Continuing ERP advancement means selecting the right provider is crucial

////Continuing ERP advancement means selecting the right provider is crucial

Enterprise resource planning has a decades-long history that has seen development of progressively more useful and customized solutions for the benefit of users.

Some of the most effective software solutions currently available involve the use of a base program working in concert with a series of add-ons. This combination allows businesses to tailor their ERP implementation into the best possible experience, creating the most positive financial and efficiency returns. By adding components that are specific to an industry segment or even smaller groupings, more needs and concerns can be effectively addressed.

Ventana Research recently provided a look at the future of ERP and its implementation, noting that some changes predicted for the industry may mean the use of best-in-class practices by more vendors to keep up with top offerings.

Complex business operations mean adaptable solutions are needed
A major challenge currently facing the ERP industry and one that will likely drive adaptation and change is the varying levels of customization needed for various businesses and industries. While this has been a common problem during the length of ERP’s use in managing the various components of a business, the increase in computer power and avenues for solutions means producers have more ways to develop useful software platforms.

A current offering that gives businesses a leg up over one-size-fits-all ERP software is the Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform. The underlying program is robust enough to handle basic operations while the use of an additional component, known as a NAV module, increases effectiveness in a specific subset of operational tracking and workflow management. Multiple modules can be used in conjunction or to control separate, specific functions.

Another possible progression for ERP software is that there may be significant future demand for solutions that work on tablets and other handheld devices, as they become more common in the workplace.

Real-time alerts about operations and conditions
Adding increased functionality in terms of integrating various business operations and during specific instances is a way that best-in-class ERP providers set themselves apart from other companies.

A report from the Aberdeen Group shows that the top providers are 66 percent more likely to give automatic notifications to workers when relevant conditions – like a quota being reached or inventory levels hitting a certain benchmark – are met. Additionally, the capacity for reports on nonstandard operations and variances are 70 percent more likely to be offered by the best ERP companies.