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Enterprise resource planning for project management 8 min read
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Is your company looking for ways to increase workplace efficiencies, improve communications between departments, and reduce costs? If so, enterprise resource planning may be the solution your business has been seeking. The concept of enterprise resource planning, or ERP, has been around for years, but until recently, only large corporations invested in this technology. Today, ERP technology is a $50 billion industry that even small businesses invest in.

When determining if ERP is right for your company, it’s important to first understand what enterprise resource planning is and how it can help your organization.

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What is enterprise resource planning?

Enterprise resource planning is the strategic process of integrating all business-related software and technologies into one single system. For instance, it’s the process of merging the company’s financial software, inventory tracking platform, human resource technologies, marketing tools, and other business systems into one convenient location.

It’s important to note that enterprise resource planning is not a stand-alone application. Instead, each department still utilizes its own systems. The difference is that enterprise resource planning merges these systems into one platform. This integration allows seamless communication between departments and provides business leaders with the real-time data they need when they need it.

Although it’s possible to purchase ERP software with modules for various business functions, such as financial, HR, and inventory management, it can be difficult to find just one platform that meets your company’s needs. The good news is that many tools on the market today integrate with ERP technology. For example, our Work OS system integrates with numerous platforms, including Slack, Zoom, Canvas, Jotform, Gmail, and CRM systems.

Not only is it important to know what enterprise resource planning is, but you should also know how it works within your business structure.

How does enterprise resource planning work?

Without an enterprise resource planning system in place, what typically happens is that each department uses its own software platform to manage its everyday tasks. For instance, the financial department uses accounting software, the sales team may use a CRM system, and inventory managers might still be using Excel spreadsheets.

While these systems often provide efficiencies within each department, communication between departments isn’t as seamless. In fact, business leaders often must manually request the data and reports they need and then wait to receive this information. Enterprise resource planning software avoids these steps by merging every department’s business management software into one primary platform. By regulating who has access to various data points, ERP integration provides leaders with the business intelligence they need to make informed decisions.

ERP technology can be set up on an on-premises or cloud-based basis. While both types bring efficiencies to core business processes, such as workforce planning, budgeting, forecasting, and inventory control, cloud-based systems allow workers to access the data they need from their computers or mobile devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. This mobility enables your team to track operations on any device, from any location.

To get a better understanding of how enterprise resource planning works, see the following examples.

Enterprise resource planning examples

The best way to grasp how enterprise resource planning can help your company is to look at a few examples of the technology in action.

A prime example of ERP technology in action is the merger of inventory tracking systems with accounting software. Many companies, especially smaller businesses, are still using Excel spreadsheets to track inventory. While this process may appear to be efficient, it lacks the ability to provide real-time data and fails to tie financial data to inventory management. ERP can help companies avoid these issues by merging inventory management and accounting software into one centralized platform.

Another good example is a company looking to expand its operations. Without an ERP system in place, business leaders must request various reports and information for different departments and manually merge the information. This process can both be time-consuming and lead to input inaccuracies. Enterprise resource planning removes this step by allowing business leaders to access the data they need from one central platform.

Enterprise resource planning is ideal for basic business management processes, and it can also streamline the project management process from start to finish.

Using enterprise resource planning for project management

One of the top benefits of enterprise resource planning is that it can significantly improve the project management process. Merging all aspects of a project into one central platform — including budget details, proposals, invoicing and billing, timelines, contracts, and deadlines — allows the entire team to stay up to date.

ERP can assist with all stages of the project management process, including planning, analysis, design, development, testing, implementation, and ongoing maintenance.

Not only can ERP technologies improve project management efficiencies, but they can also reduce costs, maintain compliance, enhance team collaboration, and ultimately improve project outcomes. To reap these rewards, it’s crucial for your business to understand how to maximize the use of enterprise resource planning.

How to make the most of enterprise resource planning

ERP implementation offers a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Workplace efficiencies: ERP software can improve workplace efficiencies by streamlining business processes and automating many tasks.
  • Improve accuracy: ERP technology can improve accuracy by reducing the number of times data is inputted.
  • Real-time data: With one common database to store all information, business leaders from all departments have access to the real-time data and business insights they need to make informed decisions.
  • Compliance: An ERP platform can ensure compliance with everything from OSHA to GAAP to GDPR.
  • Enhanced communication: One of the best benefits of ERP software is that it provides seamless communication between departments and executive leaders.
  • Cost savings: An investment in ERP technology can provide an excellent return on investment.

As with most business practices, the level of benefits achieved depends on the success of ERP implementation. To maximize the use of ERP technology, it’s important to develop an implementation strategy that meets the needs of the company as a whole.

Start by assessing the needs of each department. For example, determine what data each department should collect and store, what technology is needed to analyze this data, and what business functions automation can handle. You also need to determine if the technologies already in place are efficient and if they’re compatible with your ERP system. If not, you may need to add additional ERP modules.

There are also a variety of tools and resources your company can use to maximize the use of its ERP system. For example, our OS Work platform offers a variety of tools your company can use.

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Enterprise resource planning on

Our Work OS integrated systems help companies improve efficiencies with everything from project management to resource management.

In fact, our project management system not only allows you to create customized dashboards, it also provides a tool for seamless collaboration, automation, and real-time tracking. It gives your teams one centralized location to plan and monitor your projects from start to finish.

Our Project Management feature is ideal for:

  • Project management
  • Project planning
  • Customer projects
  • Project dashboards
  • Issue logs
  • Time management
  • Strategic planning

If seamless communication, improved efficiencies, and cost savings sound great, ERP implementation may be right for your company.

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Frequently asked questions

What does ERP stand for?

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, which is a strategy businesses use to merge all business technologies into one convenient platform. Through this merger of technology, business leaders can easily share information and access protocols to ensure leaders have access to the right data, at the right time.

What is ERP implementation?

ERP implementation is the process of developing and executing an enterprise resource planning strategy. This process includes acquiring all necessary ERP modules, technologies, and tools for each department and integrating these tools into the centralized ERP system. This isn’t a one-time process but rather an ongoing strategy to merge as many platforms as possible into the main ERP platform.

What does ERP stand for in business?

ERP is an acronym used in many industries. However, when it comes to business, ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. This business practice is the strategic process of merging all company software, including inventory management software, CRM platforms, and workforce monitoring systems, into one central platform.

Is it time to invest in enterprise resource planning?

The popularity of ERP systems and advancements in technology have made enterprise resource planning more affordable and an ideal option for businesses of all sizes. If your company can benefit from management systems that improve efficiencies, streamline communications between departments, and reduce costs while improving performance, an investment in a centralized ERP system, along with integrated tools, is an ideal choice.

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