E-Commerce News writes that most software installations in corporates start with an ERP solution:
A good business-application portfolio touches many pieces of an organization and must be able to tap into many repositories of information. As a result, most enterprise portfolios begin with an ERP solution.
“The first thing a business starts with [is] accounting and financials,” said according to Katherine Jones, managing director for enterprise business applications at Aberdeen Group. “You need something to help you keep track of money, whether you are using an Excel spreadsheet, QuickBooks or Oracle. You don’t have a business if you do not manage money.”
As a reuslt, according to Bruce Hudson, program director for enterprise applications at Meta Group, ERP software started in financials to track and monitor such items as company ledgers, accounts payable and investment management, and in human resources to manage the company’s workforce. These two core pieces often intersect in such areas as employee payroll, where data from both departments cut across the whole business.
Later, CRM branched out from the ERP core and became a separate category of software used to manage customer data, determine pricing and promotions, and service customers in other ways. Another category, PLM, developed to describe and manage the content of whatever product or service an enterprise is offering.
“If you make telephones, each model has a list of components, build materials, specifications in the type of plastic used,” Hudson explained. “PLM software catalogs and manages this product information so that suppliers and the sales force are all working from the same list.”
Meanwhile, ERP offshoot SCM concerns itself with moving things — finding the most efficient means to bring supplies to the enterprise and, in turn, move finished products to market.
No matter how they evolve, all of these new software categories must be able to plug in to the core ERP system to obtain needed financial information. Moreover, they must be able to communicate with one another. After all, a customer-service representative using a CRM system can perform his or her job more effectively if he or she can access information about a product from the company’s PLM solution.