While there are a number of ERP solutions that include service software functionality, not all ERP packages offer functionality capable of managing the needs of contractors or professional service companies. The ERP selection process must focus heavily on the needs of the service personnel. A best-of-breed service software package or module would include features such as help desk support, ticket entry and management, technician dispatch, field service repair, spare parts management, in-house repair, maintenance contracts, job-based estimates and billing. ERP software for the professional services industry facilitates greater levels of employee interaction and collaboration, while significantly reducing the manual tasks associated with project management, project accounting and invoicing.
Within the professional services industry, commercial and corporate real estate organizations require an industry-specific ERP solution to manage the transactions of property-based inventory such as office, retail, industrial, residential or corporate and branch offices. A real estate software solution will track property and all tasks associated with the lifespan of an asset including the original acquisition of real estate property, lease administration, space management and assignment, grounds maintenance, rent escalation, incoming rent payments and the ultimate disposal of the property. In addition to tracking core business transactions, a real estate software package will track and analyze real estate portfolios and facilitate strong decision-making and investment strategies through detailed cost and revenue accounting and reporting.
In the financial services industry, a quality ERP solution in will include strong financial management software that is fully integrated with the organization’s core functional areas of manufacturing, shipping and receiving and sales order management. In robust ERP systems, the transactional data generated from these departments will be available for immediate review via online inquiries, ad hoc reports and real-time dashboard data. These capabilities offer full financial visibility into the organization’s payables and receivables with up-to-date access to inventory levels and sales forecasts. This transparency will provide accounting personnel and the executive staff with real-time financial data that helps facilitate quick, yet highly informed business decisions.
Financial management software functionality should include comprehensive tools for managing all aspects of accounting transactions, budget management, multi-currency transactions, revenue recognition and management, account allocations, taxation, financial reporting and compliance management. In addition, the financial management software should support full audit capabilities to provide complete backwards and forward traceability to each and every transaction.