Modules of an ERP system
As reported at the beginning of the text, ERP systems deal with the various departments of a company. However, they don’t need, necessarily, cover every one of them, at least not at the same time. Depending on the company’s expectations concerning ERP, you can meet certain areas on a first date and progressive way. For this, the providers do supply in modules, which are divided according to their functionality.
As you already know, there is an ERP system that, by itself, can meet all its company. It is necessary to customize the solution according to the company’s activities. On the other hand, there are certain processes that are quite common in all or most of the companies, even as a matter of law. Here are some categories of modules that fit into this context:
- Human Resources;
- fixed assets;
From there, you can find more specific modules, adopted on a smaller scale and only if they are by the company’s activities, for example:
- distribution of products;
- foreign trade;
- knowledge management;
- material control;
- commercial automation;
- risk analysis.
Note that not every company needs to manage a fleet or handle business automation, for example. The advantage of modules is just there. The company implements only those that are useful and can add more over time, driven by the expansion of the business, for acting in a new market segment, among others.
Choosing an ERP solution
You’ve probably noticed that an ERP system is a serious investment and what needs to be done carefully. But, how to choose a solution with so many options on the market? Only in Brazil, there are several companies specializing in ERP with great acceptance, such as SAP, TOTVS, Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle. How to know which is the best choice? Will consider only price is enough? There is no right formula that fits all companies, but there are several tips that can help you in the most suitable choice.
The first is to understand exactly what the needs of the company about the ERP to define then what priority is. Such analysis indicates a way forward. For this, it may be necessary to hold meetings with managers of the sectors, with employees who perform critical functions, anyway.
After that, it gets easier to analyze the solutions offered by vendors of ERP. At this point, it is necessary to evaluate the proposals made by each company to, firstly, to identify those that can best meet the needs identified. At this point, it is also important to check which of these providers have expertise in providing software for the branch of activity of the company.
Once the ERP system needs to be customized for each company, it is important to know which technologies that the supplier offers to its solutions. With this, it is possible to have a better sense of the costs with servers, updating, training, among others. In this respect, it is also possible to analyze the ability of integration and communication system, the possibility of implementation of modules in the future, the security features, compatibility with different platforms (mobile devices, for example) and so on.
Also, it is very important to check what are the conditions of support and maintenance offered by providers. The software will certainly need updates over time to correct errors, improvements in certain procedures, adapting to new needs (implementation of a new tax rule, for example), security settings, anyway. Not to mention that certain situations may require assistance from the supplier, for example, a particular user may need support to access a list of data to be submitted to an external audit.
Price, of course, is also an important aspect to be considered, but it is a mistake to accept only the cheapest solution or believe that the more expensive option, just by being in this condition, will meet all the needs of the company. As reported previously, there are several forms of licensing, being essential to analyze rigorously what is best suited to the enterprise. One should also consider that there are other costs, as a support and maintenance plan (which may have current renovation, for example), implementation, infrastructure, anyway.
Will also consider that many companies are developing ERP software work with businesses that act as intermediate with customers, like resellers. However, these partners can deal with not only sales but also with other processes such as support and implementation, for example. The Dynamics Division of Microsoft is one of the suppliers who exploit successfully this model.
As a final tip, can be a good idea to initiate contact with companies that already use vendor solutions that have submitted proposals for your business. This initiative can help evaluate aspects of performance, support, maintenance, training and so on. But it is important to note that if an ERP system worked in a given company, it doesn’t mean they will have the same success in the business that you represent, even when both operate in the same business activity. Remember that each business is unique and requires customized solutions.