News: Enterprise resource planning for medium and small companies - By Julian Rausi

Flexibility and quick response are hallmarks of business competitiveness.  Access to information at the earliest possible time can help businesses serve customers better, raise quality standards and assess market conditions.  Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a key factor in instant access.  Although some think that ERP systems are only for large companies, this is not the case.  Medium and even small companies can also benefit from the ERP approach.  This is possible if the ERP system being employed is a modular system where one can implement only the necessary modules and adds more as the business grows.   

The use of information systems to add value to the organisation is strongly influenced by organisational structure, culture and change.  No system alone will successfully be implemented if there isn’t a willingness to adapt and change existing processes.  Information systems teams are the key to unlocking the potential of any new or modified system.   They support the cultural change within the organisation and guide the business owner on the process to successfully implement an IT system. 

Businesses need to ensure that improvements or completely new IT systems help lower costs, increase profits, improve service or achieve a competitive advantage.   These can be achieved through the use of various modules which most ERP systems provide, including accounting, sales, purchasing, distribution, warehouse management, asset management, project costings and business intelligence tools.

The smart use of an ERP system in today’s ever evolving operating environment, where customers, competitors, suppliers, shareholders, financiers are closer to each other, enables businesses to have information available on demand consistently. This is critical for an organisation to not only to survive but to thrive.  

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