One of the key problems for modern businesses, especially in a difficult economic context, is to ensure that the company gets maximum value from its resources. This is even more critical for small businesses with limited resources. Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is a structured approach to assigning resources so that the organization can achieve its goals in the most efficient way possible. ERP management involves implementing and applying the structures effectively while limiting the resources consumed in the planning process.
ERP Management & Coordination
ERP brings business process management together in one application, but the coordination to make sure the various aspects of the company operations are represented in the software is a management issue. From human resources, companies may include time sheets, payroll, expenses and personnel planning. Financials may include accounting, assets and profit analysis. Sales volumes, pricing and order management are usually components. From production, ERP typically includes inventory and materials management, production planning, shipping, purchasing and plant maintenance. ERP management ensures that the software receives the required information and implements changes when required.
ERP Management & Ongoing Improvement
Typical ERP systems require constant changes to keep up with the evolving business structure and changes in the organization or external conditions. When the company does not initially include all operations, or when it starts up new initiatives, the ERP manager has to integrate the new processes. Executives often need additional or new information so new reports are required. Partners may want to exchange data so management has to put in place new interfaces. Adapting the ERP software to a changed environment takes up a lot of ERP management time.
ERP Management & Training and Support
The ERP application relies on receiving correct data about the operations it covers. Employees have to input data or record activities and results in a form the software can recognize and process. The ERP manager must make sure all employees who have access to ERP databases know what data to enter and what form the data must take. While typical ERP programs have input forms that control what goes into the databases, missing or incorrectly entered information can skew the results and reduce the accuracy of reports.
ERP Management & Security and Updates
A key function of ERP management is to keep the data secure and the software patched. As suppliers identify threats and vulnerabilities, they issue new patches to make the ERP application secure. The company’s own operating systems, networks and work stations have to provide a secure environment for the ERP databases that may contain sensitive data as well as personal or private information of employees and customers. The ERP manager is responsible for ensuring that the ERP application does not become the weak link in the company’s software environment.
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