and shows it in a single place.
Cost savings
Making mistakes that cost a lot of money can cause serious problems for your business. ERP system helps to reduce costs and optimize budget as it replaces human resources in some instances. Therefore, you can spend saved money on other urgent needs for your business. ERP helps to be smarter and predict unnecessary spendings. All you have to do is to implement the system your organization really needs.
Custom reports
ERP systems work accurately and make customized reports. How can it help your business? With accurate and improved reports, your company can respond to complex data requests much more easily. Generally, it improves the efficiency of work processes and makes them faster..
Higher productivity
Automation of some work processes with ERP gives more free time for employees to cope with other tasks. They can perform them more accurately, sensitively, and scrupulously. The more attention workers pay to tasks and their details, the higher quality of services you get. So with ERP, you can focus on other processes that matter instead of coping with numerous tasks with no enthusiasm. 
Customer service
Easy and fast access to customer information makes customer service improved and more productive. As ERP always updates the data, you will avoid mistakes and inaccuracies in the information. Also, ERP systems can have additional features like lead scoring that help to search for good leads and track the status of marketing campaigns. All in all, ERP makes the relationships between your company and customers much better and efficient. 
Data reliability
The main advantage of ERP is access to information from different locations and devices, for example, in the case of cloud-based integration. Users will always be informed about the latest updates and know the current situation. As ERP improves data consistency, you can be sure that it is safe and has no errors.  If you want to make it even more secure, you can set different levels of data access for different departments and add built-in protection resources. This decreases the risk of your data exposure to third parties.

ERP systems examples

Surely, the variety of ready-made ERP systems is wide and continues to expand. Here is a compilation of the most widely-used ERP systems by companies of diverse industries all over the world:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365a cloud-based ERP solution that offers quite wide functionality among which are sales management, marketing automation, finance management, project service automation, and others. 
  • SAP Business One  – a business management tool that is able to automate several company workflows such as finance, HR, and other operations. Mostly used for small or mid-sized companies. 
  • Oracle NetSuite – a cloud-based ERP system that can help with managing finances, inventory, supply chain, warehouse, global business processes within the company.
  • Sage X3 – it is another cloud-based worldwide ERP tool that provides common functionality like production and finance management, supply chain, and project management. 

However, the ready-made ERP solutions require contrast payrolls due to the chosen pricing plans and most of them are not customizable at all which can become problematic for your business. Custom ERP development surely needs investment and some time to build and implement a top-notch solution but custom development guarantees 100% correspondence of the solution to your company’s requirements with the ability to scale and update the tool. 

We are ready to help you define the core needs of your business company and create a step-by-step plan of developing and delivering high-grade custom ERP to you. 

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Get in touch with our experts!

We can discuss what modules are needed to integrate into your custom ERP.

How to implement ERP successfully?

The implementation of ERP to your company is not a complex process. Before the start of integration, you need to go through crucial steps to make sure the ERP system works in your business organization. We prepared a list of the main tips for accurate implementation:

  1. The first and main is to define your business goals and needs, and then to build the strategy on how to reach all of them.
  2. Don’t ruin the old work processes at once – the integration should flow easily and softly for the workers.
  3. Build the right business plan and describe all work processes that can be automated
  4. It is important to choose a suitable ERP type for your organization and maintain it well.
  5. The ERP system should be integrated into all departments with no exception to making the workflow more productive
  6. Choose the key employees that will be responsible for integration in every department.
  7. Make sure that all your employees are well-informed about the new system and its functions.
  8. Choose experienced specialists to manage data and maintain your ERP system.

Our expertise in ERP development

Learn more about the GBKSOFT experience in building and delivering high-quality ERP systems to our clients. 

ERP for aircraft selling company

GBKSOFT developed the website for an aircraft sales company. Before contacting us, they had an old version of the website that wasn’t productive enough and had a poor design. Apart from providing the renewed design with colors, and patterns suitable for their industry, we developed a complex ERP system. So what features did the website gain after our work?

  • Search for aircraft by filters – price, model, manufacturer, size
  • model comparison
  • ability to know the approximate price of the airplane and perform a range mapping

Moreover, customers can find a detailed description of every model of airplane-like weights, operating costs, cabin interior, performance. So all required information by customers can be found on their websites, so the owners don’t need to spend many costs to contact every customer personally.

ERP for service transport

Our team faced the challenges of automating the process of creating the lists of required parts of vehicles in the same order as they used to do it manually – a new list for every new order with detailed descriptions. The main aim of the ERP system for this company was to make this process easier and more accurate. After implementing the ERP system, customers can make orders, and employees can review these orders with the list of parts needed and send the full order to the car supplier. It reduces the risk of mixing app details and orders and helps to avoid misunderstandings with customers.

How much does an ERP development cost?

Like all software solutions for business, ERP systems have a particular range of functions and features that suit the chosen business industry and the company’s needs. You can discuss your requirements to implement in your company with our Business Analyst to find out the necessary functions and their estimation. 

Before we show you the rough estimation of the custom ERP development, we’d like to offer you to review the pricing of one of the most popular ready-made ERPs – Microsoft Dynamics 365. You will have to pay for the narrow range of functionality at least $1500 per tenant for 1 year. However, if you are willing to widen the options of your ERP system and get access to more advanced features,  you will have to pay for each function separately, starting from $50 per user on a monthly basis. Well, the final cost can always vary and be pretty high, much more than a single investment into the custom ERP development.

Our experienced developer Evgen Bryl made an approximate estimation of ERP system development.

Dev stages Dev hours Total cost
Business Analyst 130 $7410
Admin 32 $1472
Designer 120 $5400
CSS\HTML 150 $4500
PHP backend 600 $36000
JS frontend 400 $22800
QA 360 $11880
Scrum master 270  $13500

Generally, the cost of custom ERP development starts from $100000 and is variable due to the specifics and requirements of your organization.

Conclusion

ERP offers numerous benefits to businesses and it is hard to underestimate them. Implementation of technologies in the business process makes the work of the whole company faster, easier, and more productive.  Human resources can cope with all amounts of new information accurately. That’s why you need to automate some work processes to avoid serious mistakes during work with customers.

If you don’t know where to start, you just need to contact a Business Analyst for a professional consultation and defining the requirements of your company and the function of a custom ERP system. Choosing the right direction is a key step in the successful implementation of ERP.

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Build up your custom ERP

Are you ready to implement a custom ERP system to automate business processes?

The most scalable type of ERP system is considered to be cloud-based integration. Besides the vendor takes part in your company’s performance, cloud-based integration suits large companies and small that are going to expand. There is an endless database for all information to be saved and to share it between different locations easily. However, the type of implementation depends on the needs of your organization and should be discussed with the Business Analyst.
CRM systems are implemented to manage customer services and experience. ERP systems are used to automate and optimize business processes and department collaboration.
The total cost of implementing an ERP system varies and depends on the range of functions it will have. To choose these features, you need to define your company`s requirements and build the right strategy of integrating ERP in the work processes accurately. You need to contact an experienced Business Analyst to set the goals for your organization and create the strategy of aiming. In general, the price starts at $52000.

Creator

Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
Evgeniy

Expert

Evgen is a key person that makes your project scalable and easy to maintain. Thanks to his advanced and deep knowledge of innovative technologies our team can produce project with high level of complexity and loading. And apart from being a great expert he's also a reliable team player ready to back you up.
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Comments (3)

Emre Memil
May 05, 2021 at 11:59 AM

An ERP system can be so beneficial for many companies however they are unaware of it or are cautious. As a marketing analyst for an SaaS company I will admit that it is worth implementing. Thanks for sharing this informative piece.

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Adam Golightly
Feb 02, 2021 at 2:17 AM

I can understand how a business could really benefit from getting the right planning for its resources in order to be more effective. Making sure that they can get some help from a professional could allow them to be more effective with the right solution. It was interesting to learn about how departments that work together on a daily basis, and an ERP system can allow their system to be more accessible to all of them.

reply
Alex
Sep 20, 2021 at 1:11 PM
Adam Golightly,

thank you

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