What is ERP?

The meaning of ERP is much more than the acronym Enterprise Resource Planning.

Traditionally, businesses relied on people to manage ad hoc processes based on experience. It was effective, but slow and costly compared to the data-driven processes of today.

In the postmodern age, well-defined business processes managed using digital devices provide transparent trustable information through formal and social relationships, resulting in increased quality at lower cost.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software integrates core business processes, and may include support the following:

  • Project management
  • Engineering Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
  • Purchasing
  • Production planning
  • Manufacturing or the delivery of services
  • Marketing, sales and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Materials and inventory management
  • Shipping and payment
  • Financial reporting

In summary, an ERP system provides a common point for the various functions and departments of an organization to access, share and manage business information.

What is a QMS?

What is a QMS you ask?

A Quality Management System (or QMS) is a collection of business processes with the intent to consistently and demonstrably meet an organization’s customer’s requirements. A QMS is aligned with an organization’s purpose and strategic direction, and is expressed through documented policies, processes, resources and records. A QMS may include any or all facets of an organization, as functions such as sales, research, product development, engineering, manufacturing, shipping, etc. exist only to supply a customer with their desired product or services. 

The ISO 9000 family of standards is likely the most widely known QMS, although other QMSs exist within specialized industries such as medical devices and avionics.

Implementing and managing a quality management system within an entrepreneurial organization can be difficult. Too much control stifles creativity and productivity, and too little allows confusion which destroys focus and direction.

What is a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a type of enterprise application used to organize information about customers, leads, and other contacts, and provide a structured process for progressing leads to customers. A CRM system is often integrated with other enterprise applications, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, and may be included as a module within an ERP system.

Dale has worked with several CRM systems and is excited to represent SuiteCRM, one of the top open-source CRM systems. SuiteCRM is provided through a modern open-source business model based on support services, and is accessible to businesses of even modest financial means.

Using Duro PLM

I’m excited to be using Duro PLM for a new client. Duro is an exciting new cloud PLM and I was fortunate to have the company founder give me a tour of Duro just before Christmas. I will be posting about my experiences once I get my feet wet.

I also hope to compare using Duro to ERPNext for stabilizing and consolidating sub-assembly engineering BOMs (bill of materials) to create the top-level hierarchical BOMs for product SKUs, and for transfer to a CM (contract manufacturer).