What ERP or MRP Solution Is Best for My Industry?
Big fish make the biggest splash. But they may not always be the best choice when it comes to your business. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing cloud-based applications.
Technology is growing by leaps and bounds. The massive shift we're experiencing in the way we do business is all thanks to the cloud. But cloud systems and pricing can be difficult to navigate.
That's why a big company may not necessarily be the best bet. You need someone who can take the time to show you what ERP or MRP system will be the best solution for your business. Someone who can walk you through the process, answer any questions, and provide any troubleshooting or support you may need.
And that's exactly what we're going to do with this article. Come along with us as we compare systems, take a look at pricing, and help you figure out which ERP or MRP system is the best for your industry.
What is an ERP system? Well, ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It's one of the most common types of business software. These systems help larger businesses with production planning, manufacturing processes, scheduling, and management of their inventory.
Your ERP system's main function is to simplify workflows and keep all of your company's important information in one place. To put it simply, your ERP system's focus is data management.
The ERP's ability to store data simply allows businesses to draw better conclusions and synthesize better insights from hundreds of data points across all of the departments within their company.
The fact that all this data is being stored in one system also increases the purity and accuracy of your company's data. Using a different system for each department or division will cause redundancies in your data. It also makes it easier for staff to make mistakes across departments.
Most ERP software comes with modules you can use for a variety of departments. Some examples might be HR, customer relationship management, manufacturing, storage or warehouse management, and supply chain management.
Some ERP systems will even have industry-specific options so you can tailor your software perfectly to fit your business.
The other option for your business' software is an MRP system. MRP means Material Requirements Planning. While ERP focuses on your business and its departments, MRP tracks the materials your business is using.
An MRP system allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of what material you need, the quantity you need, and the deadline for receiving it. The system focuses on your business' manufacturing process. But MRP systems are still a good fit for companies that do more than just manufacturing.
No matter the industry an MRP can still help to increase your business' inventory profitability. The insights the system provides are helpful for the production planning process.
Many companies use their MRPs to monitor production materials. The software helps management and C-Level executives see what materials are needed and helps them to ensure the materials arrive on the correct timeline.
ERP vs MRP System
It can be a challenge to see the differences between ERP and MRP since they are both common tools for companies to use. But, when you look more closely, you will find that there are a significant number of differences between the two systems. Let's go over some of the most significant ways in which they vary.
When comparing the two, you will come to find that ERP is usually the more expensive option. This is because ERP can perform functions across multiple parts of your business. MRP focuses on the manufacturing arm of a company.
Determining your company's needs will help you decide which system is right for you and your team. If you feel your industry requires you to keep a watchful eye on all aspects of your business at once, then the higher price tag of ERP is worth it.
If you don't have room in the budget for an ERP system, then it may make sense to focus on MRP for the time being. The MRP system may be less comprehensive, but it's a more cost-effective option.
It's a way for your organization to begin to form some structure without breaking the bank.
The members of your team who use ERP vs. MRP are going to be different.
Since ERP is handling your business on an enterprise level, virtually anyone within your organization can use the system. Employees from sales, accounting, HR, etc. are all going to be logging into their respective modules daily.
With MRP, since it focuses on the manufacturing part of the businesses, you are going to have manufacturing employees accessing it almost exclusively.
Again, it comes down to what makes sense for the way your company works. Would you benefit more from multiple departments having access to the system? Or, are your main concerns production planning, inventory, or raw materials? Things that are solely manufacturing concerns.
How large of a scope do you need your software to cover? Shopping for software systems like this can be a great period of self-reflection as a business.
It forces your team of managers and C-level executives to really focus on "what type of organization are we?"
If your work relies on collaborative projects an ERP system will be the best fit for you. ERP allows everyone within the organization to check the status of projects across every department. It's great for helping everyone to keep "the ball moving forward" and allows departments to help each other out when necessary.
MRP, by its very nature, specializes in the manufacturing arm of your business. Again, it's decision time.
If you and your team think tracking materials, production planning, and boosting the profitability of your inventory is most important then MRP is the way to go. You may feel as though you can accomplish the other organizational tasks (i.e. HR, payroll, accounting) with a separate solution.
The most significant difference when comparing ERP and MRP is the integration capability.
MRP functions on its own. It's stand-alone software. ERP systems, on the other hand, foster integration.
ERP systems can easily integrate into other software applications and modules. Some MRP software options can integrate, but it's a more challenging process than integrating with an ERP system.
The reason ERP systems can integrate so well is because of their modular design. Companies can select which modules work best for them, and they can choose not to use the ones they don't need. The best part is that, with most ERP applications, organizations only pay for what they use.
In that way, ERP is a great choice for designing a system that lowers costs and increases efficiency.
Which System Is Right for Me?
By now you know that the right software is a decision you and your management team will have to make for yourselves. It depends on what's most important to your organization. It also depends on some other factors like your budget and the type of users you plan on having.
To help you make your choice, here are the highlights of a few system solutions available in the market:
Acumatica is an ERP solution. This software leverages the cloud, as well as your browser, to provide a sleek ERP solution for small and mid-sized businesses. Acumatica can have your people up and running instantly on mobile apps and help your team maximize efficiency whether at home or in the office.
What makes Acumatica unique is that they provide industry-specific versions of their platform. Customers can choose from construction, e-commerce, manufacturing, general business, and distribution.
FinancialForce is another ERP solution available on the market today. This platform can provide everything from accounting and financial reporting to inventory management. This ERP solution also provides your company with analytics.
FinancialForce falls under the Salesforce umbrella of products. Salesforce is a very popular, high-profile CRM. The product is in use by many large, well-known companies around the globe.
Having a company like that behind your team's ERP solution will make implementation and tech support much easier.
Epicor is an ERP solution that helps business owners keep all important information and KPIs in one place. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for business owners who are after an all-in-one ERP solution.
Epicor offers a variety of modules for your team to choose from. The software also comes in industry-specific formats much like Acumatica.
Epicor offers solutions for the automotive, distribution, manufacturing, retail, and building supply industries.
All Systems Go
Thank you for reading our crash course in ERP and MRP systems. We hope we've left you with everything you need to know to make the best decision for you and your team. Ultimately, your management team and C-level executives need to take a good, hard look at the organization.
What do you prioritize? What's most important to you? What type of business do you want to grow to be? Answering these questions will help you to select the system that is the best solution for your team moving forward.
If you have any questions about which solution might be best, you can contact us any time. Our staff of experts is here to help.
We look forward to working with you.