ERP software is a central tool in the performance of a company’s operational activities. It makes it possible to optimize the general management of a company. In this, it reduces costs and better allocates resources. But what exactly is ERP software? What is the definition of ERP software? What is ERP software used for? And what is the cost of ERP software?
In this article, we answer all the questions you may have about using ERP software.
ERP software definition
An ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning” which means in French “Management of a company’s resources”. ERP software is in fact a software solution that makes it possible to pilot and manage all of a company’s operational processes on a daily basis.
This kind of software is called in the French language “PGI”, which means “Integrated management software”. Such software centralizes all the tools and functionalities necessary for the management of a company as well as all the data on a single basis.
ERP software then integrates functionalities such as: inventory and product management, supplier management, production management, commercial management, customer relationship management, human resources management or accounting management. . The objective in using ERP software is then to simplify and optimize all of these tasks.
In fact, ERP software can be defined as the backbone of a business.
What is SaaS ERP software?
You may have heard of SaaS software before but only have a vague idea of what it is? So what is SaaS ERP software?
A SaaS solution (meaning “Software as a Service” or “Software as a Service”) is a software solution hosted in the cloud by the software publisher and therefore on a server outside the company using the software.
What you have to understand from this is that SaaS ERP software is seen as a service and not as a product acquired during purchase. It is thus distributed on the Internet in the form of a service. Users opting for SaaS ERP software then pay a monthly or annual subscription. They don’t actually have to buy any licenses and don’t have to install anything on their computer. Users therefore have no paid update to set up. These are carried out by the software publisher itself.
The SaaS ERP software is therefore directly accessible from the web, from any browser and from any terminal (smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac). Users each have identifiers to connect to their space.
Thus, if we summarize “what is ERP SaaS software”, it is software hosted in the cloud and distributed by a publisher who makes it accessible to its customers via the Internet.
What are the benefits of SaaS ERP software?
Today, “traditional” ERP software that is not in SaaS mode is showing its limits. These ERP software which are not in SaaS mode find it very difficult to meet the needs of increasingly large and evolving data exchanges. These traditional software are not as flexible as SaaS ERP software. They do not adapt continuously but very punctually bring heavy modifications. These heavy modifications are accompanied by heavy updates which are your responsibility. If you opt for SaaS ERP software, you will not have to pay for these updates. In addition, the software will be much more scalable and adaptive.
What are the other benefits of SaaS ERP software?
With SaaS ERP software, you will no longer need to install your software on your own computer (or on a company Data Center). Indeed, SaaS ERP software is available directly online on the web. The fact of having nothing more to install leads to a drastic reduction in operational costs.
You no longer have hardware acquisition costs, software license costs, installation, support, maintenance or update costs. With SaaS ERP software, you actually have the only cost of your subscription.
Great agility and flexibility
SaaS ERP software has great agility and flexibility. First, businesses can organize their budget with greater ease and accuracy. Indeed, a SaaS offer comes in the form of a subscription whose price is proportional to the number of users. Then, a SaaS ERP software is also flexible because it is accessible from any device and from anywhere. Finally, flexibility and agility in the fact that you will be able to customize your SaaS ERP software to your image so that it reflects your business.
SaaS ERP software will also be recognized for its high scalability. Scalability refers to the ability to adapt from a dimensional point of view, both towards lower sizes and towards higher sizes. In fact, depending on the needs that the user may have, the latter may have access only to the services and functionalities that correspond to his activity. Users then become more autonomous and productive.
Scalability is an important advantage for an organization planning to expand its scope of activity or for a high or medium growth company. By opting for SaaS ERP software, the company in question does not need additional IT resources and infrastructure. As the organization grows, SaaS ERP software can actually be extended to meet new requirements.
SaaS ERP software will also have better scalability. Every day there are new features appearing and new updates happening automatically. All of these updates increase overall productivity. Thus, an ERP SaaS software can respond much more easily and quickly to new needs that arise in terms of management or to changes that may have in a company. It evolves and adapts continuously unlike traditional ERP software which can quickly become outdated or too old.
ERP software in SaaS mode also has the advantage of security. Additional security is provided since the data is stored in the cloud. The servers that store the data are very powerful and secure. Indeed, the data is hosted on a remote server through a secure connection which guarantees the protection of your data. With SaaS ERP software, you therefore have almost no chance of losing your data. Finally, access to the ERP software is strictly confidential and reserved only for members who have the necessary authorizations. No one else will be able to connect to your space.
What is ERP software used for?
Using ERP software allows you to simplify the management of your company from all points of view. ERP software makes it easier to manage a company’s activity, improve its performance, increase its productivity and secure all its processes.
Thus, ERP software allows a company to optimize its costs (in terms of inventory management, supplier management, etc.) but also its performance (operational processes, planning, data sharing, collaboration, customer knowledge, etc.) ).
ERP software allows you to perform all management tasks via the following features:
- Accounting and financial management
- Stock management
- Production management (GPAO)
- Human resources management
- Supplier management
- Commercial management
- Customer relationship management
- E-commerce management
- Distribution management
Each module and feature are related. This means that each application communicates with the other and you only have to enter the data once so that it ends up everywhere where it needs to be.
One of the other objectives of an ERP tool is to standardize the company’s information system. Everything is centralized in a single software and companies then avoid dealing with multiple software. This avoids, for example, that you spend your time exchanging files between services. Thanks to ERP software, you can centralize all the company’s information. A gain in productivity will necessarily be felt.
ERP software also streamlines communication. All company employees have access to the level of information they need. And we know this very well: the more transparency there is, the more rigorous the organization and the better the human relations. ERP software makes it easier to manage your company’s human resources. You will then be able to optimize the organization of your business much better and once again gain in productivity.
Thus, an ERP software covers all the needs of a company and allows it to be more efficient, faster and all this in a simplified, flexible and adapted way. With ERP software, you have a complete view of your business and make better decisions faster. All this increases productivity, performance and therefore profitability.
How to use ERP software?
Well since earlier, we have been talking about what is the definition of ERP software or what is ERP software used for. But then, you may be asking yourself the question: how to use ERP software?
In fact, there is nothing simpler, if of course you opt for SaaS ERP software (see the paragraphs “What is SaaS ERP software” or “What are the advantages of a ERP SaaS software?”).
Indeed, if you opt for ERP SaaS software, you have nothing to install on your computer, no license to buy or even no equipment to acquire.
You just need to:
- Go on the internet and type the name of the ERP you have chosen in the search bar.
- Click on the official website link.
- Click on “register” to create your account.
- Pin the link to the taskbar (to create a shortcut for future logins).
And voila, your account is created! Then, you just have to let yourself be guided by the software which will help you to personalize your space, to hide or display the modules which do not interest you or which interest you. You can also import your data in the “Settings” section such as prospect, customer, product and supplier data. You will be able to configure roles for your other users / collaborators and define the accesses (that is to say, what they will have access to and which they will be able to see or modify).
Note that if you have trouble getting to grips with the software or simply want a detailed presentation of an ERP software in question, very often, publishers offer demonstrations (public or private, it depends) of their software. .
Also note that very often, ERP SaaS software publishers offer, in addition to their software available online, a mobile application to download from the App Store or Google Play (depending on whether you are on Apple or Android).
How to choose your ERP software?
Nowadays, many publishers offer ERP software. In other words, you are spoiled for choice! But how to choose your ERP software?
Well first of all, you have to be able to clearly define your needs and your objectives. What is ERP software for you? What do you think ERP software is for? And what needs should it meet? To choose your ERP software, you must clearly define your selection criteria in order to effectively compare the various offers and find the one that suits you best.
To clearly highlight your selection criteria, we advise you to write precise specifications. To better define your needs, you can rely on the following criteria and questions:
- What is the size of your company, the number of employees in the company, the type of activities, the mode of operation of the company and its specificities (production, finance, etc.)?
- Is the solution adapted to your activities and your processes?
- Is the solution modern, flexible and ergonomic?
- Is the solution easy to use and simple to set up?
- Is the solution flexible and customizable to your image?
- What is the quality of customer support and integrated services (updates, guides, advice, customer support, online documentation, etc.)?
- What budget are you willing to spend?
- What are the customer opinions about the software in question?
- What software developments have been made and what is the rate of updates?
Once you have answered these questions precisely, you will be able to establish precise specifications.
You will then have to go on the internet to see the different software publishers and the offers they offer. Publishers very often give demonstrations of their software. You can reserve a time slot to participate in a demonstration. It will be easier for you to form an opinion, to compare each software and to choose the one that suits you best.
If you’re having trouble defining your needs, don’t worry. By dint of research on the internet on ERP software, you will learn more. You will end up better defining your processes, your needs, what you cannot ignore and what is less important to you.
How much does ERP software cost?
The cost of an ERP depends on several criteria such as its complexity, the developments to be carried out or not, the number of users, the infrastructure, etc. The first prices are around 10 € / month, and the highest can approach the hundreds of euros. The prices vary a lot from one company to another and according to the offer that is proposed. It is therefore rather difficult to give a scale. It is better that you define what budget you are ready to devote monthly or annually.
Note that ERP software will allow you to gain productivity. Companies that use ERP software see an often rapid return on investment.
Today, an ERP is almost essential for the proper functioning of a company. Using ERP software will allow you to optimize your business management and all of your processes. Your company will become more productive and transform into a great place to work. Staff management will be much better, resource management will be easier and project planning and development will have never been easier.
But be careful, you will have to be careful to choose the right ERP software that best suits your needs and your activities. With the offers that are present en masse, it is better to establish precise specifications before you start researching, otherwise you risk getting lost.
If you are a VSE or an SME looking for software for:
- Quotation / invoicing (commercial management),
- Project management,
- Ticket management (customer support),
- Customer management (CRM),
- Management of stocks, products and suppliers,
- All accompanied by a management and activity analysis module