Types of enterprise systems and their modules' explanation
Enterprise software has evolved into large-scale systems for the operation of the most modern enterprises and today it’s impossible to ignore their impact on these enterprises' success.
Enterprise systems are critical for managing companies in many industries. Corporations require them to collect, process, and interpret a vast amount of data, tying together lots of business processes and enabling the flow of data between units to run operations efficiently.
Most have heard the term “enterprise system” but do not have a precise idea of how exactly such systems are integrated into organizations and what functions they are designed to perform. In this article, we will tell what exactly the enterprise system is, how it can help businesses, present its major types and their key features.
What an enterprise system is
As businesses scale, small and outdated management systems cannot handle the increasing amount of data to process, resulting in errors and reduced efficiency. Enterprise systems (ES) or enterprise application software (EAS) tie together all aspects of enterprise operations and form an information system based on enterprise software packages. Such software supports business processes, information flows, and provides reporting and data analytics to enhance business performance.
Main types of enterprise software
There are three main types of enterprise systems: customer relationships management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and supply chain management (SCM).
CRM and SCM systems can exist separately, out of the ERP and comprise various modules, each addressing a specific business requirement.
Customer relationships management (CRM)
The CRM system is designed to collect customer data and forecast sales and market opportunities. It tracks all communications with clients, assists with lead management, can enhance customer service and boost sales. CRM usually closely integrates with the sales and marketing module.
The sales module
handles workflows like inquiries, quotations, orders, and invoices. It helps boost leads, speed up the sales cycle, and increase revenue.
helps build highly personalized marketing campaigns, automate communications via social media, email, and advertisements based on customer segmentation features.
Both modules provide detailed reports, be it on sales pipelines, lead sources' effectiveness, activity, forecast, case logs, and profitability or marketing campaigns performance to measure the effectiveness of efforts and shape plans and spend.
The 5 key benefits of CRM platforms
Enhanced customer service.
Facilitates better customer service and enhances the effectiveness of marketing efforts through the centralized storage and use of customer data and history.
Automating the sales process, helps improve its efficiency, increase SDR capacity and eliminate the bottleneck in the lead acquisition.
Allows you to identify and segment customers based on a myriad of attributes, preferences, behaviors, and buying patterns.
Helps in retaining customers by tracking their interactions with the company and offering personalized services.
Enables more effective cross-selling and up-selling by providing insights into customer needs and preferences.
According to the CRM Software Global Market Report 2023, the global CRM software market will grow from $128.25 billion in 2022 to $148.49 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.8%. The Russia-Ukraine war disrupted the chances of global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, at least in the short term. The war between these two countries has led to economic sanctions on multiple countries, surge in commodity prices, and supply chain disruptions, causing inflation across goods and services effecting many markets across the globe.
There are ready-made CRMs on the market, such as Zoho CRM, HubSpot, etc. In some cases, their use without modification does not solve all the tasks of the organization or is too expensive at a distance because of the subscription model. In this case, it's recommended to use a custom software development service.
Supply chain management (SCM)
The SCM software streamlines your entire supply chain, ensures a smooth flow of goods from supplier to customer, and makes these processes adjustable to market shifts. This module helps employees, such as purchasing agents, inventory planners, warehouse managers and senior supply chain leaders, to get detailed information and optimize inventory levels, prioritize orders, maximize on-time shipments, avoid supply chain disruptions and identify inefficient processes.
The SCM system includes such modules as procurement (or purchasing), inventory management, warehousing (WMS), and transportation (TMS).
Helps assess the needs of an organization in terms of goods consumption. It provides automation, tracking, and quotes analysis, along with invoice management, contracts, and billing.
Inventory management module.
Enables inventory control by tracking item quantities and location, offering a complete picture of current and incoming inventory and preventing stock-outs and delays. The module can also compare sales trends with the available products to help a company make informed decisions, boosting margins and increasing inventory turn.
Warehouse management system (WMS).
Primarily aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse, including the receipt, storage and movement of goods to intermediate storage locations or to the final customer.
Here is an example of developing a warehouse dock management solution for one of our clients
Transport management system (TMS).
Assists with the logistics within the SCM by optimizing loads and delivery routes, tracking freight across local and global routes, along with automating previously time-consuming tasks, such as trade compliance documentation and freight billing.
Check out our custom TMS development project and see what business results it achieved
6 benefits of supply chain management software
Product life cycle management.
Supports effective management of the product life cycle, from development to disposal, ensuring coordination and efficiency in various phases.
Improved supply chain visibility.
Offers visibility into the supply chain, allowing for better planning and management of resources.
Facilitates demand forecasting, helping to optimize inventory levels and reduce carrying costs.
Helps in managing supplier relationships more effectively, ensuring timely delivery and quality of products.
Assists in optimizing logistics and distribution processes, planning better routes and finding carriers.
Aids in identifying and mitigating supply chain risks, such as logistics risks, product, and raw materials shortages or demand volatility.
Check out the case study and see how the implementation of the software solutions enhanced SCM
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
ERP software helps support organizational goals by providing a cross-functional, company-wide communication system. It allows efficient collection, storage, interpretation, and management of information.
The core ERP modules include CRM (Customer relationships management), SCM (Supply chain management), finance and accounting, human resources management (HRM), manufacturing, finance and accounting, and business intelligence (BI). We have described the CRM and SCM modules above and are going to take a closer look at the remaining ones.
Human resources management (HRM)
HRM software allows its specialists to automate administrative tasks and speed up internal processes. Provided functions are integrated into a single module that makes general management and decision-making easier. It features standard HRM tools as a timesheet, database for employee records, recruitment, and employee evaluations.
The module may also include performance reviews and payroll systems, and the last is usually integrated with the financial module to manage wages, compensation, and travel expenses.
Read an case study of developing a mobile application for staff training, shift and payroll management within a healthcare provider's ERP system
The key functionalities of this module are developed to help businesses make manufacturing more efficient through product planning, materials sourcing, daily production monitoring, and product forecasting. The module is tightly integrated with SCM, especially in areas like product planning and inventory control.
Finance and accounting
This module keeps track of the organization’s finances and helps automate tasks related to billing tasks, account reconciliation, vendor payments, and others. Its key features include tracking accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) and managing the general ledger. Financial planning and analysis data help prepare key reports such as Profit and Loss (P&L) statements.
The finance module also shares information with other modules, such as manufacturing, procurement, and others, allowing the generation of financial reports for different departments and business units.
Business Intelligence (BI)
BI provides predictive analytics in a format of various graphs, charts, and tables to optimize work performance and give executives actionable insights to help make better organization’s decisions. The system collects and analyzes data from various sources, like marketing, sales, manufacturing, HR, etc., using data mining, benchmarking, and advanced statistical algorithms.
Advantages of ERP systems
Helps in consolidating data from different departments, offering a unified, consistent view of business information.
Improved decision making.
Facilitates data-driven decision-making by providing comprehensive insights and analytics.
Streamlines and automates business processes, reducing manual efforts and minimizing errors.
Helps in long-term reducing operational and administrative costs through process optimization.
Assists in meeting regulatory requirements through built-in tools that ensure adherence to various laws and regulations.
Enables effective management of resources, including workforce, finance, and assets.
ERP software Implementation
Each enterprise has streamlined work processes that have been running for many years and they face a tough choice whether to upgrade the existing one, integrate a ready-made solution or develop a custom from scratch.
Below, we have presented the options you should think about when deciding to optimize your business operations through ERP solutions.
ERP app modernization
A partial upgrade of an already used ERP system can be a suitable solution if you have a limited budget and already established business processes. You can define the required modules and integrate them into the current system, which will strengthen and improve the already working system and minimize disruptions caused by introducing new software into the processes.
However, if your ERP system is ten years or older, or uses an outdated technology stack, we recommend replacing it completely.
Upgrade your enterprise system
We help you modernize legacy systems by bringing your business up to speed and remaining competitiveWhat we do
Create a custom ERP
Building an ERP from scratch can give you a competitive advantage over organizations that use standard ERP functionality. Such software can be flexibly customized and changed over time to reflect the growing needs of the business. You can add unique features, edit or remove the existing ones to suit the evolution of the company.
When planning the budget, consider that the cost of ERP development is typically based on the number of departments using the system and the functionalities the system delivers. Although purchasing and deploying ERP software is expensive, it often delivers a quick return on investment.
The complexity of enterprise software pushes corporations to outsource the development of applications they need to run operations. After development, the system gets back in-house for deployment, which usually requires a specialized technology team.
Choose an ERP software provider
Each enterprise software solution is designed for a specific business goal and offers different functionalities. The major players in this market are SAP AG, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Infor Inc., Kronos Incorporated, and IBM Corporation. When deciding on the choice, make sure the solution complies with strategic planning and the major goals of your organization and suits you in terms of the cost of implementation and, above all, maintenance.
A big advantage of ERP systems is that they are modular. It allows enterprises to gradually implement key modules one at a time, that gains the ability to change certain areas without disrupting overall operations. However, it is important the modules are compatible with each other and easily integrated with the existing solutions, if any.
As stated in the Panorama Consulting Solutions report, this is not only less risky from a technical perspective but also from an organizational–users have more time to learn the new system.
This is the reason many ERP platforms start with a set of core modules, which allows for a highly flexible approach to suit unique business requirements.
Through automation and data centralization, a modern enterprise system has become a key to success for any corporation that wants to be and stay competitive. Such software boosts productivity and reduces operating costs, along with automating business processes, facilitating collaboration and coordination between departments, as well as giving access to reporting and crucial analytics.
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