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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software platform that helps business owners determine how to best use their available resources. Business process re-engineering (BPR) involves observing and analyzing how the business works to determine changes that may streamline operation at the business. ERP and BPR can go hand-in-hand. An organization's management might use BPR as a means of looking at the current operations of a business to determine how to best proceed when designing or choosing a new ERP.
The goal of business process re-engineering is to determine what changes can be made in the way the business operates to improve aspects of a business. Often, BPR will focus on a specific part of the business, like costs, customer service or marketing and advertising. Using BPR does not necessarily lead to ERP. Though ERP and BPR are related, a well-conducted BPR may find that there is no need for an ERP platform in the business. A business conducting BPR may determine to drop an ERP method for reasons including cost, effectiveness, or maintenance.
As an integrated type of software that performs in multiple departments of business, an ERP platform handles a number of tasks. Generally, ERP programs help business owners manage their finances, keep employee records and schedule the use of their assets, whether the assets include buildings, machinery, work, or money. Because an ERP addresses not only one business task, but a number of business tasks, ERP and BPR are most often used together to improve operations in a business with a fundamental problem in organizing its processes and resources.
Implementing business process analysis usually starts with examining how well the company is meeting the goals set out in its mission statement. Effective BPR usually involves subdividing existing business tasks into smaller units and improving processes within the subdivided task units. Generally, goals during BPR include improving process effectiveness and efficiency, improving adherence to regulations or specifications set for the product or service, and improving control over variables in each process.
Just like ERP and BPR can be used together to improve an existing ERP platform, a business executive can benefit from using an existing ERP to enhance the effectiveness of BPR. One of the advantages to an ERP is that it stores integrated data from all parts of the program, allowing an executive to access and examine data to plan the most effective business process changes. An executive can use company information like resource and financial data to make the best decisions for change within the company.
ERP and BPR can also be used together to facilitate change management. Once BPR is completed and the course of change has been determined, ERP can be used to facilitate communication and information exchange for staff members affected by the readjustment process. BPR can also be used to help establish the most effective way of implementing ERP use for an existing workforce.