Find the Best ERP for Office Use

By Sheila Shanker
Updated: August 16, 2011

The best ERP system, also known as Enterprise Resource Planning system, is the one that helps you the most in streamlining processes and creating a more efficient organization. An ERP program uses one database to centralize all businesses processes, such as job cost orders and accounting in manufacturing firms. If you have a retail firm, the ERP system can help manage inventory and sales in real-time with data flowing into an accounting and CRM systems automatically or at the pressing of a button. Instead of entering the same information multiple times in different systems, an ERP setup allows you to enter data once and use that same data in different areas.

The best ERP for your business is the one that works for your specific needs. Maybe you want to keep your current accounting or CRM system—the best solution would be to get an ERP system that can be interfaced with your existing programs, minimizing costs and training time. In this case, a great system would complement your existing situation.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in changing your processes, going for increased efficiencies, you may be inclined to acquire an ERP program to modify your existing tasks to align them with the system’s setup. Many growing firms, especially manufacturing ones, use this option to be sure all processes are standardized, which helps in managing the production tasks.

Generally, the best ERP system is the one that can do the following for your firm:

  • Reduce inventory levels

  • Establish an efficient workflow

  • Decrease reporting times and allow for prompt and effective analysis of operations

  • Decrease in overall costs of operations

Note that you must have the hardware and equipment to take advantage of this technology with a few firms opting for a cloud-based ERP system that is actually owned by a third-party provider. When selecting this option, your firm may save a lot in upfront costs and use the ERP system on a subscription basis. Examples of this type of service are the SMB suite, which offers both ERP and CRM systems for various businesses. Another cloud-based ERP systems are offered by Epicor, NetSuite and PlexOnline for manufacturers. As the Internet becomes used for VoIP and other processes, the cloud setups are becoming more common, providing an affordable alternative to many businesses.

As you look at ERP systems, be sure to check out the systems in the web, including visiting online users’ forums, where you may get a good idea of issues and problems facing the system. No program is perfect, and you should purchase a new ERP system after doing some research and talking to other firms to find the program that best fits your needs.


 

Featured Research
  • Best ERP Features and Benefits for Your Business

    Are you considering investing in ERP software for the first time? Or maybe you already have an ERP solution but you’re worried it’s becoming dated. If either of the above apply to you, read our latest guide on the top ERP features and benefits based on the size of your business. You may be surprised at how versatile and cost-effective it is becoming - regardless of if you own a small business or run a large enterprise. more

  • 8 Ways the Cloud is Changing ERP for the Better

    What if there was a tool available that allowed for you to save up to a quarter of your operational costs? Studies have shown that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions enable businesses to access accurate, real-time information about daily operations which allow for the reduction of operational costs of up to 23% and administrative costs of up to 22%. more

  • 7 key questions to ask any ERP provider

    Having a fast-growing business is good. Having to overhaul your technology every time you need to scale is not. Upgrading to a more complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can help, but how do you ensure the solution you choose is exactly what you need? To help you with your search, we’ve pulled together 7 key questions every fast-growing business should ask before choosing a cloud-based ERP solution, including: more

  • How Finance Leadership Pays Off

    Oxford Economics recently surveyed 1,500 finance executives and it’s clear that small and midsize companies are growing significantly faster than larger companies. But, there are also big opportunities for finance to increase efficiency, boost financial performance, and work more strategically. Why is that? more

  • Professional Services Audience – Improve Profitability Infographic

    As a Professional Services Organization (PSO), you know the importance of customer satisfaction. In fact, 47% of PSO leaders say managing changing customer expectations is their top challenge. That’s why many firms are engaging smarter project management technology, even before deals are signed, to ensure project profitability. How are these leaders utilizing technology? Find out now. more