The ERP system integrates varied organizational systems and facilitates error-free transactions and production, thereby enhancing the organization's efficiency. However, developing an ERP system differs from traditional system development. ERP systems run on a variety of computer hardware and network configurations, typically using a database as an information repository. ERP is usually referred to as a category of business-management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from these many business activities.
ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materials, production capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.
Enterprise system software is a multibillion-dollar industry that produces components supporting a variety of business functions.
ERP systems typically include the following characteristics:
Not all ERP packages developed from a manufacturing core; ERP vendors variously began assembling their packages with Finance & Accounting, maintenance, and human-resource components. ERP systems addressed all core enterprise functions. Governments and non–profit organizations also began to use ERP systems.