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ERP System Characteristics

ERP systems typically include the following characteristics:
  • An integrated system that operates in (or near) real time without relying on periodic updates.
  • A common database that supports all applications.
  • A consistent look and feel across modules.
  • Installation of the system with elaborate application/data integration by Information Technology (IT) specialists, provided the implementation is not done in small steps.

ERP System Functional Areas (Modules)

An ERP system covers the following common functional areas. In many ERP systems these are grouped together and called ERP modules:
  • Financial Accounting includes general ledger, fixed asset, payables including vouchering, matching and payment, receivables cash application and collections, cash management and financial consolidation.
  • Management Accounting includes budgeting, costing, cost management and activity based costing.
  • Human Resources includes recruiting, training, rostering, payroll, benefits, 401K, diversity management, retirement and separation.
  • Manufacturing includes engineering, bill of materials, work orders, scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, manufacturing process, manufacturing projects, manufacturing flow and product life cycle management.
  • Order Processing includes order to cash, order entry, credit checking, pricing, available to promise, inventory, shipping, sales analysis and reporting and sales commissioning.
  • Supply Chain Management includes supply chain planning, supplier scheduling, product configurator, order to cash, purchasing, inventory, claim processing and warehousing (receiving, putaway, picking and packing).
  • Project Management includes project planning, resource planning, project costing, work breakdown structure, billing, time and expense, performance units and activity management.
  • Customer Relationship Management includes sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact and call center support - CRM systems are not always considered part of ERP systems but rather Business Support systems (BSS).
  • Data Services includes various "self–service" interfaces for customers, suppliers and/or employees.

Microsoft Dynamics ERP Integrations

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX is ERP business software with global business management features for financial, human resources and operations management as well as additional industry capabilities for retailers, professional service industries, financial-service businesses, manufacturers and public-sector organizations.
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP is ERP software for small and midsize businesses for managing financials, supply chain and employees.
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV is a business management solution that helps small and mid-sized businesses manage their financials, supply chain and people.
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL is business management software designed for project-driven organizations that supports future business growth.
  • Microsoft Dynamics C5 can assist with finance, manufacturing, supply chains, analytics and ecommerce for small and medium-sized enterprises.