Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

What is ERP Software?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is an integrated suite of tools and modules that organizations use to manage and automate core, daily business processes such as accounting, human resources, supply chain, manufacturing, and project management. ERP systems are designed to streamline business management, act as a system of record, and create data flows between various teams and systems within a company.

Key benefits of ERPs include:

  • Improved companywide efficiency through automated workflows and business process management,
  • Enhanced business reporting with real-time insights from a centralized database of all business activities,
  • Increased cash flow due to refined, automated invoicing and collections processes,
  • Reduced operating costs through improved inventory management, supply chain management, customer support, and vendor & supplier management.

ERP systems have been used for decades in the manufacturing industry, but modern cloud-based ERPs can be tailored to small businesses or large enterprises in any industry. Additionally, cloud ERP solutions use advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to build intelligent automation processes and provide real-time business data insights to help organizations stay flexible, agile, and competitive.

Top ERP Modules and their Functions

The top ERP modules and functionalities include the following:

  • Manufacturing: The ERP manufacturing module contains tools to help organizations streamline manufacturing processes and accurately plan production schedules.
  • Accounting and Finance: An ERP accounting and finance module contains centralized tools for managing, recording, processing, and reporting financial data processes such as:
    • Accounts payable,
    • Accounts receivable,
    • General ledger,
    • Cash flow management,
    • Budgeting & forecasting.
  • Human Capital Management (HCM): ERPs offer an HCM module that streamlines Human Resources (HR) processes and centralizes employee information in one system. HCM modules help companies manage each phase of employees’ lifecycles, including:
    • Onboarding & training,
    • Payroll,
    • Benefits administration,
    • Performance reviews & talent management.
  • Inventory Management: An ERP inventory management module provides real-time inventory data to help organizations more efficiently track inventory, manage product stock levels, and optimize warehousing space. ERPs also automate inventory management processes to improve operational efficiency and accuracy.
  • Order Management: ERP order management modules automate order management processes and centralize inventory, sales, and customer data in one system.
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM): An ERP supply chain management module contains tools to help companies seamlessly and efficiently manage the flow of goods and financial data associated with specific products or services, including:
    • Planning resources based on customer demand levels,
    • Creating established processes and monitoring supplier relationships,
    • Sourcing raw materials and manufacturing products,
    • Distributing products and delivering to the customer.
  • Project Management: ERP project management modules provide tools and resources to help companies efficiently manage project timelines, allocate resources, and manage job costing and reporting.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): ERPs typically offer an integrated CRM system to help businesses organize and store customer data, manage leads, and improve sales and customer support processes.
  • Marketing Automation: The ERP marketing automation module provides tools and features to help companies automate marketing processes such as sending email marketing campaigns, scheduling social media posts, and running ad campaigns.

ERPs based on Business Size

ERP systems aren't meant for large enterprises alone; many top vendors now offer ERPs that are specially developed to tackle the needs and challenges of small businesses.

We've compiled lists for mid-sized and small business ERP software, to see which ERP vendors are purpose-built for growing organizations:

Small Business ERPs
Mid-Sized Business ERPs

Industry-Specific ERP Solutions

Many leading ERP vendors formulate their product suites to exclusively cater to one or more industries. Need to see which ERP vendors cover specific industries? Our list of industry-specific ERP software can give you a closer look.

ERP for Manufacturing
ERP for Food and Beverage (FnB)
ERP for Retail
ERP for Automotive
ERP for Agriculture
ERP for Steelworks
ERP for Apparel
ERP for Chemicals
ERP for Pharmaceuticals

Have more questions about ERP software? Jump to our ERP FAQs for more.

Top 10 ERP Software Vendors

SYSPRO / Sage Intacct / NetSuite / SutiProcure / SAP S/4HANA / Oracle ERP / Aquilon Software / Aptean / IFS / Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

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Unit4  is a business and workflow management solution that offers non-profit organizations and related NGOs a complete, integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. It was designed to accommodate continual change thus allowing organizations to evolve and meet emerging new requirement...
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Acumatica is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution that offers a platform designed for midsize customers with a complete, real-time view across the business.  
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ECI M1 ERP is a comprehensive enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solution designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides a wide range of tools and features to help companies manage their core business processes, including financial management, manufacturing, distribution, and c...
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Dynamics Square
Starting Price:$298.53 per user / per month
Dynamics Square is a trusted partner for Microsoft Dynamics 365, serving businesses primarily in Canada. From brand new implementations to streamlining existing MS Dynamics 365 subscriptions, Dynamics Square accommodates a variety of customized needs to suit businesses operating in industries such a...
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Synergix Technologies

Synergix Technologies

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Synergix Technologies is a leading provider of customizable ERP software solutions designed to streamline operations, increase productivity, and optimize business strategies across various industries. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Synergix offers fully integrated ERP suites equip...
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SutiSRM is an advanced cloud-based Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) software solution that streamlines procurement and supply chain management processes. With its comprehensive set of features, SutiSRM enables businesses to efficiently manage the entire procurement lifecycle, from requisition ...
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ICIM ERP by Metasystems is a comprehensive ERP that combines various business operations such as order management, manufacturing, warranty management, and financials. It is used by small, and mid-sized discrete manufacturers. It combines various processes such as engineering, order management, CRM, ...
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Especially suited to SMBs, Deskera features all the necessary tools to run efficient accounting processes and maintain accurate books. Track employee time-off and run payroll from the same system, so you don’t need to depend on multiple applications to manage your business’s finances.&nb...
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Deltek ComputerEase
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Deltek ComputerEase is an ERP solution developed specifically for construction firms and contractors and addresses the unique challenges of the construction industry.
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QAD Enterprise Resource Planning system has maintained its position as one of the leading business software solutions in an extremely competitive industry. It targets various process and manufacturing industries such as the Automotive, Food and Beverage and Consumer Products. Among its key features ...

Learn more about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software

What is a tier 2 ERP system?

A tier 2, also known as a two-tiered ERP system combines two systems to better fulfill the needs of larger organizations that may be situated across more than one location or subsidiary. This two-pronged approach to enterprise resource planning produces superior data management and consolidates data from across the entirety of the enterprise into a single source.

Can small businesses use ERPs?

Yes. Small and large businesses alike can use ERPs to centralize business data and automate manual tasks. Cloud ERP software is accessible and affordable for small companies, and modules can be customized and scaled as a company grows and its business management processes become more complex.

Can a business use multiple ERP systems?

Yes, some companies choose to use multiple ERP systems to support mergers, compliance regulations, or unique department-level needs and processes. However, companies using multiple ERPs must take the necessary steps to ensure accuracy and compliance in data flows, accounting processes, and financial reports between their ERP systems.

What makes data migration a challenge during ERP implementation?

Carefully planning and preparing for ERP implementation is essential because data migration can be a challenge during ERP implementation. This is due to several complexities and factors, including:

  • System compatibility and data security issues,
  • Inaccurate, incomplete, or lost data,
  • Business downtime during implementation,
  • Existing business system and application integrations.

As a result, speaking to your ERP provider on how such data migration risks can be mitigated during the implementation stage is important - well before transitions are made.

Is ERP CapEx or OpEx?

ERP can be classified as both CapEx and OpEx. ERP software licenses, technical designs, hardware and equipment are Capital Expenditures (CapEx). Functional designs, monthly fees, and system maintenance costs are Operating Expenditures (OpEx).

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