Most common functions of an ERP system

For enterprise resource management systems, ERP is a key component. Companies turn to these systems because they require specific business tools that adapt to their internal processes. However, since there are several ERP programs on the market, it is necessary to clarify doubts regarding the functionalities of each one of them. In addition, it is necessary to clarify that each ERP has different functions which depend directly on the supplier or system you decide to choose.

Below you will learn about the different functionalities of an ERP, so that you can choose the one that best suits the type of company or business you have.

How can more ERP functions be added?

Before clarifying this question, it is necessary that you know the type of ERP you are using, since not all ERP systems allow you to add functions in the same way. In that sense, you should know that ERP systems are classified into: Modular and Configurable

Modular functions

Modular functions are those that can add functionalities, through the insertion of modules. This type of ERP is a priority in companies that have different departments, which will be incorporated into the system as required.

This type of modules can be included at the moment you install the ERP, or later, and this will undoubtedly increase the system progressively. In this regard we must point out that one of the biggest drawbacks of this type of ERP, is that the characteristics of these modules will be chosen by the supplier and not by the customer; these modules bring functions that are not very necessary, but are included in the same plan or package of the module you require.

If you want to use the ERP functions required by your company, you will have to purchase the complete module at a very high price.

Configurable functions

With this type of ERP you will be able to add several functions through programming and codes. These take longer to install than the modular functions, since you must know or be familiar with the ERP programming context, in addition to knowing the different languages; also, you must hire an external supplier to add the functions on demand.

However, if you have a customized development, the company will adapt more specifically to the various processes. In this way, the company will be able to cover the processes and workflows it has.

These two classifications of ERP functions are the ones you will commonly find in the market; however, there are other ERPs that include both functions, where the modules are configured through programming.

What kind of functionalities can be added to an ERP?

The functions that you can add to an ERP are diverse; certain ERPs come with an open source code, which gives you the possibility to modify the internal structure of the whole system. In this way, you will be able to add virtually all the functions of the ERP of your choice. You should also take into consideration that certain features can be executed by an independent program, which is not included in the system.

In that sense, only those responsible should choose whether it is worth using a specialized program, or on the contrary, add functions in the ERP that cover the needs that arise.

Most common ERP system functions

In order to be able to add ERP functions, you must know how to differentiate between those required for the type of business or company you have. These systems have elementary functions for business management, and others that must be added through modules or programming. Among these functions are
  • WMS function: for warehouse management
  • Function to manage the production chain
  • SCM function: for supply chain management
  • Project management function
  • PLM function: for product life cycle management
  • Function for financial management
  • Function for sales and marketing management
  • Quality management function
Functions with specialized software

There are other functionalities that can be added to an ERP; these functions are those that have more specialized independent programs, and are also more frequently used by companies. Among them are the following:
  • DMS function: for document management
  • HR function: for human resources
  • CRM function: for customer relationship management
  • BI function: for business intelligence management
Additional ERP functions

Certain companies are in search of certain functions, which must be especially directed to the commercial sector where they operate. The common ERP systems do not provide this type of options, however, among these functionalities are:

Function to configure prices

Function to configure the product: here the client can elaborate the ideal product by means of a tool to configure products; this tool has a number of variables, such as: color, size, material, among others.
  • Function to plan a project
  • A task module: by means of this module you will be able to avoid that some tasks are executed twice.
  • Function for inventory management, or asset management.
  • Batch tracking function
  • Function for distribution process management
  • Function for maintenance and inspection management
When companies are concerned about knowing in depth about the ERP system, it is there that they can visualize the kind of choices or decisions they will have to make. However, due to the extensive ERP offerings on the market, the choice can be quite complex, as having an overview of this system is not easy.

After you choose the ERP package that your company requires, you will have to find a reliable supplier that offers the functionalities you want to implement in your company. In that sense, you will have to research about:
  • Existing ERP providers in the market
  • Existing ERP programs
  • ERP systems costs