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What Types of ERP Systems are There?

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Written by Laura Schomaker

February 11, 2021



ERP is one of (if not the most) exciting business technologies out there these days. More and more businesses, from manufacturing to retail, are exploring their options. If you are in the market for a new ERP solution at your business, what are your choices exactly? There are several types of ERP systems available in the market today, each with their own range of benefits.  

Let’s look at each.  

ERP by Tier 

One way in which experts categorize ERP is by tier. There are four tiers of ERP, each of which has benefits for a specific type of business: 

  • Tier I—Tier I ERP is for large-scale, global enterprises. These ERP systems are truly holistic solutions for international companies and offer support for multiple currencies and languages. These ERP systems include modules for everything from HR to warehouse management.  
  • Tier II—The next level of ERP is for companies that may have branches in more than one country but don’t have international reach and don’t need all the bells and whistles of Tier I.  
  • Tier III—Tier III is for mid-sized businesses. If you need language and currency support, a few options may offer this. 
  • Tier IV—Tier IV ERP solutions are the ultimate SMB answer. At this tier, you can get modules for HR, sales, and marketing, for example, but might not have something such as warehouse management or supply chain management. These solutions are typically cloud-based and much easier for SMBs to integrate into their way of doing things.  

Cloud vs. Hybrid vs. On-Premises 

You can also categorize ERPs based on their structures. Many of the ERPs that SMBs use today are cloud-based ERPs. As a cloud solution, this type of ERP gives you a low-maintenance answer in terms of IT. You won’t need an army of servers and IT guys to get this ERP up and running.  

Hybrid ERP combines cloud-based components with an on-premises ERP system. This is a great option for businesses in industries with strict regulations in terms of data security, management, etc.  

Finally, there are ERP solutions that are managed entirely “in house.” These on-premises solutions give a business complete control of the ERP but require a deep bench of IT expertise to maintain the system and servers.  

ERP by Industry 

Finally, there are ERP systems that work within certain industries. Vendors have customized these ERP solutions to answer to the unique needs of a certain niche. Since an industrial manufacturer has very different requirements than a retail enterprise.  

Modules Available with Different Types of ERP Systems

Depending on the system you choose, you can have any of several modules available within your ERP solution. These include:  

  • Accounting 
  • Order Processing & Tracking 
  • Logistics 
  • Manufacturing 
  • Quality Control 
  • Supply Chain Management 
  • Project Management 
  • Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Human Resources  

ERP is a transformative technology that can streamline processes, ramp up productivity, and grow your business. With the different types of ERP systems out there, you have a lot of options to consider. Look at our ERP buying resources to learn even more about how to choose the right ERP for you. And let us know in the comments below about your journey! 

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