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, with the first pioneering solutions arriving almost forty years ago. As the benefits, ERP delivers in terms of increased productivity and efficiency have become more widely recognised, the popularity of this software has increased dramatically. In this article, we look at the top ERP vendors and provide a comparison between their offerings.
These days a wide range of vendors are competing in the ERP market. Selecting the right fit for your organisation can be challenging. We have chosen some big names, set out below. We also address the differences between on-site software and cloud-based ERPs at the end of this article.
1. SAP ERP
SAP is one of the most popular ERP solutions in the market, so first in our comparison of the top vendors. 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 pervasive support network. SAP has more than 185,000 certified partner employees.
SAP ERP sells in modules. These modules include financial, sales and service, human capital management, product development and manufacturing, mobility, rapid deployment and corporate governance. 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 almost to automate all human resource processes, including payroll and employee administration. Another advantage of SAP ERP is its design to work with multinational organisations across a broad array of industries. It is one of the most flexible ERP solutions for large organisations.
Over 12,000 companies use SYSPRO in more than 60 different countries. This is one of the most used and tested ERP solutions currently available, and so it is a 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 to improve their business processes. Another of SYSPRO’s strengths is integrating with financial and distribution centres. The software excels at estimation, costing, optimising 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. Transactions, fields and activities can restrict access. Overall, SYSPRO is a relatively cost-effective ERP solution; the initial licence fee includes all upgrades.
Microsoft has one of the most recognisable corporate names. Unsurprisingly, its ERP software is in use across a wide range of businesses. Businesses use its ERP suite 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 focuses on the small to medium-sized business market. Available in three editions, SAGE is a complete software suite that includes accounting and operations modules.
SAGE offers four different plans for different sized organisations. 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 organisations 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 selecting a vendor for your ERP solution, there is another crucial decision that you need to make: How you will deploy your ERP, and where do you install it?
In the past, we stored most ERP solutions on the company’s servers. Thanks to the growth of cloud computing, it is now possible to purchase an ERP solution hosted on external servers.
Cloud-based ERP’s have several advantages over traditional ERPs. Firstly, when you set up 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 upfront how much you need to pay on a monthly or annual basis. Thirdly, you will not require specialised employees 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 advantage 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, keep in mind the additional cost of upgrades. With a cloud-based ERP, you will not have to pay for any future upgrades, and you will implement changes at the vendor’s end. With a software-based ERP, you may have to pay for these upgrades. The flexibility, lower maintenance, and reduced initial costs make cloud-based ERP’s their preferred choice for more and more companies.
If you are looking for a comparison of top ERP vendors for your business, you may also be in the market for CRM solutions. We have a growing number of CRM articles on our site, some of which you find helpful for further reading. For example, we have an article looking at the best open-source CRM options available. We have another piece that provides an overview of free CRM solutions, undoubtedly worth looking at when starting. If you would like to look into cloud-based solutions a bit more, we will review this too.