With the arrival of new ERP vendors in the market today different ERP software highlight different features of their product, but on detailed examination it is very clearly evident that barring one or two most of the good and complete ERP solutions have chunk of features common in their products. Today enterprise resource planning software have SCM, HCM, CRM, Financial management, BI and Manufacturing incorporated in their main product or available as separate application easy to connect with the main product.
Business intelligence is the latest edition in the features of ERP software and arguably most sought after feature. This feature enables the user to analyze their data to make optimum utilization of the resources available to them and also place, produce and design their product to get better business. Service oriented organizations also use this feature for designing their service offers and to provide better services to their customers. BI component enlightens from executives to the managers for better decision making and also prepare them for possible changes in the trend and demands of the market in near future.
Customer relation management or popularly known as CRM is another feature of ERP software which may be available with the main product or as an application capable of running without ERP or with ERP. CRM broadly provide facilities like creating sales quotes, maintaining records of last conversation with the possible clients and order processing. It also caters to the needs of marketing force by managing campaigns and identifying new market and demands. Sales force automation, web stores and self service tools are other facilities usually accompany a CRM solution. With the growing competition every organization focuses on improving customer satisfaction which makes CRM as most important feature of ERP.
With the feature of Human resource management ERP software have touched the most ignored part of any organization. Talent management, training, hiring, employee retention, career growth and increasing productivity and accountability of key employees can be easily managed through this feature of ERP.
Financial management provides some new facilities like capacity to work with different taxation rules, product wise cost calculation and handling multi-lingual systems. Apart from these general options of ledger, accounts receivables, payables, cost accounting, Profit and loss analysis and facility to see consolidated or individual data of different divisions in one format are also their to save time and improve efficiency.
Supply chain management is the feature of ERP which varies mostly from one vendor to another. Some ERP solutions provide one single module of SCM while some like Oracle has divided it in to three separates modules. Few enterprise resource planning software include warehousing solutions and distribution management within the module while few have separate modules for it.
Manufacturing is an integral feature of ERP software, some ERP have support for lean manufacturing and process and discrete manufacturing within the module but some provide these on customization. Other features like bill of material, PPC, MRP, Job costing, shop floor control and job scheduling are often included in all the ERP solutions. Some enterprise resource planning solutions focus specifically on manufacturing units in the main product and provide other features like CRM and HCM as separate applications.