Gartner: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software delivers opportunities for "innovation" and process "standardisation."

As small and medium-size businesses expand, so, too, does their need for better business tools to track the inner-workings of the company.

ERP Planning

In fact, the Gartner research firm points out that today’s ERP software provides “broad and deep operational end-to-end process(es).”  But this aspect of ERP software is not relegated to any one, specific industry: benefits can be derived in finance, distribution, manufacturing, HR, service and supply chains, notes Gartner.

Common reasons for business owners, CIOs and other stakeholders in the organiSation to go with an ERP platform include the savings in IT costs, not to mention an increase in operational efficiency in all of the firm’s business processes.

But two other reasons appear to rank even higher, notes Gartner: the suite establishes better “process standardiSation” and more opportunities for “business innovation.” And, even though the first two benefits are usually much easier to quantify, the real payback comes from the last, two mentioned benefits: standardiSation and innovative opportunities.

A workable strategy for purchasing an ERP software system is outlined in a guide posted on the SmallBizTrends site, starting with recognising that each vertical industry may require its own customisation.

Moreover, the guide stress the importance of finding the right provider/vendor, and recogniSing the inherent value of having an “ERP Partner.”

A key element in the buying processes is recognising the scalability of the platform. It offers both “modular and open” design for businesses to receive full benefit of their system as their operations expand.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains), provides these business process tools via an on-premise or online deployment. The software integrates with Office 365, offering Business Intelligence and SharePoint features, for example. What’s more, company files, emails and calendars are accessible remotely to monitor company productivity from the field, the client’s office or on the road.

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