What’s Inside a Basic ERP System?

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems have long been used by organizations of all sizes, to automate and optimize operational business processes, manage and control a company’s financials, and more. As full-fledged ERP systems are complex, and often, cumbersome, requiring considerable investment in terms of time, resources, and costs, many vendors offer basic ERP packages.

Fortunately, a basic ERP system is usually sufficient for most organizations to manage their business processes and financials. Both small and mid-sized businesses benefit from basic packages, and more features can be added as and when needed, when a company decides to scale. In fact, it’s probably the best place to start when moving from legacy tools and practices. Let’s take a closer look at what’s included in a basic ERP package, and what you can expect to find inside.

Basic modules offered by competitive ERP vendors

Most entry-level ERP solutions offer the modules listed below, however, it may depend on the individual vendor, and some of these modules may be offered as additional features, and not part of the basic package.

 

  1.  Financial Management.One of the primary features of an ERP is to help you automate your financial operations. Even the most basic cloud-based ERP systems are equipped with integrated planning and budgeting tools. You’ll also be able to gain control over your banking and cash flow, and automate accounts in the process. In addition, a basic ERP system can also reduce the complexities associated with purchasing processes.

 

  1. Business Intelligence. Business analytics help organizations to make better informed business decisions in multiple areas. Business Intelligence (BI) tools help you monitor your overall business performance and gain insight into what the future holds, based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While most ERP vendors offer some level of BI in their basic packages, it’s important to confirm that you’ll be able to view and generate all of your business data and reports on intuitive, user-friendly system dashboards.

 

  1. Supply Chain Management. One of the most important functions of any ERP is to help businesses, small and large, to manage and control their inventories, and maintain a streamlined supply chain. A fully integrated, end-to-end Supply Chain Management (SCM) module efficiently handles every stage of your supply chain, including planning, execution, and customer support, enabling delivery of your product or services, on time, and on budget.

 

  1. Human Resource Management. Although a Human Resource Management System (HRMS) is often sold as a separate solution, many of today’s basic ERP packages come equipped with a built-in HR management module and functionality. A basic package will enable managers/HR professionals to streamline employee information, manage new hires, employee onboarding, payroll, promotions, compensation changes, and more. This module may also include time and attendance tracking and reporting.

 

  1. Project Management. Automated project management is an important component of a basic ERP package. This module helps organizations to manage and control customer projects, including comprehensive project planning and tracking, resource management, and costing, backed by supporting tasks within or between projects, to reduce operational costs and seamlessly integrate processes across your organization. It reduces delays in project completion and enhances overall team collaboration and productivity, and is one of the most important functions of an ERP for freelancers, consultants, and small businesses.

 

  1. Shipping & Delivery. With the rise of e-commerce on a global scale, automating shopping and deliveries are key to enhancing the customer experience. Although part of supply chain management, it’s important to ensure that shipping and deliveries and logistics management are included in your basic ERP package. This module enables your organization to meet delivery dates, eliminate errors, control shipping costs, respond immediately to customer delivery status requests, and track your shipments in real-time. It’s essential for businesses that run online shops.

 

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM). A CRM module is a crucial component of any ERP. It manages and controls customer relations to enhance your company’s interaction with current and potential customers, to boost the customer experience, and ultimately, drive sales. A strong CRM module also includes Sales, enabling you to manage lead generation, opportunity and account management, sales & order targets, target & forecast analysis, and more.

A basic ERP package may be more than sufficient

As you can see, a basic ERP system is ideal for small or mid-size organizations that have just started to automate their business processes. It is also a great choice for start-ups, freelancers, and agencies that are looking to enhance their productivity and growth. It consists of all the basic features that one can expect from a full-fledged ERP, although they may be limited in terms of features and capacity.

Most vendors allow you to upgrade to more premium plans as and when you require additional features and customizations. To find out if a basic ERP package is the right choice for you and your business, contact us for a no-obligation call with one of our ERP implementation experts.

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The Author
Johan Pintens
Managing Director, Western Europe

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