What is the difference between ERP and tools for ERP?
One has to clearly understand here that ERP is not SAP, or Baan or anything else, but these are the tools of ERP. The concepts that ERP believes in should ideally get reflected in these products. But we see that not everything is observed in the same way because of many reasons, primarily attributed to marketing strategy.
Every ERP company offers its brand with different marketing strategies. Hence we find significant difference in procedures, forms, looks, reporting structures, facilities, architecture, database designs, and also the prices for different ERP products.
Since these products vary in their functional and technical efficiencies, it is crucial for the client side to decide which product to opt for. Of course, most of these products are based on common theory but different implementation experience at their clients.
They are evolved from the state of small automation and planning software that was addressing a particular business process. Thus we find that the strengths of these products are different in addressing various business processes. For example, one popular ERP brand is evolved from inventory management system. Hence we find it very strong in all materials transaction functionalities.
Another brand is evolved from maintenance management system, which handles maintenance planning in a unique way with excellent efficiency. One brand is evolved from highly focused area of human resource management. Thus we find different strengths and weaknesses of these products.