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ERP (enterprise resource planning) software allows for a broad and collective insight over the entire workings of a business. This type of software integrates all areas of the business process into one unified, single point of access with the ability to share documents, files and data. ERP software suites traditionally provide integration and synchronization of a range of stand-alone applications, including accounting, inventory management, supply chain, CRM and human resources software.
The main aim of these applications is to improve company-wide communication and streamline all business operations by providing users from every departments, from manufacturing through to sales, with an overview of all business operations.
By integrating various systems into one, the need to keep multiple copies of data is eliminated. Departments will not need to keep separate spreadsheets and databases that will later need to be manually consolidated to create business reports.
All data and information created and recorded is stored in one place, allowing access from across departments. This means that sales can access vital accounting information with the click of a button, they can also update this information, reducing the workload of the accounting department and speeding up the order management process.
With ERP solutions each department continues to operate independently by providing you the ability to manage and review the performance of all departments from one central location. Many ERP applications will pull key metrics from each department and turn them into detailed reports. This allows users to see the effect each department has on others, identify trends and areas for improvement as well as to review or rethink the business process workflow. An overview of the entire running of the company also allows for a secure point of storage of all information, which can be easily shared among managers, as well as accessed remotely.
ERP software solutions might include one single package or a suite of solutions and add-ons that can be integrated into one core application. These business apps are beneficial to industries of all sizes, but can be particularly beneficial to large organizations with multiple departments and big teams where cross-communication might be more of a challenge. Companies who deal with multiple stages of the business process, from the warehouse to the customer, also benefit greatly from an enterprise resource solution.