In concept, the more robust enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP) combine data and processes by using integrated software and hardware components and a unified database to capture information from all areas of an organization. Of course, the most immediate use of ERP solutions in business is found in applications for manufacturing (discrete and process). An ERP solution must be many things to many people within an organization, but at its base it should be both scalable and flexible, as well as transparent to end users even as it continuously works in the background.
ERP functions through the ordering of business processes that are themselves organized according to common business flows (i.e., lead-to-order, order-to-cash, purchase-to-pay, etc.). Such unified and consistently flowing business processes are produced through core applications that are usually built, in ERP, on a single platform to help consolidate information and reduce IT costs. Doing business today—particularly manufacturing business—without ERP is tough, and is at best much less efficient when viewed through the very focused lens of bottom-line metrics. (more…)