If you’re planning on staying alive in the new economy, you’re going to need technology. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is basically a business management software made up of a variety of functions including: inventory management, accounting, marketing, sales, customer relationship management (CRM), Billing/Invoicing, etc.

Business Briefs is sponsored by   

Each feature of an ERP is designed to improve functionality and connect various tasks together. One example of how this might happen is as follows: by inputting an order for a drawer box, the ERP will automatically create a parts list, deduct those parts from inventory, notify your production team, generate a task list, track the progress of the order, and send out an invoice. By catching a glimpse of the kind of automation you can achieve with technology, it’s no surprise that this way of operating is quickly becoming the norm. Efficiency and automation are the main reasons ERP’s exist and some can be altered to best meet your needs.
So the big question then, is which ERP is right for your business? There are hundreds of different types of ERP’s. Each one provides certain functions and serves certain purposes. Some ERP’s are designed for certain fields (manufacturing, construction, corporate business, online sales, etc), and may or may not give you the specific functions that you are looking for. You will want to make sure that the ERP you choose was designed with your type of business. If you choose an ERP that is too general, you’ll spend gazillions trying to get it customized for you. 
Below is a table of seven different ERP’s, organized from various online sources, that will help you to get a basic idea of what an ERP does and how much it will cost.  


ERP Functions and Pricing

Product What it Does Price How it's Priced
MISys Inventory, Purchasing, Production, Manufacturing, Accounting, Analyze Costs $4,000-$12,000/year Woodworking ≈ $11,000 By the Industry
NetSuite Accounting, Sales, Marketing, eCommerce, Quote Management, Asset Management $99/user/month Monthly by User
Sage Accounting, Financial Management, Reporting, CRM, HR Management, Distribution, Payment, Purchasing, Sales, Inventory $69/user/month Monthly by User
Microsoft Dynamic Warehouse Management, Demand Forecasting, Serial # Tracking, Scheduling, Point of Sale (POS) tools, Integration with Dynamics CRM [not included] $5,000 starting, $3,000/each additional user or $600/limited user One Time Payment
Allmoxy Online sales, CRM, Inventory Management, Employee Management, Billing/Invoicing, Marketplace, Woodworking specific features Free ERP Free                        Related Services Charged Hourly & Monthly
RealTrac Billing/Invoicing, Bills of Material, Financial Management, Inventory, Project Management, Purchasing, Sales Management $169/month Monthly
ProMan ERP Accounting, Billing/Invoicing, Bills of Material, CRM, Dashboard, HR, Order Management, Supply Chain Management, Inventory $30,000 One Time Payment
As with any software, ERP deployment can be expensive, so you need to find which ERP matches the functions you are looking for, while staying in the price range you can afford. Also note that this table does not include all of the information for each ERP and should be individually researched before making a decision.
Once you have selected an ERP, the next process is to integrate the software into your business. This means connecting and inputting all of the relevant data each function needs to operate. This can be time consuming and may not happen at once, but is well worth the investment. 
Some ERP’s offer services that will help you to get up and running quickly. This can help eliminate bumps along the road of integration. In the end, you should notice increased productivity and fewer headaches (at least on the technology side of things).
Allmoxy is one of many choices on the list, but the only one that was developed specifically for the woodworking industry. Check out Allmoxy.com for a free ERP solution. 



2. http://www.business-software.com/erp/ (2015 ERP Catalog)  3. http://www.capterra.com/enterprise-resource-planning-software/

Business Briefs channel is sponsored by Allmoxy

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.