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Enterprise Resources Planning ERP Certification - What is ERP

Enterprise Resources Planning software, or ERP, doesn't live up to its acronym. Forget about planning—it doesn't do much of that—and forget about resource, a throwaway term. But remember the enterprise part. This is Enterprise Resources Planning ERP's true ambition. It attempts to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those different departments' particular needs.

That is a tall order, building a single software program that serves the needs of people in finance as well as it does the people in human resources and in the warehouse. Each of those departments typically has its own computer system optimized for the particular ways that the department does its work. 

But Enterprise Resources Planning ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program that runs off a single database so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other. That integrated approach can have a tremendous payback if companies install the software correctly.

Once all the parts were in place, companies expected they were also buying a competitive advantage. They assumed that those company-wide applications would give them a leg up on rivals whose operations weren't yet so highly automated. Part of that advantage, it was further assumed, came from choosing the strongest Enterprise Resources Planning ERP vendor in the area most critical to the company's operations.

But time has tarnished some of those assumptions. Today, most large companies have implemented some form of ERP, so simply having an Enterprise Resources Planning ERP system is unlikely to be a key differentiator. Meanwhile, the functional differences between the various vendors' flavors of enterprise applications are rapidly dwindling, says Forrester Research Inc. senior analyst Jennifer Chew.

Effective forecasting, planning, and scheduling is fundamental to productivity–and Enterprise Resources Planning ERP is a fundamental way to achieve it. Properly implementing Enterprise Resources Planning ERP will give you a competitive advantage and help you run your business more effectively, efficiently, and responsively. You need to support all the people involved in Enterprise Resources Planning ERP implementation–from the CEO and others in the executive suite to the people doing the detailed implementation work in sales, marketing, manufacturing, purchasing, logistics, finance, and elsewhere.

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