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Rule # 1: Specify ERP exactly right for your industry.
if you are a food/beverage/drug/chemical manufacturer who needs bullet-proof backward and forward lot traceability and the ability to launch a precise recall in minutes, not days, you’ll need an ERP system organically structured to do that.
Here’s a brief introduction to the principal categories of ERP.
Manufacturing ERP. As mentioned above, manufacturing represents the birthplace of ERP, and it is still the category with the widest variety of products to choose from. For example, manufacturers of discrete products, one refrigerator after another, for example, need vastly different systems than process manufacturers, who are always brewing up fresh batches of ketchup or kerosene. Volume manufacturers, who turn out thousands upon thousands of the same product, day after day, need very different systems than engineer-to-
Retail ERP. ERP designed especially for retail offers tools to help retail companies track and manage their inventory as well as to improve the shopping experience for customers. Look for features like point-of-sale, merchandising, loss prevention and more. Supply chain management is especially important to make sure shipments coming from 24 different time zones that may be in transit for a month or more, arrive at precisely the right time.
Government, Education and Non-Profit ERP. ERP software systems for the public sector are centered around financial accountability and transparency. They include applications for budgeting and expense control as well as for reporting. Some are highly specialized, offering tools for grant management, for example, or packages specifically for everything to small municipalities to large state-run research universities.
Wholesale Distribution ERP. ERP software for distribution centers on warehouse management and lean inventory control. Systems will include robust supplier relationship management modules, forecasting, planning and scheduling software as well as CRM/order processing and e-commerce software.
ERP for Professional Services Organizations. How do you leverage your resources when people are the product? ERP for professional services organizations includes features to improve business agility and customer service, such as resource or asset management, client management, and CRM software. It might also include tools for project billing and expense management.
Look for much deeper analysis of each of these flavors of ERP at http://www.erp.com/