An Ultimate Guide To ERP Solution Development
Originally published at opengeekslab.com on August 12, 2020
Active introduction of digital technologies accelerates the growth of demand for ERP solution development. If small businesses can manage without ERP system integration, in case of mid-sized companies and enterprises ERP software implementation becomes vital.
In this post, OpenGeeksLab discusses custom ERP software development, its must-have features, and the advantages company gets adopting ERP business solutions.
What is ERP Solution?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a system of integrated software solutions developed for the optimization of business processes across different departments within one organization. It ensures easy information and management share between departments making them synchronized. ERP solutions also cover sales management, delivery management, accounting, supply and distribution management.
It integrates diverse operations to provide a general productivity boost, make administrative processes more time-efficient, and reduce expenses spent on resource planning. The system is usually implemented as mobile ERP software or web-based ERP software.
ERP business software solutions consist of several modules that are connected to a common database. Modules work independently and can be easily included in or excluded from active usage.
As a rule, ERP business solutions offer the following basic modules:
1. Financial Management
Financial module takes hold over financial operations, helps to track transactions, control budget estimate, reduce expenses, and maintain accurate accountability.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
ERP CRM solutions manage client databases, analyze customer demand for certain products, singles out market trends, and help in building a productive marketing strategy.
3. Sales & Marketing
This app component operates basic sales processes including sales inquiries, orders, quotations, invoices. Sales and marketing module commonly cooperates with CRM module to make marketing strategies more efficient and bring more profit.
4. Human Resources (HR)
HR component regulates all processes connected to stuff management from hiring new employees to dismissal procedures. HR module also includes payroll software and relates to the financial module.
5. Supply Chain Management (SCM)
SCM app module tracks demand, resources, production status, logistics, distribution as fast as possible, making correspondent corrections in product supply planning. SCM component optimizes supplies and resources to make your company more competitive on the market.
Manufacturing module handles all production processes carried out in your company: from product planning to quality monitoring and forecasting.
7. Inventory Management
Inventory component providers accurate inventory reports and, together with other modules, regulates delivery processes, logistics, document flow.
8. Service Management
Service management module cooperates with CRM component to provide a better user experience for your customers. It collects and analyzes user data, tracks orders, inquiries, controls service quality.
ERP solutions fall into two major types:
- Standalone Systems
Standalone solution is a product bought from a development company or distributor. Users have unlimited access to system services and can adjust it to their needs on the level of system settings or change the code, which is open after purchasing. Standalone system may be stored on company’s own or rented/IaaS servers.
- SaaS Systems
With SaaS solution, company pays for access to ready-made system located on cloud services. Users can configure and adjust it up to their liking but the source code is hidden by the distributor, so customers cannot edit it.
Besides, enterprise resource planning software varies depending on the scale of the client company and complexity of its needs. Adopting ERP system, one may either buy a ready-made solution, like Sage Intacct, Sap, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamix, to spare time and costs, or go for custom ERP software development to get an app perfectly fitting particular business case.
ERP Software Market Size
Despite substantial development costs, enterprise resource planning software market gradually develops covering even more market spheres. According to research, about 95% of companies using ERP apps have experienced improvements in workflow, and over 80% will recommend this approach to colleagues. Initially developed for manufacturing enterprises, the technology is now adopted by a wide range of industries.
By 2019, global ERP app market size reached $35.81 billion and, by 2026, will grow from $71.63 billion to $78.40 billion with a forecasted CAGR rate from 8.5 to 10.2 correspondingly. Cloud solutions stand apart, as they get more popularity now. In 2020, cloud ERP market size amounted to $45.3 billion, and it is projected to grow up to $101.1 billion in 2025, at a CAGR of 17.4%. The rise of cloud solutions also attracts SMEs that, according to forecasts, are going to capture up to 40% of market share by 2025.
Benefits of ERP Solution Development
Adopting enterprise resource planning system development, the company gets a wide range of benefits main of them being:
1. Business Processes Optimization
As a resource planning system integrates all departments of the company, many time-consuming business processes can be carried out automatically, reducing costs and making workflow more efficient. System automation also eliminates mistakes connected to the human factor.
2. Internal Communication Efficiency
Due to the common database, ERP solution development makes communication between departments more efficient and better organized. Data availability allows users from diverse units quickly agree on dubious issues without direct interaction. These solutions are often compatible with a wide range of third-party apps.
3. High-Quality Customer Service
With general automation, customer service improves as well. Detailed analytics allows better analyze customer needs and predict upcoming demand trends with machine data processing.
4. Time Economy
ERP solution implementation reduces the time required for performing routine assignments or administrative tasks. With resource planning, the workflow becomes more optimized and time-efficient.
5. Productivity Tracking
ERP solutions offer varied analytical reports that allow to track current trends in company’s/department’s performance, facilitate decision-making, boost productivity, optimize working processes. Overall system transparency makes operations real-time visible.
1. Set Up Clear Expectations
Before going for custom system development, an entrepreneur should set up clear, realistic expectations to make future collaboration with developers successful. The app requirements must be approved by stakeholders and developers to ensure their achievability.
2. Define the Line
After defining general requirements, one should choose the type of ERP software implementation and develop a general project plan. It commonly includes system’s basic modules, development team composition, resources required for the development process, rough budget estimate, and approximate deadlines or milestones to hold control over the development process.
3. Bet on Right Technologies
Deciding on the proper technological stack makes half of the development success. Custom ERP software development concerns three basic technological aspects: system hosting, programming framework, database implementation.
Hosting choice depends directly on the solution type one has adopted, as it can be either local or cloud and requires different maintenance level after implementation.
Deciding on a reliable database, one comes across two most popular options: relational (SQL) and non-relational (NoSQL) database. SQL databases offer a high level of standardization fitting small companies, while NoSQL databases store data in multiple file formats suiting more bigger companies with varied information types managed.
4. Mind UI/UX Design
Coming up with a proper UI/UX design is another priority to make an ERP solution efficient. Bet on a simple user-friendly interface with all necessary tools easily available. Making elements intuitively connected contributes to a positive user experience as well.
5. Integrate with Existing Infrastructure
Deciding on custom ERP development, the majority of organizations already possess a certain database and specialized app solutions they have used before. Thus, before starting actual development process, developers must consolidate all existing data with the current project to ensure company’s smooth performance in the future with no additional integration tool needed.
6. Test Applied Solution
Proper testing stands among the most important stages during ERP solution development as it allows to find possible discrepancies and correct them before system launch. Testing the app, one must take into account how accurate the final product covers initial requirement, check system’s functionality, verify security issues. Engaging focus groups from the most charged departments while testing will ensure getting relevant user feedback.
The feature set implemented while ERP application development greatly depends on basic modules included in particular enterprise resource planning software. The most common app functions include:
1. Global Integration
Company-wide integration is a key feature for ERP software development, as it ensures high-level synchronization of different departments. Unlike systems that integrate autonomous apps for sake of data exchange, ERP offers in-built specialized software designed specifically for common use within one app. It showcases higher combinability rates providing a well-coordinated, convenient workflow for all units. Enterprise resource planning system integration allows different branches to cooperate working with several modules at once.
2. Business Processes Automation
Automation appears among the top important features for ERP business software solutions. It optimizes many routine tasks (like order entry, invoicing, payroll, accounting, reporting) reducing time spent on document flow. With ERP software development, many operations, which earlier required a separate person to carry them out, are performed automatically by system algorithms that spare working time and reduce expenses.
3. Real-time Operations
Real-time operations stand among vital features directly influencing enterprise’s success. ERP development must make daily workflow more organized and time-efficient. With custom ERP solutions, routine operations become fast and precise, as everything is settled within one integrated app. Updated info becomes available for users in other units right after changes, making workflow efficient and harmonious.
4. Common Database
Common database availability is a must-have feature for any ERP business solution, as it lays basis for the system’s smooth performance. Information entered into the system becomes part of a common database. In case of necessity, people from the same or different units can get access to the required data through the common system without addressing peculiar software or person in charge. A database can be stored on physical company servers or in ‘clouds’ and must be protected by modern security protocols.
5. Data Analytics
As far as the system is involved into data collection and processing, analytical feature implementation appears cost-effective. It singles out trends or patterns peculiar to analyzed business operations and predicts how the system will work in the nearest future. With the analytical feature, mobile ERP solutions provide customers with general performance analysis or certain department/business unity research. It covers data connected to all business processes, including CRM data, productivity indicators, sales and production statistics. Data analysis makes ERP solution more effective and reduces general expenses due to analytical process optimization.
6. Accurate Reporting
Automized reporting is another feature ensuring productivity boost. Like other functions peculiar to ERP solutions, reporting contributes to workflow’s time-efficiency increase. Many of them are automatically generated and sent onto the server, so people should not participate in accountability procedures. Reports provided by ERP business solutions possess high traceability and offer varied tools, including custom dashboards, bar graphs, pie and Gantt charts, if human corrections are necessary.
7. Transparent Tracking
Transparent tracking opportunity stands among the most important features implemented into ERP solutions. Properly developed custom enterprise resource planning system does not only integrates company’s workflow but also ensures efficient control tools. ERP integration allows tracking material or immaterial data within the system. Product tracking is usually implemented via sending requests, while information tracking is commonly fulfilled via related system modules, e.g. client connected info is tracked via CRM module, while stuff related issues can be found in HR module.
Need to Build Your Own ERP Solution?
ERP software implementation is an essential part of the successful enterprise operation. Custom development requires substantial costs and a pretty long time period to be properly built but the solution will definitely pay off and improve company’s workflow.
Want to build a custom ERP solution for your company? Do not hesitate to contact us, as we possess all the necessary tools to develop ERP solution suiting your peculiar business needs. Still not sure about active actions? Book an online consultation with our experts right now to clarify your business needs.