10 enterprise ERP features you need to count on

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), also known as enterprise resource planning system, is a software tool that facilitates the coordinated management of an organization or business.

Because this comprehensive management system is concerned with ensuring the smooth running of a company, the main features of ERP are essential to correctly and effectively coordinate the various departments and business processes.

In this article, find out which features should make up the structure of a functional ERP and the benefits it brings to business management.

What does ERP stand for?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning; a management system that allows to coordinate, from an operational, productive and functional point of view, all the activities of a business. This is done with the objective of increasing productivity and performance.

This management software, thanks to its versatility and the fact that it is scalable, has the capacity to adapt to the needs of each company and to offer solutions for different processes such as supply chain, human resources and project management, among others.

What are the characteristics of an ERP?

It is increasingly common for companies to put technology at the service of their internal and external processes. Using an ERP tool helps organizations to become more competitive year after year and to be able to offer a better range of services and products.

However, there is a minimum of qualities that the tools that are implemented must have in order to contribute to meet the business objectives. So, let's see what are the main features that ERP technology brings to business management.

1. Centralization

Based on a centralized database, the principle of an ERP is to offer software applications capable of covering a wide range of management functions. This set of software applications or ERP applications are also called functional modules.

Because data is centralized in one place, the integrated management of business processes is made possible and process optimization is ensured by avoiding unnecessary duplication of activities.

2. Automation

The automation of processes achieved from an ERP is one of the main features provided by this tool.

Customer relationship management, for example, is one of the processes that ERP helps to automate, thanks to one of the specific modules it offers: CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

This system consists of a set of methods and actions adopted by a company to better understand and evaluate customer needs, relate to them intelligently and build customer loyalty.

More and more companies are choosing to include a CRM module in their ERP packages. This integration allows each employee to work towards customer satisfaction. Thus, ERP-CRM solutions enable companies to more easily track customer interactions and improve their responsiveness and performance.

3. Analytics

Another characteristic aspect of the ERP concept is the use of a workflow engine. Its function is to ensure the propagation of data once they are recorded and analyzed in the computer system. Therefore, we speak of ERP when it is a computer system composed of several functional modules that share a single database, through an automated system.

4. Modularity

One of the most interesting features of the ERP system is its ability to adapt to the specific needs of each company.

This is particularly appealing for SMEs, which are usually more limited in terms of financial resources and tend to opt for modular solutions that offer them economic advantages.

However, a global software package can provide more advantages than separate solutions. Hence the importance of ERP modularity, which must be flexible and more efficient to install, despite being composed of a wide range of applications.

5. Scalability

From the hand with modularity, is scalability. This characteristic consists of the ability of a system to evolve as the company or business grows and develops.

This includes that the system contemplates the development of new functionalities or the evolution of the same ones in order not to become obsolete in the face of the challenges to overcome within each operative process.

6. Integration

It is possible to integrate a parameterizable and specific ERP software to the internal functioning of a company. On the one hand, the modularity of the ERP tool makes it suitable for the management of different types of companies: SMEs or large organizations.

On the other hand, there are ERP software that offer integrations with other business developments such as e-commerce. Likewise, the tools or applications of these developments such as banks or payment gateways necessary for the operation of the business is also possible.

7. Immediacy

An important feature that an ERP must have is that data updates are made in real time and transferred to the target modules. This is made possible by not having interfaces between modules and by providing synchronized processing.

8. Simplicity

When companies are looking for a tool to optimize their management, they require solutions that are easy to implement. When a system is too complex or requires the constant intervention of a specialist, it loses its vocation as a solution and becomes a stone in the shoe.

A fundamental characteristic that an effective ERP must offer is that its maintenance does not require the intervention of the company's IT department. For this, for example, there are cloud solutions whose providers are able to provide online assistance via the Internet.

9. Adaptability

Hand in hand with scalability and modularity, adaptability is an outstanding feature of ERP software. The competitiveness of companies today depends on the tools they have to adapt to market demands.

When we talk about adaptability of the ERP system, it is expected that the tool has a high capacity of configuration to adapt to the specific needs of each company and its sector of activity, as well as to the type of company and the production and operation it carries out.

10. Portability

This feature consists of the system being executable from different operating systems and accessible through different devices: from the desktop, mobile or tablet, for example.

The ability of the software to be transferred from one environment to another, ensuring the level of information security is one of the aspects that companies analyze before opting for one solution or another.

What does an ERP provide? → Benefits of the ERP system

Some of the advantages offered by an ERP at the moment of implementing it in the company are the following:

It facilitates the creation and analysis of information and guarantees its exclusivity, thanks to the server that hosts its unique database.

It provides audit trails based on full traceability of operations.

It supports decision-making by providing a quicker understanding of costs and deadlines subject to external factors.

Increases the ability to anticipate situations that may be detrimental to the business, thanks to the collection, organization and analysis of data.

Accelerates the optimization of management processes, ensures the coherence and consistency of information and guarantees efficient management.

It favors internal company communication and guarantees the integrity and uniqueness of the IT system by sharing the same database.

ERP tools offer different functionalities depending on the type of process to be improved:
  • Warehouse management,
  • supply chain management,
  • commercial management,
  • Human resources management, etc.
The choice of the right tool for each company should be based on a comparison of its features and functionalities. Consult our solutions directory and find the ERP system that suits you best.