Definition: Enterprise Resource Planning is the integrated management of main business processes, often in real-time and brought about by software and technology. On a farm, this would mean that business processes such as planting, harvesting, spraying, taking on labour, clocking, finances and human resources can all be integrated into a single software solution.
The benefits of implementing ERP software includes:
- ERP systems enforce real-time capturing of business data, which means real-time business information can be reported on;
- no longer having to capture the same data into multiple software programs and Excel spreadsheets;
- shared databases can be used for various purposes, eliminating numerous sources for reporting purposes;
- opportunities for employees to learn new skills by taking technology to lower levels in the business;
- the integration of business processes saves time and money;
- standardised naming conventions are enforced across the company, for example, chemical codes and descriptions in inventory and spray records;
- consolidates securing business data by bringing it together in one application.
Barriers to entry:
- ERP software and the implementation thereof can be expensive, and it is difficult to quantify the benefits that it will bring to the business. This makes cost-benefit analysis quite tricky.
At the end of the day, an ERP system needs to work for the business and not the business for the system.