What types of ERP are there? Examples, uses and alternatives

As an organization grows, processes and information become more complex to manage. Choosing a solid ERP will help you improve operational efficiency, optimize your decision making and help you grow.

We analyze what types of ERP exist so that you can choose the most suitable one for your company: advantages, disadvantages, examples and alternatives.

ERP types by design type

1. Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP is characterized by its storage in the cloud. This ensures that the information is accessible to everyone in the company and promotes scalability. In addition, cloud ERP requires less infrastructure and maintenance costs and updates are usually automatic.

Example: Oracle NetSuite, SAP Business ByDesign, Outvio

2. On-premise ERP (on-premise)

These ERP systems are implemented on local company servers and managed internally. Very suitable for organizations that require total control over their infrastructure. On the downside, the initial cost is significantly higher than the cloud version. In addition, maintenance and upgrades can be more complex.

Example: SAP ERP, Microsoft Dynamics AX

3. Hybrid ERP

Hybrid ERPs combine cloud and on-premises elements, allowing companies to customize their solution according to their preferences. They are ideal for those seeking a balance between flexibility and agility. On the other hand, their management is more complex and requires greater system synchronization.

Example: Epicor ERP, Infor LN

4. Open source ERP

These are systems whose source code is accessible for self-development. Very convenient for companies that seek maximum flexibility and have the resources to maintain a customized ERP. They allow the organization to adapt to its needs and avoid having to depend on a single supplier or license.

Example: Odoo, ERPNext, Tryton, Dolibarr

5. Modular ERP

These ERP are composed of independent modules that can be implemented and customized according to the requirements of each company. Each module addresses a specific function, such as finance, human resources or supply chain. This system allows ERPs to add new functionality over the years and adapt to changes.

Example: Microsoft Dynamics 365, Infor M3

6. Mobile ERP

Designed for mobile devices. Users can access and manage business information from anywhere, which is beneficial for teams on the go. While increasing efficiency and collaboration, it is critical to ensure secure connections and compatibility with existing systems.

Example: Acumatica Mobile ERP, Priority Mobile

7. Low-code ERP

With this type of ERP software, companies can create and customize applications with less coding, which speeds implementation and customization. They may have limitations in advanced customization and in managing highly complex processes. Very useful for companies with limited resources or newly created.

Example: Zoho Creator, Quick Base, OutSystems, Mendix.

ERP system according to the size of the company

1. ERP for microenterprises

This is a type of ERP with simplified systems for micro-enterprises and self-employed, who need basic accounting and financial management functions, but cannot invest heavily. Among its main advantages are an intuitive interface and good scalability for the gradual growth of the company.

Example: Wave Accounting, Xero

2. ERP for small businesses

These ERPs are scalable and affordable, ideal for small businesses that need to manage finances, inventory, sales and purchasing efficiently. As for hosting, more and more companies are opting for a cloud model, as they can make monthly payments instead of facing the cost of integration.

Example: Sage 50cloud, QuickBooks Online

3. ERP for medium-sized companies

ERP oriented to companies that require more advanced functionalities, such as supply chain management, manufacturing and data analysis. They provide a panoramic view of the company through dashboards and real-time analytics, facilitating strategic planning.

Example: Epicor ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

4. ERP for large enterprises

They offer a wide range of capabilities for large organizations, including comprehensive process management and advanced statistics. They also make it easier for companies to perform multiple operations in a synchronized and effective manner. This type of ERP usually requires a dedicated team for maintenance and ongoing support.

Example: SAP S/4HANA, Oracle Cloud ERP

ERP software by industry type

1. Manufacturing

Manufacturing ERPs optimize production processes, inventory management, purchasing, quality control or internal plant planning or management. Their use is highly recommended for manufacturing companies that want to be more competitive within their industry.

Example: Katana, IQMS ERP, NetSuite Manufacturing Edition

2. Finance and accounting

This type of ERP software automates accounting, budgeting and financial processes, facilitating efficient transaction management, reporting and analysis. Key features include accounts payable and receivable automation, bank reconciliation, accurate financial reporting and regulatory compliance.

Example: Oracle Financials Cloud, NetSuite Financials, Workday Financial Management

3. Human Resources

This type of ERP helps companies manage everything related to hiring and employee relations. It centralizes employee information, favors internal data flow, helps with performance evaluation, payroll management, costs, benefits, etc.

Example: Workday HCM, BambooHR, Oracle HCM Cloud, Ultimate Software UltiPro

4. Supply Chain

Manages the supply chain, including demand planning, sourcing, distribution and logistics. They include real-time inventory tracking, demand forecasting, shipping route optimization, and collaboration with suppliers to improve supply chain management.

Examples: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, Infor Supply Chain Management, Kinaxis RapidResponse.

5. Professional Services

Aimed at professional services firms to manage project allocation, time tracking, billing and resource management. They offer advantages by optimizing planning processes and enable detailed management of staff skills.

Example: Deltek Vantagepoint, Mavenlink, Kimble, FinancialForce PSA and Unit4 PSA Suite.

6. E-commerce

This is a type of ERP with direct integration with the main e-commerce platforms. They have a control panel to manage orders, sales and returns. In addition, they offer strategic analysis and facilitate the automation of the most inefficient operational processes. Highly recommended for online companies focused on growth.

Example: Outvio

Alternatives to an ERP, are they worth it?

There are many reasons to look for alternatives to ERP. For example, these programs can be difficult to use and need adjustments to fit the processes of each company. In addition, the investment of money and time to integrate an ERP is always high. In fact, carrying out this integration can take months or even years.

The good news is that, thanks to the advancement of software, there are many alternatives that offer the same efficiency as an ERP and are much more affordable.