ERP is an abbreviation of Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is a large-scale software program designed for modern businesses, both large and small. A simple definition is that ERP systems aid the flow of internal business processes and allow for communication between a business’s departments and its internal functions and data. Using software-generated automated reports, enterprise resource planning systems are able to give companies an immediate picture of its real-time operations: production, inventory and order processing. ERP software tracks a business’s resources (raw materials, cash, employees), overhead and commitments (employee payroll, purchase orders and customer orders) for individual departments and for the company as a whole. Most ERP systems are modular. Workers can access only the modules they need in order to complete their duties while higher-ups can access all modules in order to both create and review data and reports. By keeping work zones modular, the security of the company is better protected as a whole. The more modules offered by an ERP system, the more specific reports and projects could get if necessary; one potential drawback to a company having many modules is that each module represents an additional cost for the purchasing company. ERP systems are a powerful way for companies to manage costs, service and production.
ERP first began in the 1990's as a way for manufacturing companies to better handle inventory management and supply/demand problems. Y2K problems in the late 1990s identified a need for companies to streamline their computing practices; as the need for simplified computing increased, so did sales of ERP systems. Fast-forward 25 years; ERP software today supports companies on all levels and produces inter-departmental statistics and automated reports in real-time. Though initially used to perform back-office functions such as inventory control, ERP has now left the back-office and has taken over the front. ERP systems can assist accounting departments with everything from account payables to cost management, they can help production teams calculate the bills of materials and assist with capacity estimation. The warehouse team using an ERP system can manage everything from inventory control to supply chain management. Customer service professionals can process and track everything from customer self-service interfaces to call center support, and even commissions. ERP systems have become so important for retail commerce that many companies have two levels of ERP systems in place. The higher tier ERP system is designed to give executives the information they need to analyze data at the corporate level while the second tier of ERP systems applies to the daily functioning of a business; regional offices and branches use ERP to manage their operations on a smaller-scale. The two tiers of ERP work together to help the company function on every level and provide relevant data to every worker.
Just as all sneakers share basic features across different brands, most Enterprise Resource Planning systems share basic features, regardless of which vendor sells them. ERP systems typically have a common database that supports all applications such as accounting software right down to the customer relay management and e-commerce systems. All ERP systems function in real time; if a stockroom employee enters data, the system automatically reflects the new numbers. ERP systems are easy to implement when installed by a certified technician. Depending on which ERP system your company chooses, the software has a united look. Even though it’s designed for different purposes, the software for your warehouse will look aesthetically similar to the software your HR team uses (similar to how a shoe brand’s walking and running shoes will look similar). Most of today’s ERP systems reflect what the specific company who is selling an ERP system has decided is the best practice of the given industry for each industry-related business function the ERP system must handle. For example, Visual 2000 systems have been designed by industry professionals who know apparel, footwear and accessories. If you are in the AFA industry, buying your ERP software from a company such as Visual 2000 will ensure your software has been designed in compliance with your industry’s best practices. When choosing your ERP system, be sure that it is the industry’s top professionals who know your business and its unique needs that have designed it. ERP systems designed with the best practices of the industry will significantly increase workplace efficiency and ease the integration of ERP systems into the workplace.
Whether your company is an international industry leader or a start-up, there is an ERP system for you. Depending upon your company’s needs, you can purchase systems with a module that will provide for every foreseeable issue or job, or you can purchase an efficient system that will still get you from point A to point B. Regardless of your company’s unique needs and budget, one thing is clear: modern businesses view ERP today as vital to their health and growth. ERP systems get companies organized, streamlined and ready to compete. If you are looking for a vendor you can trust, choose one that understands your business. Our team was founded by professionals with decades of experience in the apparel, footwear and accessories industries. At Visual 2000, our Omni Chanel Systems are internet-based, which enable us to offer scalable solutions that are right for your business’s specific needs. Our user friendly interface will continue bringing value to your bottom line.