ERP software is an acronym that stands for “Enterprise Resource Management” and can be defined as an integrated suite of business applications designed to automate the back office functions of your organization–including financials, sales, and operations.
The best ERP software is the one you’ll get the most use out of, and the one that can help make your employees more productive, your operations more efficient, and your reporting more accurate. With so many options available in the market, there is one that will be the perfect fit for your organization, and we’re here to help you find it.
Dynamics GP is a mid-market business solution for both small and large businesses. Introduced as Great Plains back in 1993, the solution was acquired by Microsoft in 2003 and has been their flagship product ever since. It’s one of the leading single integrated software options to automate all areas of your business, such as increasing sales, enhancing collaboration, improving efficiency, and enabling better decision making.
The key capabilities offered via Dynamics GP include financial management, inventory, sales, reporting, and human resources. Due to it’s popularity, the solution has one of the largest support networks in the US and Canada through Microsoft-certified value-added-resellers (VARs). Dynamics GP was also found to be the most reviewed software product for companies looking for QuickBooks alternatives.
Dynamics 365 Business Central from Microsoft was created by combining the functionalities of both Dynamics ERP and CRM products. Dynamics 365 Business Central is intended for use by small and mid-market companies, providing a scalable way to get the features your business needs to be more profitable.
A start-up or small businesses that has outgrown their first accounting program should look to a small business ERP such as Dynamics 365, which will grow with the business as needs expand. The software can be purchased on a modular basis, which means you can buy what you need and have the software priced accordingly. Their entry level package of Dynamics 365 is “Business Central Essentials”, which includes financial management, CRM, project management, supply chain management, HR, and warehousing.
Want more options? Check out our list of best small business ERP software.
Odoo is an open-source ERP and CRM used by over 4 million users worldwide. With 10,000 applications, Odoo can handle any business need you may have, such as billing, accounting, manufacturing, and project management.
Open source software such as Odoo allows access to the source code, which provides new opportunities for customization, lets end-users have more impact on product development, and transparency elevates quality standards. Odoo is a completely free ERP software, if you install and manage the software yourself. Otherwise, Odoo provides online hosting and a number of paid applications starting between $12-$72/month.
Want more options? Check out our list of best open source ERP software.
NetSuite ERP is designed for modern companies who require cloud access and mobile-enabled tools. This works great for companies with multiple locations, as they can access the same information as another in real-time, wherever they are located. NetSuite is designed to support growing organizations, as it lets you add or customize features as your company grows.
Cloud ERP software such as NetSuite can be internally hosted or licensed as a hosted SaaS solution. Cloud access will allow sales staff and technicians in the field have access to important customer data, as well as let staff on production/warehouse floors see info about orders that need to be filled. It provides for a more direct line of communication between all departments.
Want more options? Check out our list of best cloud ERP software.
Epicor ERP is specifically developed for growing manufacturers. It’s strengths include the amount of data it can store and analyze, as well as the automation it can provide when it comes to production. A top feature in Epicor ERP includes the shop floor control that can measure everything from raw materials to the final product. The software can be deployed on-premise, hosted, or as a hybrid option.
Many ERP solutions can be implemented into a manufacturing environment. However, without an industry-specific tool, one may get the feeling that their software provider doesn’t understand their needs. For these companies, we suggest looking into industry specific ERP such as Epicor ERP.
Want more options? Check out our list of best MRP software.
To get a deeper understand of how ERP software can take your business to the next level, you want to learn about the following topics:
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an integrated suite of business applications designed to automate the back office functions of your organization, including financials, sales, and operations.
ERP system packages include a broad variety of modules which are chosen to meet the specific needs of your business. These features will connect all areas of your business together to create maximum efficiency. By enabling collaboration and eliminating the need to re-enter data into systems, ERP software provides a means for better financial tracking and forecasting. Comprehensive analytics allow businesses to improve to insight and productivity by delivering reliable data in real-time.
By enabling sales the ability to access information about product availability, lead times, order schedules, and purchasing, sales employees are better able to manage the delivery of products and services to customers. Increasing customer satisfaction through increased operational visibility is one of the underlying goals of all ERP systems.
At one point in time, ERP software was most typically used in the manufacturing process or industrial companies. Nowadays, it is fair to say that ERP can refer to packages targeted to any and every industry, and can be defined differently, depending on who you are talking to (See: How Would You Describe ERP? 20 Explanations From The Experts.
Why is a centralized, comprehensive ERP software solution necessary in the modern business environment? What is the business value of ERP? Consider some of the top benefits business and departments alike have experienced via improved workflows and significant savings:
To discover which ERP options are relevant to your specific needs, you’ll need to know what feature you’ll need to implement and how you can implement them effectively.
The scope of ERP systems is constrained by the variety of business operations present in the market and the ability of software developers to keep up with new requirements. ERP modules are available for virtually every task, program, or function that a business performs.
ERP solutions include modules that help with all facets of a business, but should be prioritized based on what industry your business falls under:
While not an ERP software in the traditional sense, QuickBooks Enterprise brands itself as an “ERP alternative”. QuickBooks Enterprise attempts to let smaller businesses get ERP-level functionality at a small business software price, and offers an easy transition from their more simple options (Pro, Premier, or Online) to a business who is suddenly in need of more advanced functionality.
The software can manage and integrate all components of their businesses such as marketing, accounting, sales, costing, manufacturing, and more. The software excels at offering advanced functionality of the modules you’ll find it it’s Pro and Premier version, such as advanced inventory tracking, advanced pricing, and advanced reporting.
Here are some of the most common questions asked about ERP software:
Technology is being upgraded and replaced at such a rapid pace, it can be hard to keep up. It’s important not to fall victim to every minor innovation, and consider upgrading or changing systems for important milestones, or for reasons of security. When the time does come for an upgrade or even to purchase a new solution, you may feel overwhelmed with the volume of options available. Important questions to ask yourself include:
Alternative, cloud ERP software includes routine upgrades and maintenance as part of the ongoing subscription-cost. While you may pay more for the software over the course of ownership, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you have the latest version of the software at all times.