ERP Software: why you need it and a list of the best open source ERP software too

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is one of the most flexible and influential business tools in today’s business environment. It possesses the ability to integrate the long line of processes that are imperative for the functioning of your business, and roll it all up into one comprehensive system, thus completely transforming your business and output.


ERP structures the information and data related to your business in a manner that all the units of your organization have access to similar information. Departments that rely on each other, such as marketing and finance, can extract data that is relevant to them and process it, eliminating the need to manually feed files and information into the system.

ERP software is also useful in the automation of reports generated by different business units. It helps co-ordinate and organize data for various performance reports that are generated at regular intervals. Employees can therefore directly pull up updated reports from a common system.

Distinct advantages of ERP

Here’s a peek into some of the advantages that ERP software offers towards enhancing the efficiency of a business:

1. Seamless Generation of Reports

ERP software helps upload and synchronize data and information. This creates a great forum for the automation of reports and seamless generation of insightful reports that significantly assists in the visual analysis of business information. Being able to view performance on an up-to-date basis assures consistent improvements and a proactive resolution to any existing concerns.

2. Flexibility

The ERP system is advanced enough to adapt to changes and modifications in line with your business requirements. The flexibility of the ERP software allows you to add a wide range of operations to the system.

3. Minimal costs

ERP software aids the reduction of operation costs to a great extent. With ERP, your business gains the ability to incorporate essential innovations when managing the efforts of the available resources, thus limiting monetary leakage.

4. Improves Customer Relations Management

With ERP creating the advantage of better use of resources, minimizing costs and efficient reporting, your customer experience will be enhanced, resulting in better client retention.

5. Better Control Over Data Access

ERP software constructs a better access control over all data and information, thus limiting the breach of information and minimizing the risk of loss of data, which is often a growing concern for most business organizations.

6. Efficiency in business

One of the most important benefits of the ERP software is that it improves the efficacy of a business by curtailing the intricacies involved and creating a smooth and systemized flow of processes. Considering the growing volumes of data and information in an organization, ERP software is required to collect and process this data in a systematic manner so as to aim at achieving the defined business goals. This indicates restructuring of the old and traditional computing systems in order to incorporate the large volumes of data. ERP software helps in the vital task of seamless integration of the new and advanced computing models into the prevailing business infrastructures.

7. Collaboration of Processes

The ERP software creates a perfect integration for departments to function in co-ordination, for the seamless running of a business. This includes planning, reporting, sales, purchase, finance, HR, etc.

The optimization of business involves being able to manufacture and produce an output that is far better and more reliable than your competitors. In order to achieve this, integration of ERP software that guides and closely monitors the various functions in the organization and creates a perfect balance between production and cost is essential.  This perfect balance would then translate into improved production and reduced costs.

Reflecting upon the benefits of ERP, it is easy to see that this is undoubtedly the face of the future. Its popularity and use will continue to expand while even the prevailing benefits make an ERP system essential in today’s fast-paced world of business.

The topmost Open Source ERP software

Whether your organization falls in the category of small business segment, middle market segment or large enterprise segment, you have the luxury of choosing from a wide range of ERP software available in the market today.

Here are three top open source ERP solutions that could be ideal for your organization:

1. Opentaps

Opentaps is a complete integration that amalgamates all the top source solutions that aid in the efficient management of your business. Opentaps is entirely based on open source and as the source code is available to you free, it is an ideal solution for your business. Opentaps not only supports e-commerce and CRM, but it also assists in the maintenance and functioning of other business sections such as Supply Chain, Finance and Marketing, Warehouse management etc.

2. ERP5

ERP5 is an advanced software with workflow capabilities that are unique. This high end open source solution suite encompasses software related to finance and marketing, distribution and supply, HR and payroll, etc. and is ideal for critical aspects of an organization, such as CRM and SCM applications. The ERP5 open source software is also a perfect model for various government agencies and is known to offer market solutions that are vertical, with sectors that deal with apparel, banking and health care.

3. OpenPro

Openpro is a pioneer in ERP solutions and has been efficiently serving businesses since 1998. It is considered ideal for the government and public sector. Even though OpenPro may not have ascended into the market at the rate of other commercial vendors such as SAP and Oracle, it clearly shows great capability in scaling to enterprise at a notable pace.

The future of ERP

ERP solutions, as the experts envisage, create an opportunity for a glimpse into the future. The built-in analytics that ERP possesses help in making better decisions, thus improving productivity, efficiency and monetary gains for a business. Integrated with the newest technology, ERP software has created a revolution in business all over the world. It is compatible with most business systems.

Most analysts believe that with the consistent changes in technology and social trends, ERP software will continue to adopt an open strategy in innovation, therefore becoming more accessible and also easier to use, making this tool an essential one in every way.

Image Credit: Dean Harpar on Flickr

Author : Stanley Anto Date : 15 Dec 2014