What Is ERP Data?

by David Miller

ERP data, or enterprise resource planning, is data used to manage company resources. These resources can include financial materials, human resources and other company assets. ERP data is located on a computer that is networked to users so that the sharing of data and thus the sharing of resources is available. The use of ERP data is prominent in manufacturing companies in which logistics, inventory, shipping, receiving and accounting can be managed through departmental collaboration.

History

The term ERP data was derived from what is called MRP, or manufacturing resource planning. The difference between the two is that the user can use ERP data to follow the path of resources. For example, users can check the status of a shipment to see if it has been received and paid for.

Configuration

Businesses have a wide range of functions and processes that assets go through. Configuration of the ERP software to produce valid ERP data entails a long and involved process. ERP implementation is usually broken down into many phases of a project, including planning, configuring, layout, testing and training.

Benefits

ERP systems and ERP data make it possible to share data between departments in large manufacturing companies, which facilitates the ability to keep inventory levels lower, increase efficiency due to better communication, better track materials from purchase to use, and track when materials where received versus when they were paid for.

Software

ERP data is obtained through a ERP software package. Many commercial packages are on the market today but the most popular one is produced by SAP. SAP Business Suite provides different modules for different areas of a companies business. The modules are Customer Service Management, Enterprise Resource Management, Product Lifecycle Management, Supply Chain Management and Supplier Relationship Management. All of these modules make up the ERP software package, which in turn produces valuable data for the company.

Disadvantages

Even though many advantages accrue to obtaining ERP data, disadvantages are also incurred, including, for some companies, the expense of the system and the inflexibility of the software. In addition, the accuracy of the ERP data that is entered may produce skewed results on output, much like the computing adage "junk in equals junk out." In general, while ERP data can be used to promote a more efficient, more profitable company, every company must do a careful analysis to make sure use of ERP data and software is right for the particular business.

About the Author

David Miller is a Kentucky-based freelance writer who has written on a variety of subjects for eHow. He has also written content for many websites and small businesses. He has a background in the technology sector which he still pursues and enjoys.

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