Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is vital for a range of back office functions such as supply chain, manufacturing, product development and financial management. ERP is not a new concept and was first pioneered almost forty years ago. As the benefits ERP delivers in terms of increased productivity and efficiency have become more widely recognized, the popularity of this software has increased dramatically.
These days a wide range of vendors are competing in the ERP market. Selecting the right fit for your organization can be challenge. We have selected some big names which are presented below. A comparison between on site software and cloud based ERPs is also included below.
#1 SAP ERP
SAP is one of the most popular ERP solutions in the market. It currently supports over 43,000 customers worldwide in more than 120 countries. One of the advantages of using SAP ERP is that it has a very extensive support network. SAP has more than 185,000 certified partner employees.
SAP ERP is sold in modules. These modules include financial, sales and service, human capital management, product development and manufacturing, mobility, rapid deployment and corporate management. SAP also provides a free version of its ERP software which you can download from their site. However this is mainly for developers.
One of the advantages of SAP is the ability to almost automate all human resource processes. This includes payroll and employee administration. Another advantage of SAP ERP is that it is designed to work with a range of multinational organizations across a broad array of industries. It is one of the most flexible ERP solutions for large organizations.
SYSPRO is used by over 12,000 companies in more than 60 different countries. This is one of the most used and tested ERP solutions currently available and so it is solid choice for most types of businesses. SYSPRO uses a modular approach. This means the businesses only need to buy the modules that they require.
SYSPRO is easier to implement than many other ERP software solutions. SYSPRO aims to give its customers complete control and insight in order to improve their business processes. Another of SYSPRO’s strengths is integrating with financial and distribution centers. The software excels at estimation, costing, optimizing inventory and planning.
SYSPRO is also a very secure solution. The software incorporates a range of security features including login authentication and varying levels of access. Access can be restricted by transactions, fields and activities. Overall SYSPRO is a relatively cost effective ERP solution and all upgrades are included in the initial licence fee.
Microsoft has one of the most recognizable corporate names. Unsurprisingly, its ERP software has been installed and is being used by a wide range of businesses. It’s ERP suite is used by businesses from small start-ups through to large multinational companies. The Microsoft ERP Suite Dynamics offers modules for customer relation management, financial management and supply chain management.
One of the benefits of using Microsoft is having access to the extensive Microsoft Certified Partners. Another advantage is that many users are already familiar with Microsoft software products, so moving to the ERP suite often requires less training.
SAGE is primarily focused on the small to medium-sized business market. SAGE is available in three editions, with a full software suite that includes accounting and operations modules.
SAGE offers four different plans for different sized organizations. These include SAGE 200, SAGE 300ERP, SAGE ERP 1000, and SAGE ERPx3. That largest of the SAGE packages can serve up to 2000 users and is suited for organizations with over 100 employees. SAGE also provides a 30 day money back guarantee on all of its packages.
Comparison Of Software and Cloud Based ERP
Along with selection a vendor for your ERP solution there is another important decision that you need to make: How you will deploy your ERP and where do you install it?
In the past most ERP solutions were stored on the company’s own servers. Thanks to the growth of cloud computing it is now possible to purchase an ERP solution which is hosted on external servers.
Cloud based ERP’s have several advantages over traditional ERP. Firstly, when you setup a cloud based ERP you are not required to purchase additional hardware such as servers. This can make implementing an ERP solution much more affordable.
Secondly the costs with cloud based ERPs tend to be more predictable. You will know up front how much you need to pay on a monthly or annual basis. Thirdly, you will not require specialized employees in order to provide technical support and maintenance of the ERP. This is because the ERP will be hosted and managed on the ERP vendors own servers.
The advantages of on site ERP software is that you may only need to pay a one-off licence fee along with the server costs. In the long-term, this might be less expensive. However, you need to keep in mind the additional cost of upgrades. With a cloud based ERP you will not have to pay for any future upgrades and changes will be implemented at the vendor’s end. With a software based ERP you may be required to pay for these upgrades. For more and more companies, the flexibility, lower maintenance and reduced initial costs make cloud based ERP’s their preferred choice.