Currently, ERP tools are very vital organizational systems used for integrating and facilitating error free transactions. The tools offer a degree of spreadsheets and database which have to be manually merged so as to generate ERP solutions.
Types of ERP Tools
The following are ERP tools and applications which are necessarily integrated in the ERP system:
1. Information management /data base management tools
These are tools used for establishing workflow process across various functions and departments. The tools are available for data storage which comprises of rational databases such as oracle, open source free offerings, DB2, Apache Derby and Microsoft MSQL.
The tools only require editing access or read- only so as to process the data. You can either host the databases locally or remotely even when they are in the cloud.
Once a writer has submitted the content to an editor for review, the ERP tools are able to modify it. This will avoid any content conflicts and duplication.
For you to get permission of building based control interfaces and applications , ERP tools may be browser based, tablet, mobile apps or desktop installations.
2. Workflow management tools
The ERP system comprises of multiple data repositories and modules. This is where data actions and updates follow a logically well defined sequence based on the business needs. These comprises of the workflow. The commonly used workflow management tools include: workflow gen, agiloft workflow, intelex business, inception DMS and simpleECM.
3. Dashboard/reporting tool
Department level, management level, individual level or team level generation are significant requirements for an ERP system. Usually, it is available in either dashboard form which shows such information received by customizable reports generated by a common data editing applications such as spread sheets.
Dashboard tools operate in real time with a minimal time lag. As compared to the applications used by the data updates departments, the dashboard views or reporting tools are available as desktop installations and browser based. In addition to that, end of day reporting features offers emailing of reports with charts, tables, graphs, word attachments or Microsoft excel.
4. Communication tools
Communication is a mandatory across multiple departments of an organization. Communication process is facilitated within the organization by use of the tools for action. The tools are based on: instant messaging, automated mail generation or general broadcast features. When an order is ready for shipping, an automated mail has to be triggered to the logistics departments. Consequently, it will initiate the dispatch process. Alternatively, a general broadcast message can be sent to all the other departments in order to stop taking further orders when a pizza shop kitchen has developed a problem. The instant messages like Lync, yammer and chatter, are incorporated for instant and easier communication. In addition to the tools highlighted, there are integrated ones which can be triggered on when need arise. Basically, those are the major functions of communications tools.
5. Analytical tools
Most of the analytical tools can be integrated in the ERP system for business intelligence. Moreover, it can be used for: predictive analysis, related analysis and data mining. These ERP Tools are also used for getting valuable insights. Thus, it enables creation of strategic business decisions basing on the available data.
Other Important ERP Tools
- Task scheduling and resource allocation tools
As mentioned above, the ERP system can be integrated for allocation of tasks and resources across the departments. The tools simple work on the simple principle of defining time taken by projects/tasks against the availability of schedule resources. When the task is completed, the resources are assigned the matching skills or new tasks automatically. Alternatively, it can put in a pool for the subsequent assignment. In case a task is delayed, resource allocation tools have functionality for manual intervention at the level of the supervisor.
In addition to the tools mentioned above, the following are some of the best ERP solutions and their features:
- ADempiere ERP business suite
This is a comprehensive multi platform ERP solution forked from another project referred to as compiere in 2006. The business suite offers an array of features which comprises of: accounting, material management, purchasing, sales, CRM, payroll and HR. You can download the software from sourceforge which is under the GPL.
- OFBiz Apache
OFBiz which stands for” open for business” is an Apache foundation enterprise which is a business package. The solution was released under Apache license 2.0. In fact, it is free from downloading from Apache. The suite includes: catalog management, pricing and promotion management, warehouse management, manufacturing management, e-commerce, Pos among other features.
Dolibarr ERP solution is mainly design for small firms and individual traders. Dolibarr is an open source enterprise which includes: CRM and ERP functionality. It can be accessed from a server and installed from a local machine. With a free trial period, Dolibarr is offered as: SAAS (software as a service) solutions. Dolibarr’s preferred partner are: ATM consulting and Dolicloud.
- XTuple solution
XTuple solution is one of the world’s best ERP suites which have been in form since 2000. The ERP solution offers a free open source referred to as post Books. This is available from the sourceforge. Moreover, it is a licensed product with support, maintenance and the option of using the service offered from the cloud.
In addition to aiming at small and medium sized firms, Xtuple offers three other commercials from larger organizations which are aimed at: general enterprise edition, targeted manufacturers and distributors. The ERP solution is also built from the code base and same open source foundation.
The open source edition consist of sales, purchasing, inventory, accounting sales, CRM, openRPT source report writer and light manufacturing. The commercial license costs $1,200 for a perpetual user license and $400 for every user every year. Nevertheless, there is an extra cost of $100 per month and $30 for every month.
The information provided mainly deals with the significant of ERP systems and the tools required. It also comprises of some of the excellent features of ERP solutions mentioned above with its features and benefits. Therefore, you need to choose the ERP tools and your organization will succeed.