More and more companies are turning to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) as an effective means to reduce costs and increase efficiency in real-time database updates and maintenance. Unfortunately, there are still some business people who have not heard of the concept behind Enterprise Resource Planning, or who believe that it is only designed for small to medium-sized businesses and enterprises.
What ERP involves
Enterprise Resource Planning is much more than just an online database, but such a database is central to the ERP concept. By using a central online database management system as a single point of access to a company’s data, it is possible to ensure that everyone in the company who needs to view or process that data is doing so in real time, using the most up-to-date version available. This is because the database is not updated each night or each hour as in other systems; the database is continually updated, immediately any user makes a change to the contents.
Applications of online ERP in a large business
Immediate access to valid data is one of the main reasons that a large company, with many personnel, might choose to use online ERP; however, a big company also has diverse needs in relation to the data, and that is why ERP systems are built in a modular fashion. Separate applications within the database fit together as modules, and they can work individually or in association with each other, depending on the specific needs of the business in question. For example, online modules may include applications that view the data from the point of view of inventory control, distribution, accounting, marketing, and even product development. For each of these uses, the same data is used, but it is treated differently according to the functional needs.
Benefits of online ERP for large organisations
Because the same data is stored and maintained in a remote location, and is accessed and used by different departments, the immediate cost savings for a large company are apparent. Instead of each organisational entity, such as marketing and warehousing, having to install and maintain a separate database system, complete with database hardware, security, and maintenance personnel, each user needs just an internet link to the one source of data.
There are benefits in terms of efficiency, too, because the fact that the data is in just one place means that security applications are simpler, without the need for multiple firewalls around potentially sensitive information. The single data storage can be more efficiently protected, is easily updated with new software releases, and automatically backed up for additional data security.
In a large company, the economic benefits of completing all of these tasks in one place rather than in several saves money in set-up and maintenance costs, saves time, requires fewer personnel dedicated just to information technology, and enables the ERP providing company to focus entirely on the security, integrity, and efficiency of the online database system.