In the past, some businesses managed their data spreadsheets by dedicating entire rooms to the storage and management of filed documents. The daunting task of collecting and organizing financial and operational data in a shared database is now efficiently performed by ERPs, an acronym that stands for “Enterprise Resource Management.”
These software solutions have become critical tools for businesses as they provide accurate, real-time information to automate business operations and help in the navigation of complex production processes. With businesses quickly realizing the need for ERPs, Market Research Engine reports that the total market size is expected to exceed $49.5 billion by 2024.
What Are ERP Modules?
Enterprise Resource Management systems are composed of many modules—separate tools designed to meet a specific business requirement. For example, ERP software for distributors offers distribution tools that other modules or functionalities can’t perform.
ERP modules focus on a variety of crucial business processes and can be the core of a business or a department in larger organizations. ERP modules come as add-ons to the base ERP system, which means businesses can choose to deploy modules that best fit their businesses.
How Many Modules of ERP Are Available?
There are thirteen different modules of ERP, six of which are essential and can be implemented in every business. However, the other seven are considered industry-specific modules.
1. Accounting/Financial Management
This is one of the first modules deployed by businesses. The financial management module allows manufacturers to understand the current financial state and future outlook of their organization. Businesses use this module to automate billing tasks, account reconciliation, vendor payments, and more.
2. Human Resource Management
The HRM module serves as an organization's repository for employee data. It is used for managing, recruiting, and developing the employees of an organization.
3. Customer Relationship Management
The CRM module stores all customer and prospect information, allowing staff to easily access their records and solve customer problems. It can also be used with the e-commerce module to reach out to prospective clients.
Sometimes called a purchase module, this module helps an organization automate, track, and analyze quotes of goods required to be manufactured or sold. When a quote from a buyer is accepted, this module instantly prepares and sends a purchase order to the purchasing department.
5. Order Management
This module is used to track orders from receipt to delivery, passing them through the warehouse and distribution channel and then tracking their status as they’re prepared, fulfilled, and shipped to the customer.
6. Supply Chain Management
Businesses implement the supply chain management ERP module to track every step in the movement of supplies and goods throughout the supply chain. It can also be used to manage materials or products returned for refund or replacement.
Industry Specific Modules
As the name implies, these modules are designed for businesses in specific industries. However, it is important to note that an ERP vendor would have these modules as add-ons and would not require you to have multiple ERP systems should you decide to implement these modules.
7. Professional Services Automation
Sometimes called Service Resource Management, this module is often used by service-based businesses to plan and manage projects. Businesses use this module to track the status of projects, manage human and capital resources, and approve expenses and timesheets. They are used to facilitate collaboration between teams by enabling the sharing of all related documents.
An important module for manufacturers, as it is used to plan production and make sure everything needed for production runs without a hitch, including raw materials and machinery capacity. It can also provide an update on goods being manufactured and calculate the average time required for production.
9. Inventory Management
The inventory management module gives businesses real-time information and the option to manage all aspects of the business (finance, planning, logistics, and operations) on one platform.
10. Warehouse Management
This is a critical ERP module for businesses with high-volume warehouse operations. The warehouse management module guides employees throughout all the operations in the warehouse, allowing users to automatically coordinate and record the movement of inventory.
The e-commerce module specifically benefits businesses that sell products and services online. This module ensures automation, fosters real-time information and data consistency, and eliminates data redundancy.
12. Workforce Management
While it bears semblance to the HRM module, the workforce module is designed for companies with more hourly than salaried employees. It is used to track attendance and measure the productivity of workers.
13. Market Automation
This is one of the newer modules created to help businesses manage their marketing campaigns across digital channels like email, web, social media, and SMS.
The nature of services offered by a company and its requirements determine which ERP modules are more important. Before implementing ERP, it is crucial for businesses to understand the available modules by comparing ERP systems and deciding which offers them the most benefits.
*The photo used in association with this blog post was provided by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive