While many blogs focus on the ideal ERP used by the small company, we want to examine which is the best ERP solution that could be implemented in large companies. This is an important question because what happens in the mid-market is often dictated by the changes made to ERP software for the large companies. This is because the larger organization needs to find new ways to reduce costs and find efficiencies. Further, they need to support global operations, that dictates a strong need for multi-currency, languages, and operating procedures. Even though this happens in all businesses, when the large companies move, the entire industry often will move with it.
Let us define the sizing of a customer company for the scope of this article. To define a wide enough pool of potential vendors, we are considering a target buyer to be greater than $101 Million dollars in annual revenue up to and beyond $1 Billion dollars. That doesn’t seem like it would leave a lot of ERP solutions to choose from. But in reality, there is a larger pool of available software products than you might expect. This is due to the fact that the ERP software industry has grown and matured. A lot of the middle tier solutions have developed to a point where they can easily support portions of, or even a complete Billion dollar organization.
For example, if you have a one Billion dollar firm, often this business is made up of separate operating divisions. These various divisions are likely to be in different niches providing completely different types of products. As such, there are very few solutions that can handle all sorts of different types of niches under a single software installation. Typically, these corporations are using a best-of-breed approach, where they have the financials at the top of the structure to which everyone rolls up to and various division level ERP products below the parent.
Take a consumer packaged food business that has a mix of process manufacturing, discreet manufacturing and perhaps even pure distribution operations within their divisional network. While all of these divisions will need financials, CRM, inventory management, supply chain management, only some of them will use manufacturing modules. And even those that do manufacturing, will have different types of manufacturing.
So you can see that a best-of-breed approach works well for the large firm that is doing many different things. But there are those that do a lot of sales with a very narrow focus. For these companies a single ERP solution may be a possibility. When they are evaluating the best ERP software for large companies, they will focus in on the things that make them successful and work towards standardizing their processes across all operating units to best accomodate a single ERP solution.
The Leading Big Company Enterprise Software Choices
In the late 1990′s, the go-to companies for large ERP software implementations was commonly known as JBOPS (JD Edwards, Baan, Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP). Now only SAP and Oracle remain as independent companies.
Oracle, of course, has absorbed JD Edwards and PeopleSoft. Infor has Baan, but it is not the powerhouse it once was. At present, we are left with essentially SAP and Oracle. Oracle’s two primary offerings are JD Edwards and E-Business Suite, although Fusion is coming along and is a viable ERP solution for those looking for a financials only package.
SAP Business All-in-One is the other leader in large enterprise class ERP. With its Business All-in-One offering, they have reduced the time and cost of implementation. You can also get a SAAS version in SAP Business ByDesign. Or if one prefers, you can get the SAP ERP 6.0 offering, which delivers capabilities for finance, human capital management, sales, procurement, and other key enterprise functions.
In the last couple years, some strong contenders have entered the Large ERP market to fill the space of the legacy ERP providers. These include companies such as Plex , which is a completely cloud based solution.
Another new cloud solution is Kenandy , which provides a multi-tenant manufacturing solution.
A company that has been around since 1999, but is really accelerating of late, is Intact . With a strong financial system and a robust business intelligence application. It is a system worth looking at as well.
Another ERP that offers a great solution for larger firms is Sage . It does not have the aura of an SAP or Oracle, but it has been installed in thousands of sites and has years of success under its belt.
With a strong heritage of midmarket success, Microsoft Dynamics GP is another product that is often seen at the head of a large organizations financials. This is especially true in organizations that have a largely Microsoft base of skills and solutions.
Not to be left out is another cloud solution, Netsuite. This pure cloud offering may not be able to run a large complex manufacturing organization, but it can do quite well at the head of the table managing the financials. The beauty of a cloud solution is that there is a reduced capital investment since you do not need the servers to run the ERP solution.
Rounding out our list is Epicor . They are another strong contender in small, mid and upper level ERP tiers. They provide a very flexible software that can run a division or an entire multi-national organization.
In summary, here is our listing of potential ERP systems for larger companies you might consider in your selection’s vendor list.