Enterprise Resource Planning 101: Tools You Can Use to Start

A simple search online for the “ERP” acronym will return thousands of results, which can be quite confusing. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, but even when you know its full name, it’s difficult to figure out exactly what ERP is or what it does. To have a better understanding, let’s take a step back and grasp the bigger picture.

One needs various essential processes when it comes to running a business, such as accounting, inventory and order management, human resources, customer relationship management (CRM), and so much more. At its most basic level, ERP software helps managers integrate all of these functions into one complete system.

That way, they can integrate processes and information across the entire company with ease. Enterprise resource planning software, therefore, is something that helps businesses run smoothly. It also breaks down the barriers between various departments, stimulating employees to do their jobs more efficiently. Here are some of the most popular tools when it comes to helping companies account, plan, and run key units under one umbrella.

1. Microsoft Dynamics

Trust Microsoft to develop a full suite of ERP products for business managers to buy. Amongst others, the package also includes human resources, financial management, and supply chain management – three of the most common functions in a company. Users can also customize the software they’re purchasing by adding other modules as well as third party offerings. Microsoft Dynamics is available both on premises and in the cloud, covering a wide range of OS.

2. Intacct

One of the best cloud based financial accounting tools, Intacct provides clients with financial insights and integration. It performs a broad range of core finance and accounting tasks. Some of the more commons ones are project accounting, multi-currency management, financial reporting, and orders and billing. Intacct is available across Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it’s designed to help small and medium businesses.

3. Salesforce

Salesforce is one the biggest names in enterprise resource planning, offering some of the smartest customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Companies can use their business tool across a variety of sectors with the same successful results. Salesforce offers various products, depending on the business’ sector and size. The firm has recently started to expand its cloud offering with a new IoT (Internet of Things) cloud. Salesforce has also invested in its strategic collaboration with Microsoft, bringing the two firms products even closer.

4. Oracle JD Edwards

Part of Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne product series, this software specializes in core accounting functionality, including advanced cost accounting, accounts payable and receivable, and expense management. Just like many other enterprise resource planning tools, it can be used on premises (for more internal control), on Linux and Windows, and via web browsers.

5. Sage

Designed mainly for companies in distribution, manufacturing, and services, Sage provides an extended range of products and the best key ERP tools. At the same time, this software is often utilized by multinational firms who deal with various languages and currencies within the same company. Sage tools run on premises or in the cloud, as well as across Windows and Linux operating systems.

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