According to a top executive for one of the top ERP providers, “(They) are offering ERP that will lower again transaction costs and allow more business processes stakeholders to directly conduct their day-to-day job anywhere, anytime and from any device.”

Enterprise Resource Planning software is designed to enable organizations to use a system of integrated software applications in order to manage their business more effectively. ERP consists of many software modules that integrate all facets of an operation (development, manufacturing, sales and marketing) based on the needs and technical abilities of your business.

Common ERP system modules include those useful for the management of inventory control, purchasing, accounting, marketing and human resources. Each module of the system is then focused on one area of your business processes. The ERP method of business management has become increasingly popular and as a result more software applications have emerged with the end goal of assisting business managers implement and incorporate ERP systems for business intelligence. These are often presented as a single amalgamated package for even greater convenience.

There are a number of enterprise resource planning software vendors to choose from and most carry specialized products which cater to your organizations unique size and need.

Normally, ERP software is designed for larger enterprises that utilize specialized data and thus need dedicated staffs to customize the application, analyze the collected data and reports and take care of any necessary upgrades to the system. Small business ERP applications differ in several ways. These modified ERP systems are designed to handle less data than the larger systems, contain less-complex screens as well as less-complex dashboards. The small business variety is supported, technically, by the software provider and they are customized for your particular business and industry.

The market is changing for this $20 billion industry. Many tier I providers are transforming their systems into products with more scalability in order to capture more of the middle market, while Tier II and niche vendors show stamina as they remain strong in this very competitive segment of the market.

ERP is changing as major competitors work hard to streamline your workflows and operations in a cost effective and secure way. In 2013 we are seeing new usability enhancements such as visual process flows. To ensure that your company gets the system and support that best meets your needs always consider five key things that are important to your success. These include certification, methods, breadth/depth, industry and relationship.

Before you purchase, make sure you are working with a certified Partner who is meets the publisher’s specific requirements and exams for resellers. In addition, it is not easy to implement a new ERP system. Make sure that your Partner has a proven implementation methodology that will lead you through the process efficiently for best results. Your Partner needs to have the ability to understand the entire system and speak your industry language. Lastly, your relationship with your Partner will be long lasting. Consider what they will offer in the matter of support, training, education and accessibility.

About Author: Bryan Grayson writes about business software, ERP, and more.