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What is a global ERP system?

Global enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems help automate, streamline, and optimize a multi-national organization—integrating data and information into connected applications across different departments.

For businesses operating in multiple countries, ERP systems provide a single, real-time view of all aspects of the business.

Automation is a key feature of ERP systems. By connecting business data through integrated applications, tasks that were previously done manually can now be automated through the ERP system, creating significant efficiency, reducing paperwork, and eliminating churn.

This page will help you better understand the features and benefits of global ERP systems, as well as help you determine if a global ERP system is right for your business.

What is ERP and why do you need it?

What’s the difference between a global ERP system and a standard ERP system?

Global ERP systems include the same features and benefits you would find in a more traditional ERP system, as well as additional features that are crucial to businesses operating in multiple countries. These additional features address scenarios such as:

  • Multiple currencies
  • Multiple languages
  • Tax regulations across different geographies

In addition to these features specific to multi-national companies, global ERP systems provide a real-time view of business operations spanning finances and accounting, manufacturing, retail, supply chain, inventory management, human resources, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Is a global ERP system right for your business?

Having a high-level perspective of each area of business is critical for business leaders—but this can be challenging to achieve when different subsidiaries operate with different currencies, different languages, and regulations unique to each country.

Here are some questions that can help you determine if a global ERP is right for your business:

  • Does your business operate in multiple countries?
    Every country has unique compliance requirements, which a standard ERP system may not be able to accommodate. Global ERP systems provide features to address the challenges of operating businesses in different countries.
  • Does your business handle multiple currencies?
    If you have sales, expenses, or suppliers in different countries, you’ll likely encounter different currencies. A global ERP system will help track accounting needs regardless of the currency.
  • Do you need to pay taxes in different countries?
    A global ERP system can help you stay current and compliant with tax requirements and reporting regulations across multiple countries and geographies.
  • Do you have data centers around the globe?
    While your business may be active in a single country, any part of your operation that is outside your home country may have different compliance regulations. A global ERP can help manage the different reporting needs of multiple countries.
  • Did you recently acquire a new company or do you have market expansion in your future?
    New acquisitions or mergers result in a host of different reporting, tools, and data that need to integrate into your system. A global ERP system can be helpful if you need to bridge systems from different companies.

If any of these scenarios are true for your business, a global ERP system may be a wise choice to drive optimization and automation across the many departments and functions of your business.

The features and benefits of a global ERP system

Global ERP systems have a variety of features that help optimize all areas of your business. Here are a few of the key features and benefits of a global ERP system:

  • Standardization and consistency
    Create and maintain a global operating model with standardized metrics and benchmarks.
  • Automation and efficiency
    Empower employees to focus on growing the business by eliminating manual processes.
  • Adoption of best practices
    Keep your business operating at its highest efficiency by maintaining best practices—leading to streamlined, global standardization.
  • Compliance and risk management
    Reduce risk by tracking and monitoring compliance requirements across all locations and geographies.
  • Streamlined operations
    Improve visibility and eliminate bottlenecks, creating more seamless operations than ever before.
  • Reduced costs
    Improve budget control, eliminate redundancies, and minimize the cost of running a global infrastructure.

What to look for in a global ERP system

When looking for a global ERP system, it’s helpful to determine what your main challenges are, what data might need to be integrated, and what aspects of your system need to be included. This information will help you find a system that provides the features you require. In addition, here are some helpful things to consider as you evaluate possible global ERP solutions:

Modern and connected

Look for a system that helps keep your entire digital ecosystem connected. Don’t just focus on ERP, but also look at artificial intelligence, social media, mobile apps, and all touchpoints across your digital footprint.


Find a system that can grow with you, letting you integrate with different technologies, extend existing applications, and build new solutions as you need them.

Seamless and scalable

The more flexible the system, the easier it can be to integrate with your existing tools, creating a unified system—and a smoother onboarding process.

Discover Microsoft Dynamics 365

Transform your business for the digital age with Microsoft Dynamics 365—intelligent business applications that seamlessly integrate ERP capabilities across geographies. Break down silos across your business with connected systems that give you a unified view of all aspects of your sales and operations.