Businesses of all shapes, sizes, and industries are benefiting from enterprise resource planning systems. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) market continues to grow, with the total market size expected to exceed $49.5 billion by 2025. 

There are many reasons why this market continues to see rapid expansion. ERP solutions help companies centralize key business processes and data, delivering comprehensive visibility into all the operations across the business. 

Over the years, we’ve seen an evolution of ERP systems. The tools have different benefits for different users, and we explore that topic in this article. We dive deeper into these questions about ERP systems: 

  • Who are the primary users of ERP systems? 
  • Who are the industry-specific ERP system users?
  • What are the primary benefits and types of an ERP system? 

Let’s get started.

Evolution of ERP Systems 

When ERP systems first came to market, they were used by large enterprise businesses with big budgets and multiple operations. But as the era of cloud ERP systems took off in the 90s, it made the technology more accessible to smaller businesses that lacked the capital to purchase and support on-premise ERP systems.

Now, small and midsize businesses are getting the same benefits as big companies, like automation, better efficiency, and enhanced data accuracy. Small business ERP systems contain the same business components and deliver quality solutions similar to those designed for enterprises.

Who are the Primary Users of ERP Systems?

The expanding use of ERP systems led to the expansion of the primary users. ERP systems are designed to meet the needs of many different users. Here is the primary business users type:

Finance

ERP software helps finance teams manage budgeting, accounting, and forecasting. It can help with various functions like accounts payable, accounts receivable, financial planning, profit tracking, risk management, and reporting. 

Finance managers can benefit by reducing manual tasks, increasing productivity, and having complete financial transparency and reporting across the business.

Human Resources

Human resources (HR) teams are also primary business users. Their ERP use includes recruiting, hiring, training, performance reviews, and compensation.

One of the most significant benefits is the way it helps human resources streamline its operations, allowing a company to improve the employee experience, which boosts productivity. That’s the power of ERP for human resource.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the key driver of the customer experience. It manages all the data related to your customers, including names, contact information, order history, support tickets, and more. 

An ERP system gives your CRM teams a 360-degree view of every customer and trend. This helps companies increase profits, improve customer support, and forecast products and services to grow the business. 

Supply Chain Management 

ERP systems are critical in supply chain management. An ERP system consolidates supply chain operations under a single dashboard, unlocking visibility and data, which helps streamline processes with suppliers and vendors. ERP software can also automate many of the supply chain management processes so that your teams can be more productive.

Sales and Marketing 

Other primary users of ERP include sales and marketing teams. Because your ERP system holds all your historical data, it can be used to gain insight into your customers’ needs. It shows buying cycles, behaviors, and spending patterns. Your sales team can use this information to capitalize on buying habits to increase sales. And your marketing teams can extract the data to deliver personalized shopping experiences.

Primary Industry-Specific ERP Users

Now, we’re going to explore some of the primary industries users of ERP systems.

Manufacturing 

Many industries benefit from ERP software, but research proves that manufacturing companies are the number one user of ERP software. Why? It helps manufacturers control every aspect of operations, creating a comprehensive management platform. 

Manufacturers also have highly specialized demands, including material management, procurement, planning, and more, and ERP systems help them meet these requirements and become more efficient. 

You can learn more about manufacturing ERP software in our previous article.

Education Sector 

The education sector is another industry-specific ERP user. School administrative staff can use ERP systems to manage educational operations from financial planning to course management. For example, educational institutions can track student tuition, finances, academics, infrastructure, and other administrative functions, all from a single platform with real-time data.

ERP systems can also help different departments within an educational institution meet their business needs and improve operations.

Healthcare

In the healthcare sector, there are vital functions that require information and tracking to improve patient health. An ERP solution can track these critical data points by giving staff members real-time information on medicines, machines, and personnel. That ensures the staff always has what they need to enhance patient outcomes and improve hospital planning. 

Regardless of the industry, there is an ERP system to fit into any role and department. Unique ERP solutions are highly customized solutions that meet very specific business needs. Other types of ERP systems on the market include small business ERP and web-based ERP systems. They all provide the primary features to help your organization become more efficient, agile, and equipped to handle any business challenges that come your way.

Primary Benefits of an ERP System

We’ve covered the primary users. Now, let’s address some of the benefits of an ERP system—no matter your job function or industry. 

Studies show that nearly all (95%) businesses that implemented an enterprise resource planning system experienced business process improvement. That might be enough to convince you that an ERP solution is right for your company. But let’s look at some other areas of business benefits.

  • Better collaboration across teams and departments
  • Massive cost savings
  • Reduced manual tasks by increased automation
  • Enhanced customer experiences
  • Better reporting and decision making 

You can dive deeper into the benefits of ERP software in this article.

ERP System Technology

Finally, it’s important to understand the different types of ERP systems available. 

On-Premise ERP

An on-premise ERP system runs on in-house servers and gives you more control and flexibility. However, it can be considered more resource and cost intensive because it requires you to manage the maintenance, security, and updates.

Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP systems are hosted and maintained by the vendor. Instead of owning the software on your network, you lease it on an annual or monthly subscription by the vendor. This reduces your upfront costs as well as overall maintenance because the vendor takes care of upgrades, storage, and security. 

Hybrid ERP

You can also go for a combination of the two, which is what hybrid ERP is. It provides you with some applications in the cloud and some on your own servers.

Choosing an ERP System Partner

Hopefully, we fully answered those questions for you about who are the primary users of ERP systems and what are the benefits and types. Regardless of the size and industry, it’s clear that an ERP system can significantly improve how the business and its employees operate daily.

Implementing an ERP system can be a complicated endeavor. But, as with any major initiative, careful planning and having experts on your side are critical. Let our team of consultants be the experts in your corner during each stage of implementation, from planning to post-implementation support.

How Can We Help?

Surety Systems is a primary business tech partner for many of the major solutions on the market, including Oracle JD Edwards, SAP, Infor Lawson, Workday, Microsoft Dynamics, and more.

Contact us today to get started on your next digital transformation project.