30+ ERP Terms

ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It is a system which integrates all aspects of a company’s operation, from the production floor to the CEO’s office. ERP systems are designed to help companies streamline their operations and increase efficiency in order to meet customer demand and stay competitive. In this blog post, we will be discussing common terms that every ERP professional should know!

Common ERP Terms

  • ERP system: an integrated business management software suite, typically tasked with financials and operations.
  • ERP specific solution: a custom-built ERP for a single company or organization’s needs.
  • System of record (SOR): the “master” database that contains all data relevant to an enterprise resource planning project – the “truth”.
  • Master data: a term used in ERP to refer to all enterprise-wide or system-wide information, typically from the SOR.
  • ERP integration: refers to the process of integrating an existing company’s “master data” into an ERP system in order to create a single source of truth. This will ensure everything that happens within your business is reflected accurately and seamlessly across systems.
  • Data silos: when one program contains only certain types of information about customers, while another might contain different type(s).
  • Integration project manager (IPM): person who is responsible for ensuring tasks related with integration are completed on time and without issue. They handle the planning stages as well as the implementation plan. IPMs often need to troubleshoot and research issues that arise during the integration process.
  • Master data management (MDM) software: software suite designed for ERP integration purposes, as well as solving any existing data silos in a company’s system
  • Data integrity issue: refers to an error in the master dataset which is not able to be replicated or repaired by regular processes. If left unresolved, it can lead to serious problems with your enterprise resource planning project.
  • ERP implementation team: group of people responsible for designing and implementing an ERP project within a company.
  • Impact analysis report/impact assessment: evaluates how different parts of a business will be affected when they have been integrated into an ERP plan.
  • Project manager (PM): person responsible for managing a project, typically from start to finish.
  • Project: an activity or set of activities required to complete a specific goal.
  • ERP software vendor: company responsible for design and development of ERP systems. Vendors are often contracted by businesses seeking new ERPs.
  • In-memory technology: system which runs different applications in the same memory space simultaneously. This allows them all have access to any data available on the server without having to do tasks like “syncing” between servers before they can work together. In-memory technology is mainly used as it enables greater performance than traditional databases that rely on disk storage (or hard drives).
  • Transactional database/transaction processing (TP): refers to how one application will tell another what data it needs and how to process that data.
  • Data warehouse (DW): a large database which stores raw information, typically from the SOR. This type of storage is often used in ERP systems as they are able to store vast amounts of data with less effort than other types of databases.
  • Repository: another term for DW; refers to one location where all enterprise-wide or system-wide master data/information can be found – “master” being the key word here!
  • Common Data Modeling Terms: A common language among those involved in integration projects allows them to share technical jargon more efficiently and confidently without having to constantly translate between different terms, saving time and allowing everyone on the team greater understanding of their tasks at hand.
  • API: application programming interface; a web service that allows programmers to request specific data from the ERP system and receive it in return, without having to go through any other software. This is especially useful when new changes are made or updated within your enterprise resource plan as they can be programmed into an API which will then automatically update all of the necessary systems
  • Data model: visual representation of how master datasets and their relationships (one-to-many) with each other should look like after integration has taken place. This helps everyone involved know what standards need to be followed so everything integrates smoothly together at the end.
  • Allocation schedule: process of assigning resources to tasks in the project plan. This is important as it ensures that no conflicts arise between different teams and helps account for any potential delays or issues which may come up during an ERP implementation process.
  • CMS: customer management system; software suite designed specifically for managing a company’s customers, including marketing campaigns, CRM data, etc.
  • BI: business intelligence – refers to knowledge about your company’s overall performance with regards to sales, production costs, profits/losses (revenue less expenses) and more! BI is often used by managers who want insight into how their employees are doing within the organization.
  • Cycle counting: term used when inventory items have been sent out from stock but not yet received back again. This is important as it highlights when a company may be running low on certain items, improve lead times (production time) and more.
  • MRP: manufacturing resource planning – refers to the ability for your ERPs to use data from cycle counts and other metrics in order to make decisions about how much stock needs to be maintained at all times.
  • Mobile Data Collection: involving collecting data with mobile devices i.e., tablets or smartphones which is then uploaded back into the enterprise system after being processed. Mobile application development has been around since 2007 but only recently have software companies started designing apps that work specifically within an enterprise environment.
  • Backflush: term used when inventory items are shipped out from inventory but not yet received back again; this typically happens before a company’s inventory is replenished.
  • Resource Allocation Scheduling: process of assigning resources to tasks in the project plan or catalogued as part of an MRP system, with the goal being that there are no conflicts between different teams and everything runs smoothly without interference from other departments.
  • Figures (KPIs) used for ERPs: Uptime – percentage of time when an application was running; Availability – ratio of uptime divided by total runtime; Response Time- average amount of time it takes a computer program to respond after receiving input data on its command line.
  • Client Server Architecture: architecture consisting of hardware components known as servers and their corresponding software counterparts called clients which work together to provide users with services such as email and web browsing. Client-server architecture is most often found in large corporations as it provides a way to centralize resources.
  • Tasks: individual discrete units of work assigned by the project manager; these are usually related to each other and must be completed on time, or else there will be repercussions. For example, if you need to finish creating the database in order to complete the software installation, you will be unable to move forward if your first task is not completed.
  • Process: term used when describing a sequence of tasks which can’t be skipped and need to happen one after another. Processes are often designed by project managers with input from more than just themselves in mind.

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