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ERP by Any Other Name

I don’t know about you but I get awfully tired of the three letter acronyms you see every day on business web sites and marketing pieces. CRM, SFA, SBE, POS, EDI…ERP. How many of those to you recognize? Are the meanings clear?

It’s as if marketing executives spend hours making up names to make us feel as if we are behind the times if we don’t immediately “get it”. The ERP acronym has been around for many years. For those unfamiliar it stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. Nice name I suppose. Interpreted broadly it is that designation given to a class of business software intended to facilitate the processes of your company end to end. Most ERP systems have full accounting suites, inventory management, sales order entry, purchasing and even production planning and scheduling if you are a manufacturer. Sweet (…or maybe suite!).

All kidding aside, the best of the best in the realm of ERP suites do a great job (when implemented properly) of keeping your business competitive and shipments/orders on time. Many even have Customer Resource Management modules to help the sales team stay on top of prospective deals and in touch with current clients. Some have inventory optimization features that take into consideration seasonality, prior trends and so forth. After all, these days no business owner wants to overstock. On the other hand they are bound and determined to insure that service levels don’t drop as the amount of inventory in stock does.

So ERP systems have improved the business landscape to a large degree and can certainly boost productivity…when implemented properly.  Yes, I did mention that caveat twice. I’m a stickler for proper implementation.  If you would like to learn a little more about how NOT to implement an ERP suite take a look at our blog called “Epic Fail” below. Meanwhile let me know how you did on deciphering the acronyms.

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