What is Online ERP?

Christine Hudson

An online Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a service designed to save a business money by providing several services at once. Most of these systems allow a company to centralize information between internal and external resources while managing tangible assets, human and even financial resources. The intention is to save a company time and money by combining many other types of software, such as accounting inventory software, into one, easy-to-use interface. Online ERP will also generally provide measurements of quality, support and customization to fit the needs of each company.

Operating an ERP system online may be cheaper for a company than using on-site servers.
Operating an ERP system online may be cheaper for a company than using on-site servers.

Some common online ERP uses include streamlining current business processes in order to cut out unnecessary steps and applications. With many online ERP services, inventory can be regulated and automation can even be set to reorder certain materials automatically once a certain inventory level is reached. Many ERP options also include order tracking from acceptance to fulfillment to ensure customer satisfaction. A common addition to the service is accounting to keep track of revenue, cost, and profit and produce reports regularly.

Another common term for online ERP is “cloud ERP." This is because information is loaded, stored and accessed from the internet or “the cloud." This provides convenience in that the information can generally be accessed from anywhere at any time with provided login information, but does mean that a company will want to choose its ERP company wisely. Most companies make it a point to thoroughly understand how their information is protected before agreeing to any online ERP service.

E-commerce is one aspect which most online ERP services offer a lot of features in. A large percentage of companies are interested in streamlining e-commerce, and these services can generally help them get set up, grow quickly or maintain their growth rate for a much lower price than hiring several team members. This can include web site management, customer satisfaction and even business-to-business commerce. In some packages, web marketing is also offered to provide more exposure for a company’s online presence.

Consultations or demonstrations may be needed from several providers before a company can decide what services best fit its needs. There are similarities in most all of the online ERP providers, but each one may have different levels, packages and customization options. One service may specialize in e-commerce while another has much stronger emphasis in accounting services. It is important to most businesses to understand what is available before making a decision.

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