ERP Characteristics are as follows:
ERP facilitates company-wide Integrated Information System covering all functional areas like Manufacturing, Selling and Distribution, Payables, Receivables, Inventory, Accounts, Human resources, Purchases, etc. It bridges the information gap across the organisation.
It provides for the complete integration of systems not only across the departments in a company but also across the companies under the same management. Enterprise Resource Planning performs core corporate activities and increases customer service and thereby augmenting the corporate image.
ERP is the only solution for better Project Management. Further, it allows a group or a corporate house to run different types of business from one ERP system and addresses all aspects of the manufacturing process.
ERP eliminates the most of the business problems like Material shortages, Productivity enhancements, Customer service, Cash Management, Inventory problems, Quality problems, Prompt delivery, etc. The system should be flexible to respond to the changing needs of an enterprise. It should run across various data base back ends through Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC).
ERP system should have open system architecture. This means that any module can be interfaced or detached whenever required without affecting the other modules.
ERP allows automatic introduction of latest technologies like Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Internet, Intranet, Video conferencing, E-Commerce, etc.
ERP provides business intelligence tools like Decision Support Systems (DSS), Executive Information System (EIS), Reporting, Data Mining and Early Warning Systems (Robots) for enabling people to make better decisions and thus improve their business processes.
It should support multiple hardware platforms for the companies having heterogeneous collection of systems. It must support some third party add-ons also. In ERP systems, information is often recorded in a form that cannot be read without the use of a computer.
Financial and business information is often generated automatically by ERP systems based on data previously entered, without further human instructions. For example, automatic transaction journals, automatics check on credit sales, terms and value, audit trail on stock adjustment, automatic contra A/C.
It must have a collection of the best business processes applicable world-wide if necessary, it must allow users to buy and sell goods and services in multiple foreign currencies, to deal in multiple selling pricing, multiple warehousing and to adopt multiple costing methods.
Last but not the least, it must simulate the reality of business processes on the computers. In no way it should have the control beyond the business processes and it must be able to assign accountabilities to the users controlling the system.