ERP is no longer the sole preserve of the monolithic application vendors - and hence large organisations. Today, ERP can be cost effectively achieved by even the smallest of the UK's SMEs. ERP is about rationalising business processes into one coherent solution that delivers complete visibility, an approach that increasingly encompasses not only internal business processes but links to customers and suppliers as well.
And that rationalisation no longer requires one, all encompassing application that takes months to implement and a lifetime to deliver Return on Investment. Mid-market solutions today provide the building blocks for highly integrated systems that deliver complete visibility and enable process rationalisation. A single finance, manufacturing and distribution system can be tightly integrated with Customer Relationship Management, for example, creating a solution that holds all company critical data in one relational database.
The visibility and process control previously the preserve of the large ERP solutions can be achieved at a lower cost through best of breed integration, enabling organisations of any size to achieve common goals. Today's solutions support not only integrated CRM but also business alerts, document management and business intelligence.
ERP is still ERP - but it is a commodity, a prerequisite even for every business from 20 employees to 20,000. It is the solutions that are incorporated into this key building block, from Business Intelligence to capacity planning, that enable the real competitive differentiation.