Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is defined as the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications. ERP tools share a common process and data model, covering broad and deep operational end-to-end processes, such as those found in finance, HR, distribution, manufacturing, service and the supply chain.
ERP applications automate and support a range of administrative and operational business processes across multiple industries, including line of business, customer-facing, administrative and the asset management aspects of an enterprise. ERP deployments are complex and expensive endeavors, and some organizations struggle to define the business benefits.
Look for business benefits in four areas: a catalyst for business innovation, a platform for business process efficiency, a vehicle for process standardization, and IT cost savings. Most enterprises focus on the last two areas, because they are the easiest to quantify; however, the first two areas often have the most significant impact on the enterprise.