[ERP system] IMAGINE YOU ARE working in an organisation where everyone is happy because the complete business cycle from order placing to delivery has been handled efficiently by all departments. The order's journey through various departments has been keyed into the computer systems. There are no errors, delays or lost orders. The various business processes in the supply chain are a smooth and obstacle-free ride, day in and day out. Dream on, you say. This dream can be a reality. The enterprise resource planning (ERP) software attempts to integrate all departments and functions across a company onto a single computer system that can serve all those departments' particular needs. It removes the old stand-alone computer systems for finance, logistics or inventory management. It takes a customer's order and automates the different steps along the road. 'The mySAP ERP application delivers mySAP ERP Operations, a solution that helps organisations manage end-to-end procurement and logistics business processes for complete business cycles, from self-service requisitioning to flexible invoicing and payment,' said Sarah Chan, senior marketing manager of SAP Hong Kong. ERP combines them all together into a single, integrated software program, so that the various departments can more easily share information and communicate with each other. For example, when a customer service representative enters an order into the ERP system, he has all the information necessary to complete the order: the order payment history from the finance department, the inventory level from the warehouse department and the transport schedule from the logistics department. People in these departments have access to the system and can update it any time. When one department has finished with the order, it is automatically routed through the ERP system to the next department. It is easy to track the progress of the customer information, sales volume and delivery date at any point. Although many multinational corporations used the system, it was critical for smaller companies to decide if their way of doing business fitted with an ERP package, which could be expensive as well, Ms Chan said. 'A lot of SMEs are also facing similar complexity of business processes. It is not about the size of the company, because companies of all sizes are also looking into operation efficiency and profitability. SAP has been supporting a lot of SMEs to drive towards these goals,' Ms Chan said.