Enterprise Resource Planning

What is ERP?

What is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning helps you:

  • Serve numerous departments via numerous modules
  • Save money and time through automation
  • Increase collaboration with centralization
  • Enhance communication with real-time data
  • Monitor supply chain visibility with in-depth transparency
  • Ensure compliance adheres to industry and regulatory methods

Serve numerous departments via numerous modules

ERP software is a solution that merges numerous front and back office functionalities into one system. The ideal ERP research enables you to add or integrate several department modules and systems for increased centralization and collaboration.

Some standard ERP modules include:

When you possess ERP resources like accounting, HR, CRM and more, you can automate and keep tabs on everything. You can manage potential leads, perform bank reconciliations, distribute client invoices, govern employee payroll, replenish inventory and more.

This system also supports other business sectors and practices, such as:

Save money and time through automation

As previously mentioned, ERP enables you to automate repetitive tasks. When you allow this software to allocate invoices, reconcile data, analyze orders and more, you can focus on high-priority, administrative tasks. When you increase productivity, you save time and money.

For example, suppose you own a shoe manufacturing company, and your shoelace material runs low. In this case, your inventory module can alert you before running out. Your ERP also enables you to buy suitable materials to avoid overstocking items.

Enhance communication with real-time data

Real-time data, one of many vital ERP resources, allows you to communicate and collaborate with departments accordingly.

For example, the accounting department leader can input profits, losses, transactions and other financial information. Everyone can see it in real time. If updates are needed, the head of accounting can input the new information, and everyone will have the most up-to-date numbers.

If you need monthly KPIs, analysts can relay information or share dashboards with you to make more informed choices.

Communication is critical for any vital relationship. Real-time information ensures everyone stays on the same page at all times.

Monitor supply chains with in-depth transparency

The COVID-19 pandemic shifted our normal supply chain definition. The best way to combat supply chain insufficiencies is to know all the nooks and crannies and catch bottlenecks before they become significant issues.

Thanks to the right supply chain management tools, you can monitor every supply chain aspect in real time. You can leverage analytics, warehouse management, planning and other features to ensure products arrive to distributors and clients on time.

Some SCM tools even allow you to rate suppliers appropriately based on on-time deliveries and other KPIs.

Ensure compliance adheres to industry and regulatory method

All companies and warehouses follow industry, standard and local rules and regulations to remain in operation. Some laws change, and you need the ideal compliance management tools to keep you updated on revisions and updates.

For example, you may own a frozen food manufacturing business. You could invest in food and beverage ERP to manage recipes and formulas, perform lot and batch tracking, and manage compliances. You can also invest in enterprise quality management software (EQMS) to ensure high-quality products with corrective and preventive action (CAPA), audit management, supplier supervision and employee training management.

Another example may include owning an accounting firm or being a professional accountant. You must follow compliances like Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and others.

  • Contact Management
  • Marketing and Campaign Management
  • Email Integration
  • Pricing and Tracking
  • Salesforce Automation
  • Pricing and Tracking
  • Marketing Resource Management
  • Order Management

Some standard compliances include:

Following compliances ensures legitimacy and avoids temporary or immediate shutdown.

Brief History

The ERP concept came to fruition in the 1960s. The first ERP system was a material requirements planning (MRP) system to help manufacturers keep up with high production demand. SAP released its first ERP in 1972. Kinetic (formerly Epicor) and Infor’s SyteLine followed suit and remain software leaders. Gartner coined ERP in the 1990s, and the rest was history.

Currently, companies are moving to cloud-based ERP solutions for better hosting, security and cheaper pricing.

Different ERP Types

ERP research says there are several types of this solution to implement and leverage for your business and industry.


This deployment option allows software vendors to install ERPs on your company computers and servers. You’re in charge of calling in for maintenance, upgrading the solution and ensuring data protection. Most vendors offer support packages for 24/7 support, customer portals, materials and other ERP resources.

This deployment option suits companies that have finite locations. On-premise is your best option if you’re an enterprise with one spot or a small business not looking for expansion.


The cloud is one of ERP’s top buzzwords and trends. Vendors host software on their servers, and you can access it on any device anywhere via the internet. Cloud systems typically offer several security tactics to protect information from cybercriminals. Some techniques include:

  • Two-step or Multi-factor authentication: Simple passwords are gateways to cybersecurity threats. In addition to long, complicated passwords, several other authentication methods add an extra security layer. Some examples include having codes sent to you via text message, using face or fingerprint recognition and security questions only you can answer.
  • User Access Levels: Restricting and giving access to specific users (e.g., managers and supervisors) ensures sensitive data is only accessible to responsible, long-time employees instead of recruits.
  • Data Encryption: Scramble your data in an unreadable code with this tactic. The only way to unjumble information is with an encryption key.

Ask vendors about these and other security measures that they implement. If vendors don’t offer security measures, declare them a red flag in your software selection process and move on.


Hybrid deployment merges the best of cloud and on-premise characteristics. Companies can install core programs on-site while leveraging the cloud for additional features such as the “latest and greatest” add-ons.


Two-tier ERP means that a business simultaneously runs two merged solutions. Businesses leverage this option when they have several subsidiaries and locations. One of many ERP resources, two-tier is a newer concept that more companies are slowly adopting.


Lastly, open-source ERP is a solution that lets you tailor the solution’s source code with specific capabilities and tools to meet your organization’s goals.

Some people confuse open-source and free solutions. Usually, open-source ERP is free and publicly available. But ERP research says not all free ERP is open source. Some vendors make free solutions, but you can’t change the source code; you take the program as is or look for add-on modules.

Open-source solutions come with pros and cons. Some pros include customization management, vendor independence, community support and scalability. Some cons include coding complexities, lack of community support knowledge and lacking a vendor to ask for updates and maintenance.

How To Choose the Right ERP System

It’s no cakewalk to choose the right ERP system for your business if you don’t have a plan. SelectHub has you covered with our nine-step software selection process called Lean Selection. Let’s run down each step in this methodology:

  1. Establish: Conduct an internal survey of why you need a new solution. Are you not receiving real-time information? Is company collaboration discombobulated?
  2. Collaborate: Formulate a software selection team of department leaders, all stakeholders, IT personnel and more.
  3. Define: Meet with your selection team to draft a requirements list.
  4. Distribute: Analyze several software suppliers that match your requirements list.
  5. Justify: Sit down with your team and determine if you need a new solution, add-on modules for your existing software or to end your software quest.
  6. Prove: Ask vendors for demos, use cases and more to effectively showcase functionality performance.
  7. Rank: Assort and arrange at least two to three potential vendors according to their demo scores and total cost of ownership (TCO).
  8. Negotiate: Evaluate and barter terms and contracts with your ideal vendor. Seek legal counsel if the agreement seems skimpy. Redo this step with the following vendor if you and the provider can’t reach a compromise.
  9. Sign: Sign the contract and establish an implementation plan.

Implementation Steps

Initiating a sound implementation plan ensures a smooth installation. Like Lean Selection, our implementation steps are straightforward to follow.

  1. Create a Team and a Plan: Build an internal committee with a project manager, executive sponsor, implementation partner, end-users and more. Initiate a change management plan and implementation timeline for system tests, cost estimates, training and ROI measurements.
  2. Budget: Develop and modify your budget as needed. ERP costs range from a few hundred dollars to $100,000, depending on the vendor and system. ERP research and experts say to account for factors like the number of users, customizations, deployment methods, training, upgrades and maintenance, time and productivity.
  3. Transfer Data: Migrating existing data to the new solution takes careful execution. One wrong move can cause misinformation across your inventory, supply chain and deliveries. Allow your IT team or data scientist to comb through any duplicate or unnecessary information before conducting the migration.
  4. Establish Training Sessions: Ask vendors for training materials (videos, webinars, courses and other ERP resources) for end-users. It’s vital to train before and after going live with the system.
  5. Test the System and Go Live: Test the ERP before going live to ensure the interface, features and navigation work well.
  6. Perform Post-go-Live Duties: Verify your ROI, employee productivity, client satisfaction, KPIs, maintenance and continuous end-user training.

It’s essential to perform your implementation plan in phases and to mark milestones along the way before going live.


Everything has pros and cons, even ERP software. Here are a few drawbacks to purchasing an ERP and how to overcome them.


As aforementioned, ERP systems can range from $100 to $100,000. Sometimes more, depending on the vendor. When ERPs first launched, they served as a one-size-fits-all model for enterprises. It was difficult for small and mid-sized businesses to obtain ERPs because of the price tags and functionality overabundances.

However, as time progressed, cloud systems offered affordable subscription plans. The market has an overflood of postmodern ERP systems that cater to all business sizes and customization options to accommodate all needs.


Some people find learning an ERP complex, especially those who use spreadsheets and other disparate systems.

Vendors typically offer in-depth training materials, webinars, how-to videos and articles, community forums and more. You can even take certification classes to become an expert.

Slow Implementation Process

Implementation tasks can run anywhere from six months to a year, depending on your company size and the vendor. There’s no workaround for this drawback.

As mentioned in the previous section, the best way to prepare for implementations is to have a plan, establish a budget and account for numerous monetary and non-monetary tasks.


What does ERP stand for?

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It means that enterprises plan all of their resources in one centralized system.

What is an ERP system?

An ERP system is a solution consisting of several modules and functionalities that serve numerous business departments, from marketing and accounting to CRM, manufacturing, supply chain management and more. You can customize the solution with additional add-on features and choose the ideal deployment option to align with your workflows.

What’s the difference between ERP and MRP?

In our comparison of ERP vs. MRP, we’ve discovered that MRP focuses on the manufacturing sphere while ERP serves manufacturing, CRM, finances, marketing and other sectors. MRP users typically consist of manufacturing experts, employees, managers and supervisors. Numerous people can use an ERP, from the HR leader to the person in charge of inventory.

MRP system features only consist of manufacturing-specific tools like BOM management, capacity planning, master production scheduling and the like, with a few tools for inventory and accounting. ERP has a massive list of tools to streamline tasks.

What are the best ERP components?

ERP research says the most common software components and modules are:

  • HR
  • CRM
  • BI
  • SCM
  • Inventory Management
  • Accounting/Financial Management

Typically, every company uses all or most of these components to meet their needs, improve customer satisfaction and make vital business choices.

Why do I need ERP?

Managing software and other ERP resources have advantages and disadvantages. Here are several reasons why you should invest in ERP:

  • Serves numerous departments
  • Saves money
  • Boosts productivity
  • Enhances customer service
  • Establishes collaboration and communication
  • Monitors supply chains
  • Adheres to compliances
  • Gives your company a competitive advantage
  • Provides scalability and flexibility

Does ERP serve any business size?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a Fortune 500 CEO or somewhere in between, there’s an ERP for any size. Most ERP solutions scale with your company as you grow in employees, locations, machinery and other assets.

How much does ERP cost?

ERPs range from $100 to $100,000 and more. Establish a flexible budget because of factors like customizations, add-on features, deployment, maintenance, implementation and more. Check out our in-depth pricing guide for popular ERP prices.

How Do I Select an ERP System?

Finding the best ERP requires patience, time and an effective plan. SelectHub’s nine-step Lean Selection methodology demonstrates how to find a solution and work with vendors:

  1. Establish
  2. Collaborate
  3. Define
  4. Distribute
  5. Justify
  6. Prove
  7. Rank
  8. Negotiate
  9. Sign

Performing ERP research and having solid selection and implementation plans ensure you’ll find the right ERP system that matches your company’s objectives. For more features, review our requirements template. If you want to see more solutions and industries, take a look at our thorough comparison guide.

Have a question about which software vendor is right for you? We’d love to help! Contact our team for individualized recommendations by messaging support@selecthub.com or calling 855-850-3850.

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ERP articles are written and edited by:

Zachary Totah

Content Manager

As SelectHub’s Content Manager, Zachary Totah leads a team of more than 35 writers and editors in their quest to provide content that helps software buyers find the right system for their company.

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Hunter Lowe

Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst

Hunter Lowe is a Content Editor and Senior Market Analyst at SelectHub. He writes content for Construction, Inventory, Warehouse, and Supply Chain Management.

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Khaleel Hayes

Market Analyst

Khaleel Hayes is a Market Analyst for SelectHub who crafts content for manufacturing, PLM, PSA, and Construction ERP.

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Thought Leaders

SelectHub has sought out and invited thought leaders to contribute to our ERP Industry articles and resources. These thought leaders ensure we deliver quality content with the most accurate information, focusing on what matters most. No thought leader is compensated for their contributions, but shares our belief that information should be democratized so everyone can make the best decision.

Laurie McCabe

Co-founder and Partner, SMB Group

Laurie brings more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry to her current role as Cofounder & Partner, SMB Group.

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Lisa Anderson

Founder and President, LMA Consulting Group

Lisa Anderson is the founder and president of LMA Consulting Group, a consulting firm that specializes in manufacturing strategy, end-to-end supply chain transformation

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Eric Kimberling

CEO, Third Stage Consulting

Eric Kimberling is one of the most recognized and respected independent ERP systems experts in the world, giving unbiased advice to clients for over 20 years.

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Ed Cowsar

CEO, OspreyData

Ed’s more than 30 years of leadership and success in a variety of industries includes a unique combination of expertise and experience with product design, sales, engineering, operations,

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David Haimes

Senior Director, ERP Cloud Development

David Haimes is a senior director in the Oracle Cloud Applications Research and Development Organization, focusing on next-generation functional and technical architecture.

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David Dozer

President of Blaze IT

David Dozer is a Business consulting and ERP specialist with more than 15 years of experience in the enterprise software realm.

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Shelly Gore

ERP Architect, A Bigger View

Shelly Gore is CEO and co-founder of A Bigger View. For over 25 years, she successfully designed and implemented complex IT and Cloud-Based ERP systems for corporations in North America and Europe.

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Grady Brett Beaubouef

Business Value Realization Director, Oracle

Grady Brett Beaubouef is an ERP expert with 20 years of industry experience. He works as a Business Value Realization Director at Oracle

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Harsha Sarjapur

Co-founder, InfoSourcing

Harsha Sarjapur is the co-founder of InfoSourcing Inc., an ERP solution provider that assists businesses of all sizes with the implementation of ERP solutions.

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Erik Kiser

CEO, Orderful

At 25 Erik started a consulting firm focused on writing EDI and B2B integrations for manufacturers. Through scaling the company he realized that there is a great opportunity

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Chuck Langenhop

Senior Director, CFO Advisory Services

Chuck Langenhop is Senior Director with CFO Advisory Services in Richardson, Texas. His experience includes change management, process reengineering, ERP selection and implementation, and financial planning &

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Sam Gupta

Principal Consultant, ElevatIQ, & Host, WBSRocks

Sam Gupta has been a ERP thought leader in the digital transformation space for nearly two decades, with the primary focus on financial systems and ERP.

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The oil and gas sector is a dynamic, ever-changing space with numerous components at play. Whether it’s managing upstream and downstream activities, maintaining compliance, mining, extracting or supervising operations, oil and gas ERP can help!

This article is your analyst-curated guide of the best ERP software for the oil and gas industry. Though not exhaustive, this roster includes each system’s best features and benefits. We also have must-have features, benefits and FAQs to heighten your practices.

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Not spending enough time on your ERP template can cause more problems than solutions. Replacing ERP software is more challenging than swapping printer ink cartridges.

Consider everything a system offers to craft a proper ERP system requirements checklist. We’ve created an extensive list of the most popular features, purchasing considerations and tips on selecting the right software for your organization.

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Investing in ERP software to streamline your workflows, save money and boost productivity is wise. Buying into new technological ERP trends to centralize operations and earn an edge over your competitors is wiser.

To sate our curiosity and inform readers, we spoke with several SME thought leaders to gain their thoughts about the future of ERP and understand common pitfalls when shopping for the latest technologies.

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Searching for new accounting software is like looking at a sandwich shop’s menu because there are so many types of bookkeeping solutions – including small business, billing and invoicing, SME and more – that you’re left scratching your head. Have you ever considered an open-source accounting software — a program for you and your IT team to examine and adjust its coding to fit your business requirements?

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If you’re searching for software that can meet the ever-growing needs of your manufacturing facility, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s not beat around the bush here. You need job shop software, more commonly referred to as manufacturing software.  Put simply, this type of solution is like a light version of ERP software. It handles job scheduling, job costs, quoting and work orders among other features.

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ERP software ranks high among the most comprehensive, robust data management solutions. For many businesses, exemplar ERP features include data analysis, automation and full-scale infrastructure integration.

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When you’re buying software, it’s important to keep in mind the various costs associated with implementing an ERP solution, in addition to the price of the license. Due to factors such as cost and scale, it is especially important to develop a specific ERP strategy for your business before you make the move to implement your solution. After all, you wouldn’t buy a house before having an inspection done or getting your financial affairs in order. It’s the same premise with ERP software.

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Best Production Planning Software

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Production planning software is a manufacturing solution that helps you plan for and supervise essential workflows in the production process.

Our analysts compiled a detailed list of the best production planning software with the top benefits, features and limitations. We’ll also discuss top benefits, must-have features and the best way to choose the right manufacturing planning software for your business.

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Key ERP Evaluation Criteria and Functionality Checklist

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Evaluating enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for possible acquisition is a major undertaking – you and your selection committee/stakeholders have a lot of research material and operation data to consider.

We’ve tried to alleviate some of the challenge by building you this practical list of ERP evaluation criteria based on our extensive research and real user data with ERP selection projects in our technology selection management (TSM) platform.

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ERP Demo Best Practices To Reduce Vendor Confusion

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In order to narrow down the choices for an ERP software solution for your manufacturing company, it’s beneficial to utilize planning and forethought to reduce vendor confusion among your various ERP options. Due to the amount of time and effort companies spend on ERP discovery and product demonstration, effective preparation is recommended to provide maximum value and reduce the blurring of vendors during your search. Carefully planning your ERP demo assures that your company’s needs are met, your questions are answered and all requested information is available to facilitate a well-educated ERP selection.

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The business software world is full of buzzwords, some of which are so similar they can be very confusing. For example, what is the difference between EAM and ERP? While these two acronyms may seem similar, they actually refer to very different types of software. Let’s break down the differences between EAM vs ERP.

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According to Statista, the ERP market is expected to reach almost $85 billion in 2021. As ERP software technology becomes more affordable and the manufacturing sector more competitive, manufacturers of all sizes are increasing their efforts to adopt enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology. For some manufacturers, this means adopting a discrete ERP. The main reasons for the high acceptance of ERP will be discussed further below.

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When shopping for software solutions, you’ve likely heard mention of ERP software and CRM software. The main factor that these two tools have in common is their focus on revenue generation, automation and an increase in productivity. However, the scope and methodology that these programs use to complete these goals is highly different and should be considered when comparing ERP vs CRM. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what exactly ERP and CRM are, some common functions of each of these systems and how to select the option that’s best for your business.

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ERP software is an old dog that’s doing a pretty good job of learning new tricks. ERP systems were first introduced in the 1990s as an offshoot of MRP software. These systems have since become a widely used tool for businesses to assist in the automation of workflows and the centralization of data and functions. As a program that has been around for about 30 years, ERP is constantly working to adapt to changes in consumer habits. An ERP case study is an effective way to learn more about how modern advancements have impacted real businesses. In this research article, we will take a look at actual ERP implementation examples to see how recent innovation has boosted business.

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The ERP software market has been around for over 40 years, and do you know why? Think of the market as one giant pie. Each vendor within this pie has its individual ERP market share. In these 40+ years, the market has grown with new vendors and industries, diversifying the pie into a melting pot of different shapes and sizes thanks to new technological advances and business scalability.

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The Best Billing And Invoicing Software

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Whether your company is an enterprise or a local mom-and-pop shop, keeping up with bills and invoices should be one of your top priorities next to keeping your customers satisfied and delivering top-notch products or services. Our research team has composed a comprehensive list of the best billing and invoicing software to simplify your enterprise accounting needs. Before we proceed to our list, it’s important to know some of the recommended features.

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ERP Inventory Management: The Comprehensive Guide

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ERP Integration: Strategy, Challenges, Benefits, and Key Types

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The common phrase, “United we stand, divided we fall,” applies to more than just war movies and superhero TV shows. It’s also a great example of why ERP integration is key to running a successful business. By putting together multiple “best of breed” applications to build or fortify a near-custom ERP solution, your business can automate processes and increase revenue. So, what exactly is ERP software and what does integration mean in this context? In this article, we will explore these basic definitions along with looking at some of the benefits, pitfalls and challenges involved in ERP system integrations.

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ERP Analytics: A Comprehensive Guide

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November 1, 2023
ERP analytics leverages ERP software and services to gather and analyze data produced by organizations’ activities. It involves parsing data generated by business operations and presents reports, dashboards and visualizations in the form of graphs, charts and maps to communicate performance metrics, trends and patterns. It helps users derive insights by streamlining their efforts to search, merge and query data to make robust business decisions.

Payal TikaitERP Analytics: A Comprehensive Guide
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The Best Business Management Software

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November 1, 2023
Are you a small to medium-sized business that’s sick of managing operations on pen and paper? Do you desire to simplify your processes, improve communication and increase customer satisfaction? That last point can be quite the feat for a business operating the old-fashion way — the modern consumer typically expects an omnichannel experience that allows them to access your services with their smartphone – for example, to schedule appointments or make payments. If this is painting a familiar picture for you, we invite you to consider business software solutions that can help manage these expectations while simultaneously lightening your own workload: ERP software.

Madeline ReinboltThe Best Business Management Software
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The Best Free Accounting Software Tools

November 1, 2023
Shopping for accounting software is like finding a new suit. You want a tailored solution that aligns with your company’s goals. Free accounting software may sound like an ancient treasure hidden in a pyramid, but it exists. This software possesses tools to enhance your bookkeeping practices with automatic processing, reporting, invoicing and more. But is free or cheap accounting software worthwhile?

Khaleel HayesThe Best Free Accounting Software Tools
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Postmodern ERP: Just Another Buzzword?

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October 31, 2023
IT teams recently added a new phrase to their lexicon: postmodern ERP. This term is a software type and methodology that steps away from the one-size-fits-all ERP software model and allows you to customize modules that fit your business needs. This article explores postmodern ERP’s background, its benefits, typical features and companies that thrive with this system.

Khaleel HayesPostmodern ERP: Just Another Buzzword?
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The Best Church Accounting Software

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Let’s face it: finding the best accounting ERP for your place of worship is like pulling teeth—especially if you or your staff lack accounting skills. You want church accounting software for bookkeeping and managing members, contributions and payroll.

Our insightful research team compiled a list of the best church accounting programs in the market. We also have a breakdown of the pricing considerations and how to choose the right church accounting software.

Khaleel HayesThe Best Church Accounting Software
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ERP Implementation: Know the Plan, Process, Budgeting, Training and More

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October 30, 2023
The implementation of ERP requires more planning and budgeting than a wedding. Just like marriage, without proper preparation and planning, it often ends in failure. Whether you’re an ERP software veteran upgrading your current system or a newcomer, it’s no question that the process is intense.

Khaleel HayesERP Implementation: Know the Plan, Process, Budgeting, Training and More
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