What is ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning?

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I am still learning the terms and features of the products and industries that our company Custom Information Services (CIS) represents. As a sales and marketing assistant with no prior knowledge of manufacturing I am constantly besieged with terms I do not understand, in particular ERP. ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning is essentially software that can aid in the control of many business activities including sales, marketing, delivery, billing, production, inventory management, quality management, and human resource management.

An ERP system does not have to be one software package, in fact here at CIS we don’t often solve all of our customers or prospects business issues with one software, instead we recommend integrating industry specific software along with financials and distribution software from Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Consider manufacturing; just like the products they produce, discrete and process manufacturing software have different focal points and have different processing problems. Whether process (the branch of manufacturing associated with formulas and recipes) or discrete (concerned with bill of materials and routing), integrated ERP systems typically handle the manufacturing, logistics, distribution, inventory, shipping, invoicing, and accounting for a company.

Manufacturers are implementing integrated systems since they understand that when you have a best-of-breed you don’t always get what you want. Let me explain. If you buy an integrated system you have the options of buying the core accounting and distribution that works best for your company. You then can buy the manufacturing package that best fits your industry and processing; food, chemical, widgets, etc. You don’t have to compromise with functionality or integration points purchasing an integrated system. Best-of-breed in most cases has one good set of functions; either it is financial, or manufacturing or distribution. If you are buying a best- of-breed for a manufacturing company then I will bet that the financials and distribution are weak at best. Most of the integrated products that work with Dynamics GP are so integrated that the end-user does not even know they are using a different product window.

The key objective of an ERP system is to integrate information and processes from all functional divisions of an organization and merge it for effortless access and structured workflow. Or more simply put, combining the once separated components of an entire company at once, making it easily accessible for the entire organization. This will in turn, increase the compatibility, functionality and productivity of the organization as a whole rather than each department or division separately (on its own). Ideal ERP software may generally consist of solutions in most business processes such as manufacturing, financials, human resource, supply chain management, projects, customer relationship management, and data warehouse. How many times are those in the management role of a business able to say they were never faced with challenges in the aspect of the company as a whole rather than on a smaller individual basis?

An integrated ERP system does not have to be purchased and implemented at the same time either. Taking a phased approach and adding modules and features allows you to budget the project out over time so your financials don’t take a big hit at once. And your team does not burn out from all the work assisting in implementation.

When business owners in the manufacturing industry inquire about software and network enhancement, some tend to fail to take the time to find in a network service provider with sufficient intelligence and expertise in software necessary for their business needs. A good fit is not always the best fit! Custom Information Services has over 20 years of expertise in software and network configuration and implementation including productivity solutions. Microsoft Dynamics GP has the functionality that our customers find beneficial while enhancing the quality of their business aspects. Located in North Texas, CIS also specialize in Network Solutions, Financial Solutions, and Document Solutions.

By Custom Information Services (CIS), your Texas Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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