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A Guide to Enterprise Resource Planning

21 Oct 2022 by Peter Ebdon

In software terms, enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the management of an organisation’s main business processes through a single system which integrates with existing siloed software systems within the organisation. It enables staff to access data and carry out business processes in a shared environment to optimise business performance, eliminating the hindrance that siloed systems cause to businesses.

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Some examples of the systems that can be linked are finance/commerce, business intelligence, operations, human resources, manufacturing, CRM and website content management. Pretty much any digital business operations can be incorporated into an ERP system.

Why are siloed systems a problem?

When data is siloed in separate software systems within an organisation it creates barriers between departments and hinders information sharing and collaboration. Sometimes there may be an overlap of data between silos resulting in poor quality data that can’t be trusted to produce meaningful insights. Management then struggles to achieve an accurate visualisation of the organisation’s performance and trajectory.

Business processes are often duplicated in order to provide each software system with the information it needs to deliver functionality. This results in unnecessary costs and delays, reducing the quality of the service offered to the customer.

The benefits of ERP for business

Accurate data and reporting to accelerate performance

ERP software solutions enable organisations to connect all their business data and produce business insights and reports to drive decision making, improve operational performance and plan future business strategies.

Improved security and privacy

With one central hub to log into an ERP system provides enhanced security features. Staff can be given access only to the data they need in order to carry out their role. This means that personal or sensitive data is only shared with individuals who need it, as opposed to that data being accessible to all staff.

Reduced costs through agile and efficient operations

ERP solutions are designed to adapt to organisational needs as markets change and the business grows. This helps ensure that your business operations remain efficient as the organisation evolves.

Tasks are automated as much as possible, reducing the need for manpower and reducing the risks involved with staff sickness or staff retention.

Off-site access

Users can usually log into an ERP from any web enabled device. This means staff have access to the system from anywhere at any time, whether they are working remotely from home, off site with clients or travelling.

Meeting customers’ expectations

Today’s customers expect to see online self-service as standard. An ERP system can help you maintain competitive edge by providing customers with a fast and efficient service where they can access account details online and see all the data relating to their interaction with your organisation in one place. No need to speak to different departments, everything is available at the click of a button.

Reviewing and assessing your current software systems

When determining whether an ERP system is right for your business it’s important to review and assess your current systems to learn what is working well and what needs changing.

Current systems

Which or your current systems do you want to keep and amalgamate into an ERP system? What processes do they handle that you want to continue using and what data is useful to your business?

Legacy software

Are there legacy systems that are no longer supported and are holding you back? Any useful functionality they provide could be incorporated into a new system allowing you to ditch old and tired technology.

Data duplication

Is data being duplicated? Assessing what data is being produced and from where and how your business uses it is important. This helps to understand how to best to gather the data once to ensure its quality  and utilise it more efficiently in a new system.

Security and privacy

How are you protecting sensitive data? Are you storing more than you need to? Streamlining software systems to store data in one place makes it much simpler to comply with UK GDPR law and lock down sensitive documents and information by permission.


How do staff access the systems they need? Do they have to log into multiple systems? Do they have to be on site to log in? Are access limitations holding your business back?

Choosing the right ERP solution.

A well designed ERP software system should be able to take the best of your current business processes and bring them together under one system that allows everyone in your organisation to share the same information. Integrating your existing software with a new bespoke solution is the most cost-effective route to ERP. This is why choosing the right technology partner is important.

Achorda can help you to review your current processes and design the perfect solution to run your business more efficiently. Achorda offer a full software consultancy service and will liaise with all stakeholders within the organisation to determine the best way to incorporate the needs of all departments within the business, calling on over 25 years’ experience to deliver a future-proof ERP solution.

How affordable is an ERP system?

Once the requirements for an ERP solution are clearly understood, a new solution can be implemented in phases, starting with the essentials and adding the ‘nice to haves’ as budget allows.  This has the added benefit of helping staff get to grips with the transition to new technology which is often daunting for them. It also gives an organisation time to decide if your requirements have changed and planned development needs to be reconsidered to meet new business challenges.

Where to start

If an ERP system is what your business needs, a simple chat for some expert advice is the best way to begin the process. A call with Achorda will cost you nothing but could save you a fortune in wasted time and money.


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