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ERP definition

As an acronym that stands for enterprise resource planning, you can define ERP as a system that helps automate and manage business processes across finance, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, human resources, and operations. Helping leaders gain insight, optimise operations, and improve decision-making, ERP systems break down data silos, integrating information between different departments.

ERP examples across areas of business

Providing a comprehensive view of your business, ERP systems connect the various operations and departments throughout your organisation. Zoom in for a close-up look at specific departments or zoom out to see how the overall business is operating. This single view helps you get ahead of issues, remove roadblocks, and make the changes needed to continue growing your business.

Bringing business intelligence into view, ERP systems benefit many areas of an organisation. Here are some examples of how well-defined ERP systems streamline and optimise common areas of business.

Finance

Increase profitability, identify errors, eliminate duplication, and ensure compliance with the business intelligence surfaced by well-defined ERP systems.

Manufacturing

Accelerating product delivery and production, ERP systems bring a unified solution to manufacturing. Tracking, scheduling, and optimising product manufacturing and delivery, the benefits of ERP systems support the product to the customer and everything in between.

Retail

Creating smooth and seamless operations, ERP systems provide a unified retail experience. Product information, stock, customer promotions, and sales data are all centrally managed, streamlining both in-store sales and online purchases.

Supply chain

Drive optimisation, improve visibility, and streamline the supply chain—from sales to fulfilment, ERP systems help optimise logistics across production sites, warehouses, facilities, and transportation.

Human resources

Providing centralised data on a single platform, human capital management systems are often integrated within ERP systems. Enable employee success through benefits administration, absence and leave management, options to attract and onboard top talent, and tools to ensure compliance.

Features and benefits of ERP systems

The real-time visibility of ERP systems improves decision-making, helps identify issues before they occur, and increases overall productivity.

By bringing together data from a variety of different sources, ERP systems help you improve operational procedures. With a 360-degree view of your business processes, you’ll be able to respond quickly to changes in requirements or regulations, keeping all systems in compliance across the globe.

With an end-to-end view of your business, here are some common benefits of clearly-defined ERP systems:

Optimised operations

Gain greater control over disconnected areas of your business through the automation, task prioritisation, and data integration of ERP systems.

Aligned teams

Increase business productivity, enable the flow of data between departments, and encourage collaboration by breaking down data silos.

Unified data

Eliminate duplication, reduce errors, and boost data accuracy by maintaining a centralised repository for data from all departments.

Improved decision-making

Make predictive insights and data-driven decisions with real-time information about your organisation.

Reduced costs

Reduce mistakes and uncover issues before they happen—insight across the business increases efficiency and reduces costs overall.

Selecting an ERP system for your business

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from an ERP system. If your business expansion is hindered by your software, it’s a good time to identify a system that can help you grow. While many systems exist, it’s important to know what to look for when evaluating a potential ERP system for your organisation. These features are helpful to consider as you select a well-structured, well-suited, and well-defined ERP system.

Fit for growth

Needs change constantly in the fast pace of today’s business world. Look for a system that will grow with your organisation.

Adapts to your needs

Use one app or multiple, with the flexibility to customise, extend, and integrate your solution with other industry systems.

Cloud-based, mobile-friendly

In the office or out on the job site, find a solution that keeps your team connected wherever they are.

More than ERP

Look for applications that offer the broadest view of your business. Combine customer relationship management (CRM), ERP, human resources, and other tools to connect all areas of your organisation.

Pair and share

Invest in a system that offers a unified experience, letting you connect and share data across different apps.

What Microsoft Dynamics 365 can do for your business

Break down data silos with Dynamics 365—next-generation cloud applications that go beyond traditional ERP and CRM systems. Bring together data and relationships, build intelligence into your decision-making, and achieve better results with this comprehensive collection of end-to-end cloud applications.

With apps that work great on their own and even better together, no need to rip and replace—access what you need, when you need it.

For large organisations

Accelerate business growth with Dynamics 365 Finance and Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, empowering people to make faster, better decisions and adapt quickly to changing market demands.

For small- and medium-sized businesses

Connect and grow your business with Dynamics 365 Business Central, an all-in-one business solution that’s easy to adapt and simple to use.