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With organizations leaping into automation one department at a time, soon realize that their applications are not talking to each other. Sales automation may not be creating invoices for the finance automation to record, or the warehouse management may not be interacting with the sales orders. Eventually, all departments work in silos that there still remain plenty of manual data exchange and the resultant human errors.

ERP systems provide mature organizations with all department automation under a single integrated platform. STPL is the leading partner of OpenERP in Africa, and provides mature and experienced consulting to implement the solution in various organizations across Africa and Middle East.

 Take a customer order, for example. Typically, when a customer places an order, that order begins a mostly paper-based journey from in-basket to in-basket around the company, often being keyed and rekeyed into different departments’ computer systems along the way. All that lounging around in in-baskets causes delays and lost orders, and all the keying into different computer systems invites errors. Meanwhile, no one in the company truly knows what the status of the order is at any given point because there is no way for the finance department, for example, to get into the warehouse’s computer system to see whether the item has been shipped. “You’ll have to call the warehouse” is the familiar refrain heard by frustrated customers.

ERP vanquishes the old standalone computer systems in finance, HR, manufacturing and the warehouse, and replaces them with a single unified software program divided into software modules that roughly approximate the old standalone systems. Finance, manufacturing and the warehouse all still get their own software, except now the software is linked together so that someone in finance can look into the warehouse software to see if an order has been shipped. Most vendors’ ERP software is flexible enough that you can install some modules without buying the whole package. Many companies, for example, will just install an ERP finance or HR module and leave the rest of the functions for another day.

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