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The term ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning developed from an inventory system called Materials Requirements Planning (MRP).  It was mainly a pen and paper system back then. In the 1970s, the MRP expanded to include human relations, finance, customers, employees, and accounting.  In the 1990s and 2000s, the MRP evolved into ERP and included databases, voice over internet protocol (VOIP), and advance graphical interface.

Meanwhile, BPM or Business Process Management started from the workflow solutions in the early 1970s that later transformed into a process or methodology that includes several departments (accounting, procurement, customer) within a company.

BPM vs. ERP

Both systems and software have overlapping functions, but BPM focuses more on processes and broad applications that span inter-departmental scope (accounting, HR, production, quality assurance, and administrative).  ERP, on the other hand, has limited scope that focuses on one, two, or more functions such as inventory, invoicing and shipping. It is like looking at the BPM as a house with the ERP as a kitchen.

BPM is more than a software. It is a process, a practice, and a system while ERP is a technology and a software that can support  BPM. With or without ERP, you can still do BPM. Technological advances produce software that functions as BPM and integrates ERP functions. Both aim to streamline the business process and reduce bottlenecks or impaired efficiency in production related to high volume.

Features

BPM

ERP

 

Scope

 

 

Broad and includes both software and processes or methodology in these areas of business process modeling such as strategy, technology and compliance, and data.

 

May refer to a software for office or department specific function. Examples are the ERP for HR, Procurement and Accounting.

Pros Rich business function features

 

Automation of repetitive tasks and fast implementation of workflow processes.

 

Moderate startup costs

Cons High startup costs Each process needs design and has to be built.
Startup and implementation time 20 months 3 months
Unique Functions Accounting, Customer Relationship Management, HR, Manufacturing and Project Management. Inventory, Manufacturing, Sales, Product Planning, Social Media
Shared Functions Social Media, Cloud Access, Analytics, Mobile app Social Media, Cloud Access, Analytics, Mobile App
Samples Proceso.pro JD Edwards, Odoo, SAP

 

BPM

The BPM as a system or methodology is a way of changing, identifying, or monitoring a business process to ensure the seamless function of each branch, whether it is a procurement office or a factory. As a software, BPM features functionality that can monitor or update information in real time and share data among offices or departments.

For instance, the purchasing department of an airline catering company can share the data using BPM with a production area.  Modern BPM software would include functions such as social media, data capture, mobility, analytics or KPI measurement (charts and graphs), document management, and cloud access.

An example of a BPM software is Proceso.pro, which can capture processes and checklists, start processes, and monitor the progress until things get done.

ERP

ERP is a type of business process software that allows a business to add automation and manage front and back-office functions such as quality control, monitoring, human resources, manufacturing, finance, warehouse, supply chain, point-of-sale, e-commerce, sales, and project management. ERP can organize separate software for every office or department. It ends chaos by separating spreadsheets and protecting data integrity. Examples of ERP software are SAP and JD Edwards.

ERP or BPM?

You can use either both software or just a BPM because one or the other serves each other’s functions. Using them separately is not recommended. A good ERP or BPM lies in the effective planning of BPM as a system and not just as a software. Still, the human factor plays a crucial role in the successful use of both the ERP and BPM software.

A successful business process lies in the trained staff and integrated features of good ERP and BPM software. BPM, both as a software and a process, can streamline the workflow process by avoiding inefficiencies from different systems or software (Microsoft versus Linux) and inconsistent priorities (non-urgent and important tasks go first over the more important and urgent tasks).

Good BPM and ERP integration can result in the real-time visibility of workflow processes, automated repetitive tasks such as logging in and out, use of one system for training and knowledge base, and reduced bottlenecks.

How to choose a BPM and ERP software

When choosing a BPM software, you must know what processes need improvement in each department. You should buy according to how a software application can solve a problem and choose software that is easily navigable.

To choose an ERP, you must evaluate what features you will need because not all software vendors offer the same features and not all features are needed. Second, choose an ERP that has a cloud option and mobile functions.

How we can help you

Proceso.pro can help you organize your company’s departmental functions with business process tools. For more information, visit Proceso.pro.