What is ERP software and how can it benefit your business?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a term applied to integrated software systems used to manage the internal and external resources of an organization. These include the physical assets, financial resources, materials and human resources (or staff).

Benefits of ERP

Implementing a good ERP application will deliver key benefits including:

  • integrated business processes
  • one central database with no duplication of data
  • a single ‘view of the truth’
  • easy-to-use, powerful reporting across the whole suite (and therefore the whole organization)
  • the same look-and-feel across the whole system, making training and using the ERP very straightforward.

Drawbacks with ERP

Buying and implementing ERP can be expensive and time consuming, with many high profile examples of issues with projects going significantly over time or budget, or both. The largest players in the market have developed a reputation for needing huge resources including external consultants to implement an ERP system and get it working, not to mention the cost of making changes to the system or simply maintaining it.

What's Included in an ERP Software Solution?

An ERP software package will generally cover the following areas:

Core functions:

  • Financial accounting
  • Distribution
  • Human Resources
  • Product lifecycle management


Advanced Applications

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Mobile application for account and sales management.
  • Supply chain management software
  • Purchasing
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Warehouse Management System

Find Out More

An ERP system facilitates the flow of information between all business functions inside the organization and links to outside stakeholders such as customer and supplier systems. The key objective of implementing an ERP system is to bring together the disparate functions of the organization into a single system environment and therefore make the operations run more efficiently.

A new generation of ERP

However, not all ERP systems are the same. Unit4 Business World On! (formerly Agresso Business World) is an example of a new approach to ERP, with a focus on keeping costs low, improving efficiency and enabling organizations to make changes to the system when changes in their organization or the way they do business require it. The Business World system has been shown to be much easier to make changes to after it has been implemented (so called ‘post-implementation agility), and users are given the skills to maintain the system and make changes themselves.