What small businesses need to know about Enterprise Resource Planning software

For many business managers who are making their first foray into researching ERP software, the subject can see daunting. Search the internet for “ERP software” and you’ll be inundated with dozens of pages of information and opinion; it’s a big subject and there is no shortage of commentators, experts and marketers, all vying for your attention and, of course, a share of your IT budget.

The good news is that despite the technical acronym, the basic principles of ERP software are easily defined and once understood, a business manager is in a solid position to begin considering the different options available to their company.

A single, centralized database

The central feature of all ERP systems is a shared database that supports multiple functions used by different business units within an organization. As opposed to using multiple software systems to manage different areas of a business, ERP software centralizes all information within a single system. This means that whatever job function a user happens to perform, they and their colleagues are working with a single source of data, as opposed to multiple databases created using separate, disparate software applications.

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