Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the ability to deliver an integrated suite of business applications. ERP tools share a common process and data model, covering broad and deep operational end-to-end processes, such as those found in finance, HR, distribution, manufacturing, service and the supply chain.

Whats an ERP
What is ERP

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise Resource Planning (commonly referred to as ERP) is a business management software that manages and integrates a company's core processes. ERP systems share a common process and data model, covering broad and deep operational end-to-end processes, meaning data can be easily retrieved, managed and interpreted.

These processes include: finance, HR, distribution, manufacturing, service, and supply chain. In the past, businesses had separate systems managing each of these processes, meaning the data was disjointed and made collaborative working between departments difficult. With ERP software this is no longer an issue as all departments operate within the same system.

The TNP Team on Blue

Why should you implement a new ERP System?

Finding the right Enterprise Resource Planning system and support partner for your business can provide your business with significant benefits.

But implementing or changing an ERP system is a delicate dance - one that can end with a stunning finale…or terrible crash!

For many people, it’s easier to find good reasons to not take the risk and therefore to not start the implementation journey.

We are passionate about ERP and truly believe that well implemented and supported business software benefits both a business and its people.

Check out the common reasons here
History of ERP

History of ERP Systems

The history of ERP systems dates back to the 1960s with the beginning of social computing. Through the 1970s these tools evolved to offer large scale manufacturing companies a more comprehensive approach to material requirements planning, which begat the name 'MRP'. By the 1980s MRP tools had moved on to support plant capacity planning – at which point the term 'MRP II' was born.

By the year 2,000, Gartner were advising their clients to explore the opportunities that the internet created in terms of engaging suppliers and customers more closely with their ERP systems. This demanded a new name. The marketing people got involved again and came up with ERP II (you see what they did there). In or around 2010, came 'cloud'. Cloud has transformed the market for ERP software in two ways:

1) The list of ERP products that you might consider is now very different. Many existing vendors have struggled to migrate their software from on premise (Oracle, SAP R3, Infor). Other new vendors have emerged (Workday, Netsuite, Xero).

2) Cloud changes the way in which companies can construct Enterprise Resource Planning solutions for their business. Rather than rely on a single application to deliver the integration between processes, departments, divisions, organisations can now look to cloud technology and tools to deliver the same.

History of Enterprise Resource Planning

Why we work with Microsoft

We improve the lives of business system users to enable them to add more value within their businesses using a Microsoft enterprise resource planning system. We do that by making smart use of technology and providing great service.

  • Smart use: We strive to deliver solutions that are well architected and easy to use.
  • Which technology: We deliver solutions based on Microsoft technologies.
  • Great service: We have great people and strength in depth. We’re refreshingly honest and very direct.

Why Microsoft?

Why Microsoft table Aug 20

Individually Microsoft has products that are #1 or #2 in each of these categories. In combination Azure, Power Apps, Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Office/Teams make Microsoft’s offer unique – and save our customers money.

How so?

  • User experience: Microsoft products have a similar look and feel. This accelerates user adoption.
  • Integration: Microsoft provides this 'out-of-the-box'. That means we don’t have to build it – which reduces the number of days it takes us to deploy solutions.
  • Skills availability: Lots of people know each of these products. Access to a big talent pool has an impact on our salary costs – which has an impact on the rates we charge.

There’s another significant factor that we want to be transparent about - we've been lucky. We backed a winner. Navision became Dynamics NAV which became Dynamics 365 Business Central. As a result, the skills and experience we’ve gained over 30 years are still very relevant. We’ve not got many small groups of people focussed on different ERP solutions. We’ve got a big team that gives our people colleagues to learn from, career progression and the ability to deliver great service to customers.

Our talented team of experts are what makes us the best choice for your ERP project!
We are Passionate

Microsoft Dynamics ERP

We are passionate about the Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is part of Microsoft's Dynamics 365 family of products and is the only ERP system that we implement and support, and have done since version 1.0 (back when it was known as Navision and then Dynamics NAV!)

See Business Central in action Learn more about Dynamics 365 Business Central

Choose Your Industry

If you're looking for something more specific to your industry, check out the pages below. Our experts have worked on countless projects across industries such as Retail, Fashion, Beverages and Furniture and have the expertise to assist you in any capacity you require.

The Alternative Guide to Buying ERP

When it comes to selecting and implementing an enterprise resource planning system, most businesses are unsure of where to begin. To alleviate the strain (and benefit from a level of expertise) many hire an independent consultant to aid the selection process. This consultant reviews the options available, compiles a lengthy document explaining each one, and then organises a series of product demos. 

Pretty tiring, right?

But here’s the problem: this process was designed more than two decades ago – back when there were hundreds of different ERP solutions to consider. Now there are just four. Vendors of these four systems – Dynamics 365 Business Central, Business One, NetSuite and FinancialForce – will tell you that selecting their product will define the success of your project…

But we think they’re wrong.

Each of the above systems will largely meet the needs of your business and as such, the key (and first) consideration isn’t which platform you should choose, but rather who you should enlist to help you. In our free guide, The Alternative Guide to Buying ERP, we highlight how you can modernise your approach to ERP selection and ensure your deployment project is a success.

Download our guide to find out:

  • What’s going on in the ERP software market
  • The six factors to consider when evaluating ERP products
  • What best practice selection processes look like
  • Why your choice of partner and their cultural fit with your organisation is key to success

Your choice of partner will truly impact the success of your enterprise resource planning deployment project, so choosing the right partner – one which has the expertise and ‘fit’ you are looking for – will put you on the path to progress.

Interested in the options to extend and customise your ERP solution?

Pick a Partner, Not a Price

For most businesses planning to implement an enterprise resource planning system via a partner, the main factor is always the price. In these projects, there are often several ‘costs’ to consider: the cost of deployment, the cost of support, the cost of training and so on. As a result, many businesses try to get a fixed or estimated cost from a partner upfront, typically choosing one that is ‘less expensive’.

But while every business wants to keep project costs low, choosing a ‘less expensive’ partner is no guarantee of savings. If anything, they could cost more in the long run! The truth is that the cost of an enterprise resource planning implementation project – regardless of the initial estimate or fixed cost given – will be wholly dependent on the hours (or days) spent on it. Therefore, the best way to control the cost of a project is to look at other factors (the partner’s people, culture, methodology and expertise) and mitigate potential risk.

By choosing a partner based on the factors above, you put yourself in a position where you can control the progress of your project and have the best opportunity for success. There’s always going to be some kind of risk – that much is clear, but we can help you to minimise it. In our ERP Pricing Guide, we address the main questions businesses have about ERP implementation projects, as well as:

  • Estimated vs fixed price costing
  • Real-life ERP deployment stories
  • Evaluating ERP partners
  • How to reduce risk, scope and timelines

If you want to find out more, you can download our guide for free by pressing the button below.

Buy a new ERP

What are your priorities when buying ERP?

Buying a new ERP system is never a decision made lightly. Microsoft commissioned research on the priorities of IT decision makers when it comes to purchasing Enterprise Resource Planning software.

Read our blog to discover the top priorities discovered, the top five challenges customers come up against and what's driving the change.

Top ERP Priorities Blog
Where to host BC

Hosting your ERP System

When you choose a new ERP system, an important consideration is where to host it. This could be in the cloud, utilising the latest technology, in a Software-as-a-Service type agreement.

The solution could be hosted by a Partner like us or hosted within your own servers. Some ERPs don't have much flexibility in where they are hosted.

Dynamics 365 Business Central, the ERP we implement and support, can be hosted in any of the ways mentioned, depending on how involved you wish to be with the hardware and the inner workings of the system.

Read more about the hosting options

Implementing an ERP system

From installing software and transferring data, to mapping processes and training users – implementing a new ERP system can be time-consuming and challenging… especially if it’s your first time.

It’s not uncommon to have issues during the ERP implementation process, issues like missing data, tools not working properly, insufficient testing, lack of budgeting and so on.

But what if you could avoid all of these problems? What if your ERP implementation process could go smoothly and the final product had everything you needed? That’s where we can help!

With our unique implementation methodology – ‘Day in the Life’, we develop a model of your business within Dynamics 365 Business Central, so you get to see your data in a real business environment.

This process ensures you get a solution that works in context – with the items, suppliers and customers you know – and if you’re worried, we have unparalleled expertise and knowledge of Dynamics 365 Business Central (more than 20 years’ worth in fact).

More on ERP Implementation
Looking to implement a new ERP? Our friendly team are here to help!

How much does it cost to implement an ERP system?

For most – if not all – planning to implement a new ERP system, the main question is: “How much does it cost?” Now when we talk about costs, there are often several variables to consider above and beyond the cost of the platform itself that add to the total cost of ownership (TCO). And this is by no means an exhaustive list – you also have unknown costs that arise from delays, problems and risks that you may not fully have accounted for (though the right partner will be able to help you to avoid them).

The answer to the question of cost is, therefore, quite difficult to answer – which is why we’ve put together an article on the topic explaining how you can accurately cost your ERP implementation projects.

Training & Management

Training and management

You may need to train your team on how to best use the ERP platform once its implemented and develop policies on how data and activities are managed within it

Maintenance & Upgrade - 400x400

Maintenance and upgrades

What if your ERP system has problems that you can’t resolve yourself? You then have to call up your partner to request their help in rectifying them. Also, what if you need to upgrade your system to get access to new and more powerful features?

Costs incurred by the implementation

Costs incurred by the implementation

As your ERP system is being implemented, you may want to make changes to the specifications and add on new modules or advanced features. Not only does this add to the base cost, this also adds to the cost of adding and customising the solutions!

Check out our Top Resources:

Implementing an ERP

How much does it cost to implement an ERP system?

When you start planning your ERP system implementation, the question of 'How much will it cost?' is likely to be one of your first thoughts. This question isn't straightforward, and often there are several variables that have an impact. Our blog will help you understand more about how much it costs to implement an ERP solution.

Read the blog here
Hot Week

Start with what you can do with your ERP system

Ian Humphries, Managing Director at TNP, provides insight into how to successfully kick off an ERP implementation, and why it is important to focus on what you can do with your ERP system rather than starting with what 'it might not do'. He also covers TNP's 'Hot Week' approach and why it's a great way to start your ERP project.

Read the blog here
Rapid Implementation - Bees Knees 400x400

Rapid Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation

The idea of a rapid ERP implementation may seem too good to be true, but in our experience we have found that sometimes the need to get your system up and running outweighs the 'go steady' approach. Our blog covers what we mean by a rapid ERP implementation and how the process works in practice.

Read the blog here
Implement an Agile ERP 400x400

Implementing an ERP system with Agile

An Agile process is widely used in ERP implementations with great success. TNP use an Agile approach for ERP software projects as it allows for a step-by-step process and eliminates nasty surprises early on for a smooth go live!

Read the blog here
Why Vertical ERP doesn't work

Why Vertical ERP doesn't work

Our blog covers our thoughts on how economics undermine the future of vertical ERP software providers using companies that grow fresh produce as the example. It also covers what makes TNP's approach to ERP solutions different.

Read the blog here
What's New in BC

What's New in Business Central

See our favourite new features within Business Central and get an understanding of how it could boost your business productivity and automate processes.

Watch here
Microsoft commissioned a survey into IT decision makers' priorities when buying ERP