Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


What the heck is business ERP?

Dave, can I ask a real basic question? What is ERP and why would a company of any size want it?

Honestly, I don' t know so much about enterprising computing and information technology (IT) so rather than stumble through my answer, I turned to my colleague and IT expert Paul Dube, head of Align IT Advisors.

Here's how he explains ERP:

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning and is a combination of Accounting software (think Quickbooks - not Quicken), Sales Order Processing- order entry, shipping, invoicing, Inventory Control, Manufacturing Resource Planning, manufacturing Scheduling, Shop Floor Control (work order) software and often CRM - Customer Relationship Management.

For Process driven companies like Pharmaceuticals or Chemical, it would have 'recipe' and 'batch' controls and for Project companies like Construction, it would be 'project' control rather than 'shop floor' control. It can be monolithic or modular, client/server or web based.

Companies use it to...