What is ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the latest innovative solution introduced to the business world. ERP solutions seek to streamline and integrate operation processes and information flows in an organization to synergies the resources namely man power, material, money and machinery through information.
Initially the implementation of an ERP package was only possible for large multi-national and infrastructure companies due to its high cost; however, now it is made available to serve the needs and aspirations of any business or venture.
ERP integrates all departments and functions across an organization onto a single computer system that aims to serve practically everyone’s particular needs. It simplifies the exchange of data and facilitates communication among departments. ERP systems run on client-server networks–personal computers connected to more powerful servers (including possibly mainframes) that feed them data; where each module works separately, performing specific data-processing functions.
ERP solutions may include the capability to interface data warehouses to support managerial reporting and business intelligence requirements such as online analytical processing and data mining.
Current ERP solutions are created on client-server structures that consist of presentation, Internet-enabling, application and database layers; these layers could either be installed in one server, for example an enterprise server or mainframe, or distributed among a number of servers for scalability.
At the heart of the ERP is a relational database management system that ensures data consistency and integrity, and a workflow manager that supports the management of a dynamic work process.