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A business is usually composed of more than one aspect. For example, if you are in the manufacturing business then some of those aspects would most probably include such departments or divisions that are in charge with finance, human resources, supply or distribution chain, marketing, sales, research, etc.
Now, each of these divisions functions as a part of the whole business. In the traditional model, to do its functions, each of the division is armed with different tools (in today’s age, that would mean hardware and software) to enable it to perform its functions. However, the softwares used in each of the division are separate entities such that data from one division is not easily or readily accessible to the other division. A good example of these is the supply and demand information that will help supply chain in its job.
What if you can provide each division data from other aspects of your business in real time? What if you can provide your supply chain division how much it currently needs to distribute via real time data feed from market forecasts or from the sales department? Wouldn’t this speed things up a great deal?
ERP, which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, softwares are an example of solutions that does this. Basically, ERP softwares are modular applications systems that provide software solutions to different aspects of a business but it is also a part of bigger system that integrates and processes each individual data so it can provide complete and quick information to the decision-makers.
ERP modules are basically software much like other software that are targeted for specific functions but one major advantage of such software is that it is aware of the other modules and can communicate with them— providing each other real time, two-way data such that each division of the business is aware of what’s happening to the others at any given time.
SAP is the biggest ERP software in the world with the biggest market share. Other companies that provide ERP solutions include Oracle and Microsoft.