ERP software: Why and how to use it?

Many companies implement ERP software (Enterprise Resource Planning) to streamline their processes. An ERP system allows you to automate your production and supply chain and be free of manual, time-consuming tasks. In addition to facilitating the management of your internal resources, an ERP helps you control costs and boost business efficiency. In this article, Lemon Learning walks you through ERP benefits, integration, costs, and our selection of top ERP solutions on the market.

What is ERP software?

ERP software is designed to manage your company’s operational processes. You can deploy an ERP system in 2 ways, Software-as-a-Service or On-Premise. In both instances, your ERP can be implemented in the Cloud, SaaS or hybrid formats. Like other business tools, including CRM, an ERP system can integrate with numerous business applications and be customized to your specific needs. ERP software handles tasks such as inventory management, production, supply chain, finance, accounting, CRM and more.

ERPs are often referred to as the brain or nervous system of a company’s operations. This abundance of information is displayed in dashboards to help facilitate resource planning and distribution. What’s more is that modern day ERP systems now incorporate advanced business intelligence and reporting features, allowing you to input any relevant operational data directly into the cloud, including orders, sales, production & manufacturing, and quality control.

You’ll find a selection of ERP solutions that can adapt to changing business needs, accommodating expansions, mergers, and acquisitions. Whether you operate in healthcare, food, biotechnology, construction, or retail, you can find an ERP system that aligns with your expectations.

What are the benefits of ERP software?

How to use ERP software and reap the benefits? When it comes to saving time and enhancing user productivity, ERPs take the lead by automating manual tasks. By centralizing information, they streamline operational processes through improved integration and communication between business functions. With enhanced data visibility, real-time reporting becomes a reality, ensuring the flow of accurate information across departments. The ultimate outcome? Informed decision-making driven by data.

By implementing ERP software, you can achieve more than just process standardization and streamlined communication among your company’s departments and employees. Control the accessibility of information thanks to robust mechanisms by defining user roles and permissions. What’s more, the system keeps track of user activities and data changes through comprehensive audit trails. And to ensure security, ERP vendors regularly release updates that safeguard against vulnerabilities and emerging threats.

Growing companies, in particular, have a vested interest in implementing ERP software to:

  • Meet deadlines for product launch and delivery, ensuring timely market placement.
  • Lower production costs effectively.
  • Ensure thorough traceability of their operations.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction levels.
  • Efficiently manage their complete logistics and supply chain.
  • Encrypt data to protect sensitive information.

An ERP solution centralizes all planning tools and dashboards, enabling managers of both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to make informed decisions based on relevant data.

ERP software: is it easy to integrate?

When it comes to implementing an ERP system, it’s essential to engage the expertise of an ERP integrator that follows a meticulous set of protocols. These specialists take on the responsibility of managing and safeguarding your valuable data, including critical information related to customers, suppliers, invoices, orders, accounts, and human resources.

To ensure a secure transfer of your sensitive information, the integrator team conducts a comprehensive analysis of your computer system’s configuration in advance. This enables them to identify the most suitable backup solution tailored to your needs. Additionally, they assess the number of workstations that require equipping and subsequently install the necessary modules essential for optimizing your business activities. These modules encompass a wide range of functionalities such as CRM, payroll management, invoicing, e-commerce, inventory management, and both B2B and B2C commerce.

ERP installation: how much does it cost?

Implementing ERP software involves significant investment including installation, maintenance, and associated services such as user training, after-sales support, updates, error mitigation, and more. The price of this comprehensive management tool varies depending on factors such as your company’s existing infrastructure, the number of workstations requiring configuration, and the complexity of the modules and functions to be integrated. It’s important to note that the mentioned prices and cost ranges are subject to variation based on factors such as the specific ERP solution, vendor, region, and scope of implementation.

Cost-effective alternatives

If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, open source tools offer a viable alternative to traditional ERP licenses. These free tools come with relatively low prices, typically ranging from $150 to $500 per user for setup. However, it’s important to note that opting for open source solutions means foregoing additional services typically associated with licensed ERP software.

While open source tools are an economical choice, it’s essential to carefully evaluate your specific business requirements and assess the level of support and functionality needed. By considering both cost and functionality, you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your budget and operational needs.

Reputable ERP providers

For enhanced system security and long-term productivity, we strongly recommend installing an ERP with an official license from reputable providers such as Oracle or Dynamics 365. While the cost of these ERP solutions can vary, it typically starts anywhere between 500 euros and 2,500 euros per user. Investing in licensed ERP software ensures reliable support and access to regular updates, offering peace of mind for your business operations.

Additional long term costs

In addition to the ERP setup costs, it’s important to allocate a budget for hosting your software, whether it’s in the cloud, via SaaS (Software as a Service), or on-premise. These hosting options come with associated services that require budget considerations. As a guideline, introductory ERP training can range from 300 euros to 900 euros per person, equipping your team with the necessary skills to leverage the full potential of the ERP system.

A report based on 1,384 ERP projects reveals that the average budget allocated per user for an ERP project is $9,000.

Source: Software Path, 2022

What are the best ERP solutions on the market?

There are a wide range of ERP solutions to choose from, catering to businesses of all sizes. One standout example is Sage X3, a modern generation of ERP solution designed specifically for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). As a market leader, Sage X3 offers a comprehensive suite of integrated tools, including accounting, payroll, and payment systems. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative to other ERP vendors, Sage is an attractive choice for a first time ERP implementation.

Whether you’re implementing an ERP for the time, transitioning to an on-premise or SaaS model, or seeking seamless integration, Lemon Learning is here to assist you. Our digital adoption platform seamlessly integrates with any web-based software, like a second skin. From onboarding and training to providing in-app support, Lemon Learning empowers you to guide users through their business processes with interactive guides, self-service support, and in-app communication.

Tags: ERP

Sarah C

Sarah oversees all things inbound marketing, exploring the many business uses and topics surrounding digital adoption. Her previous experiences include B2C and product marketing in the social listening space, uncovering emerging industry trends.