Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems offer many potential benefits to organizations that need to integrate their project and process controls. While off the shelf packages with large feature sets are readily available, the best value will probably come from the packages that are the most adaptable and customizable. The goal is to make ERP an essential part of the organization's core business strategy, which in most cases requires alignment with basic business processes already in place.
An important step in achieving this alignment between business processes and ERP system design is called process mapping. First the critical business processes that will be automated in ERP are identified and documented in detail. Then a process map is generated to enable the same or similar processes in a customized ERP implementation. Instead of making the organization adapt to arbitrary system requirements, those requirements are designed to reflect the best business processes.
ERP system implementation is a complex process, and it can be very expensive. The costs of business analysis and requirements identification are usually additional costs over and above the cost of purchasing an ERP package. Making sure that system customization addresses the key business process requirements will help ensure that you can get the most value from a customized ERP solution.