What is an enterprise resource planning system?
Enterprise resource planning system: definition, tasks and functions at a glance?
Optimally aligned processes within a company are considered a key success factor. This refers in particular to flows of goods, which require smooth logistics and scheduling. With the help of an enterprise resource planning system (ERP), such processes can be mapped and optimized.
Definition of merchandise management system: Computer-aided coordination of all tasks in merchandise management and order processing.
To ensure that all intermediate steps can be carried out quickly from the point of order entry, a system is needed that integrates all subareas and makes them centrally controllable. After all, not only goods leave the warehouse, but also returns or returned goods have to be taken into account as well. In addition, various sales channels (online store, direct sales, stationary retail, etc.) must be taken into account.
In short, an inventory management system helps to always be able to concretely trace the location or whereabouts of a product. Once integrated into the system, all goods movements are documented. Depending on the scope and compatibility, especially through interfaces, an enterprise resource planning system supports various organizational and logistical processes in the company.
The use of such a system also makes it possible to evaluate statistics and other data that form the basis for decisions on operational matters.
Design and structure: This is how an enterprise resource planning system is structured
Since there are many different enterprise resource planning systems, some of which are more like an ERP due to their range of functions, it is important to differentiate. As a rule, an MMS offers the following basic modules with corresponding functions:
Goods receipt, goods issue, warehousing
All processes relating to delivery, goods receipt and control, and invoice verification are accommodated here. Downstream are order processing including picking and shipping processing including outgoing goods inspection.
All tasks relating to quotation management, scheduling and complaints in relation to purchasing are controlled here. Downstream are customer data management, a vendor management system, action planning, and any returns.
Master data maintenance
In the context of logistics planning, it is important to have centralized information on each of the goods and thus make optimal use of storage space. This data can not only be transferred to individual sales channels, but can also be used for picking.
Returns and inventory
Knowing exactly what is present, where, and in what quantity is critical. By documenting flows of goods and making the whereabouts of individual goods transparent, an inventory management system provides important information for decision-making.
Optimization of the flow of goods is important in order to minimize costs, better reflect customer wishes and carry out holistic product range management.
CRM and controlling interfaces
The degree of functionality of an enterprise resource planning system is determined not least by the interfaces that are available. This makes it easy to exchange data and keep it up to date, which enables evaluations in real time and thus provides planning reliability.
Advantages of using an enterprise resource planning system
By mapping all important processes digitally and uniformly in an enterprise resource planning system, companies can make better decisions. Through the connection to a warehouse management system, separately managed processes can nevertheless be merged centrally. In this case, the warehouse management system is used for inventory management and other warehouse tasks, such as picking orders.
The sales orders, goods movement data or invoices recorded in the MMS are then exchanged or reconciled. This creates a complete, up-to-date picture for optimal order processing and merchandise management.
Overview of further advantages of an enterprise resource planning system:
- Time savings through central access to warehouse and product data to create quotations, invoices, etc.
- Uniform, centralized data management without breaks
- Maximum transparency through mapping of all important subareas
- Integration of multiple storage areas
- Linking with CRM systems possible
Also important: In a closed ERP system, all business tasks are covered, whereas an open ERP system is characterized by the integration of individual functional areas (purchasing, sales, production, warehouse). A third form is represented by integrated enterprise resource planning systems, which have all modules and also offer interfaces for external entities.