What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)? Definition, Modules

  • Post last modified:31 October 2021
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What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a class of business organization programming routinely a suite of facilitated applications that affiliation can use to assemble, store, direct and interpret data from various business works out.

ERP shows the core business processes as an integrated view with a common database managed by a computer program called Database Management System (DBMS).

The main objective of ERP is to maintain the stream of real-time data to help in decision making. ERP helps and supports the analysts to manage and monitor Inventory, supply chain, Human Resources, finance, procurement, and project and product life cycle.

Definition of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Defined as following as some of the Researchers and practitioners:

ERP frameworks as “configurable data frameworks bundles that synchronize data and data-based actions inside and diagonally over utilitarian zones in an organization.

Kumar et al.

ERP speaks to an ideal endeavor wide innovation framework and the fundamental engineering of an ERP framework expands on one application, one database and a brought together interface over the whole undertaking.

Al-Mashari and Zairi

An ERP framework is normally characterized as a bundled companies programming framework that encourages an enterprise to contract with the useful and successful use of resources (materials, HR, fund, and so forth).

By giving an aggregate coordinated answer for the relatives data handling demands, through a procedure arranged view steady over the organization

Nah et al

ERP Modules

These are ERP Modules:

  1. Material Management (MM)
  2. Sales and Distribution (SD)
  3. Production Planning (PP)
  4. Plant Maintenance (Pm)
  5. Controlling (CO)
  6. Customer service (CS)
  7. Quality Management (Qm)
  8. Finance
  9. Human Resource(HR)
Benefits of ERP Software
Benefits of ERP Software

Material Management (MM)

Integrates the functions which control the cycle of material flow starting from purchase to distribution of the final product with taking into account material planning and control from warehouses and shipping.

  • Purchasing
  • Inventory Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Invoice Verification
  • Information System
  • Consumption-Based Planning
  • Electronic Data Interchange
  • Material Requirement Planning
  • Material Ledger

Sales and Distribution (SD)

This module contains the business processes responsible for the sales and distribution of service or products and integrates them with their customers and business partners.

  • Master Data
  • Sales Support
  • Shipping
  • Transportation
  • Billing
  • Sales Information System
  • Electronic Data Interchange
  • Logistic Execution

Production Planning (PP)

This module supports the function that helps to achieve manufacturing output as per the planned sales at the same time meets with general business requirements i.e. profitability, decided in the business plan.

The main aim of this module is to satisfy customer demand by varying production rates with inventory management and maintaining a stable workforce.

  • Sales and Operations Planning
  • Capacity Requirement Planning
  • Master Planning
  • Assembly Sequence
  • General Data
  • Data Structure
  • Kanban Jit
  • Recording Plant Data
  • Production Planning for Process Companies
  • Manufacturing Orders
  • Detailed Scheduling

Plant Maintenance (Pm)

This module supports the planning process and completion of plant maintenance in a way that it is least disruptive for manufacturing and sales requirement.

  • Equipment and Technical Objectives
  • Data System Plant Maintenance
  • Anticipatory Maintenance
  • Maintenance Plans
  • Service Supervision
  • Maintenance Order Administration

Controlling (CO)

This module generates reports on profit centres, profitability, cost centres and contribution margins to support the management.

  • Cost Element Accounting
  • Cost Centre Accounting
  • In-House Orders
  • Costing Based Activity
  • Product Cost Monitoring
  • Profitability Investigation

Customer service (CS)

Supports various types of interaction channels like internet, mobile etc. between in-house employees, field employees and customers.

  • Service Processing
  • Service Agreement

Quality Management (Qm)

Supports the quality inspection and tracking of lots while purchase or sales.

  • Quality Planning
  • Quality Review Processing
  • Quality Control
  • Test Apparatus Administration
  • Quality Warnings
  • Quality Documentations.


Provides automated outer coverage of general ledger, account receivable, amount to be paid, income statement and balance sheets of cash flow throughout the organization.

  • Finance Accounting
  • Treasury
  • Enterprise Controlling
  • Investment Management
  • Special Purpose Ledger

Human Resource(HR)

It takes care of all the information regarding employees, Administration, and Operational data. It also supports planning and controlling personnel activities.

  • Personnel Administration
  • Aspirant Administration
  • Profits
  • Worker Administration
  • Incentive Salaries
  • Pay Roll
  • Travel Management
  • Time Management

Characteristics of ERP

Following are characteristics of ERP:

  1. Adaptability Flexibility
  2. Openness Modularity
  3. Integration
  4. Completeness
  5. Homogenization
  6. Transversely (process-oriented view)
  7. Best Practices
  8. Real-time
  9. Simulation
Characteristics of ERP

Adaptability Flexibility

ERP system is very flexible to adopt the various requirement of a particular organization and also it is easy to connect with other industrial software. It can be installed over several databases to run from various points in the organization. One of the leading software in ERP, SAP R/3 allows changes in software as per requirement.

Openness Modularity

ERP has an open connection with the interface with any functional module and also with CRM and SCM in the extended versions. It is easy to attach and detach the module as per requirement in ERP.


ERP is a transaction- processing system which interconnects the various functions, organization process and hierarchical levels to help the decision-making process which leads to creating goodwill for the organization.


ERP has global functionality with its wide range of functions which is applied to various types of organizations in various countries with various languages.


ERP system provides unique data throughout the organization with uniformity in human-machine interfaces. As the data is unique and realtime it leads to better system administration.

Transversely (process-oriented view)

ERP system is mainly desired to achieve goals of business processes to create value and goodwill for the organization rather than authority flows.

Best Practices

ERP system represents an integration of best business practices that can be implemented globally and any up gradation in the process can be easily added in ERP which maintains the best practices in the organization and reduces operational costs.


ERP system shows the real-time data changes directly into an online database. Data entered once from one place is available online for all users which helps in better decision making and analysis of the process.


ERP allows conducting various simulation activities of the business process.

Advantages of ERP

Successful implementation of ERP has the following advantages:

  • Provides the complete visibility of the business process.

  • Smooth transaction of data and information between different departments.

  • Leads to the single and unified reporting system.

  • No individual ERP software is required for all departments since single ERP covers all the departments.

  • Extended ERP prompts business intelligence that can give general bits of knowledge to the business process.

  • Web-based tracking and processing give e-commerce integration.

  • Various models are available to satisfy various requirements globally.

  • ERP is modular in practice so it is easy to attach and detach modules as and when to require.

  • Facilitates the centralized storage of company data.

  • Easy integration with other systems of the organization through Application Programming Interface (API).

History of ERP

During the mid-1970s MRP turned into the basic idea of manufacturing administration in the organization. The mainstream concept during these periods was BOM which is a list of parts for managing the purchase order and this idea from order stock administration is unfurled to plant and staff planning and planning of circulation called MRP II amid the 1980s.

Later ideas of financial accounting, sales and distribution and Human resource management presented in this and identified as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which is currently changed to broaden ERP.

Evolution of ERP

  1. Pre Material Requirement Planning (MRP) stage:

    Before the year of 1960s organizations, for the most part, depended on conventional methods for overseeing stock to guarantee leveled working of the associations. These hypotheses are famously acknowledged,

    “Classical Inventory Management or Scientific Inventory Control Methods”

    The arrangement of ERP has developed after the Material Planning System of the 1980s. There are different stages through which this development procedure has experienced. The different periods of improvement of asset arranging framework in connection to time and development of the idea of ERP.

2. MRP (Material Requirement Planning)

MRP was the key idea of production planning and control in the mid- 1970s and reflected as the principal step in the advancement of ERP. Get together processes including a huge number of parts, for example, a car makes prompted expansive stocks. The requirement to cut down the substantial stock levels related to these enterprises prompted the early MRP frameworks that arranged the request discharges.

Such arranged request discharges guaranteed appropriate time expressing and exact arranging of the sub-get together things, considering complex sub-gathering to get together connections described by the BOM.

Myths of ERP

There are some myths associated with ERP as listed below:

  • Job opportunities will be reduced with the use of ERP.

  • Only top management is responsible for ERP.

  • It is difficult to implement and maintain ERP.

  • ERP is only for managers and decision-makers.

  • Main purpose of ERP is to just impress the customer.

  • ERP will take care of everything.

  • ERP does not require any other expenses rather than implementation.

  • Return of investment is instant with ERP.

Benefits of ERP Software

Following are benefits of ERP software:

  1. Scalability
  2. Improved Detailing
  3. Data Quality
  4. Lower Cost of Operations
  5. Better CRM
  6. Business Analytics
  7. Improved Data Access
  8. Better Supply Chain
  9. Regulatory Compliance
  10. Reduced Complexity
Benefits of ERP Software
Benefits of ERP Software


An ERP structure is effortlessly versatile. That gathers enhancing the framework as the business needs change is clear. This could mean a fundamental association of new procedures, divisions, and that is only a look at a bigger issue.

Improved Detailing

An extraordinary piece of the inefficiency in operational work starts from uncalled for reporting. With an ERP system, this believability is discarded as reporting takes after a modernized format structure, empowering distinctive workplaces to get to information reliably.

Data Quality

As separated and manual record-keeping or other normal frameworks, an ERP structure updates information quality by enhancing the covered procedures. Along these lines, better business choices can become.

Lower Cost of Operations

An ERP structure shows genuine upgrades in regulating assets, which wipes out suspensions and consequently decreases the cost of operations. For example, utilization of mobility licenses a steady collection of information, which is basic to chopping down expenses.

Better CRM

A prompt preferred standpoint of using a not too bad ERP structure is upgraded customer relations in view of better business shapes.

Business Analytics

Having astounding data empowers associations to use the vitality of sagacious examination mechanical assemblies to get in contact with better business decisions. All things considered, various extraordinary ERP structures have worked in examination value to allow more straightforward data examination.

Improved Data Access

Controlling data get to suitably is reliably a test in affiliations. With an ERP structure, this test is overpowered with the use of bleeding-edge customer organization and access control.

Better Supply Chain

Having the benRegulatory Complianceefit ERP system set up infers upgraded securing, stock, ask for deciding, et cetera., fundamentally improving the entire store system and making it more responsive.

Regulatory Compliance

Having the structure in charge infers affiliations can better fit in with bearings. Further, the most imperative and rehashing managerial essentials can be fused perfectly with the structure.

Reduced Complexity

Maybe the richest argument in the help of ERP systems is that they diminish the versatile nature of commerce and present a usefully made plan out of work forms. This impacts the whole HR for the cycle more capable.

There are numerous more advantages to an ERP framework. Obviously, a great ERP framework is fundamental in the cutting edge financial scenario.

Futures of ERP Trends

  • To examine the future patterns of ERP it is first critical to take a gander at the present province of the ERP Software industry. ERP programming is utilized for CRM (client relationship administration and SCM (store network administration).

    By and by ERP organizations are attempting to grow the limit of their item that is the reason a significant number of them are taking into account SMEs (little and medium ventures) rather than expansive associations.

  • Internet and web-based business joined have both assumed a critical part in the development of. Organizations are attempting to consolidate their store network administration capacities with the web so providers can likewise have simple access to data from anyplace on the planet.

    ERP programming is incorporating the business forms inside an organization; merchants are attempting to combine the coordinated effort of providers, clients and representatives that work with them.

  • Many ERP organizations have begun to concentrate on SME, they are giving tailor-made items and administrations vertically by decreasing the cost and multifaceted nature of usage. The advances proceed to change, and organizations must have the capacity to adjust to new advances on the off chance that they wish to stay aggressive.

    Because of inescapable steady progress in innovations it can be hard to judge which bearing certain fundamental business assets are going. Luckily, it is generally simple to extend and can be anticipated with some measure of lucidity.

  • That’s on account of the essential precepts of ERP frameworks that are entrenched and just should be changed over to different sorts of gadgets to stay aware of advances in innovation.

    Truth be told, while the basic science behind ERP frameworks may be over the heads of the majority of the populace, the idea is generally straightforward – the more data that organizations have available to them, the more taught their choices, later on, will be. Here is a portion of the ways that information recording and forecast will enhance going ahead.

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