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ERP systems and its relevance to modern day transportation


Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a business process management software that allows an organisation to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate all back office functions related to technology, services and human resources. It basically integrates all facets of an operation such as product planning, development, manufacturing, sales and marketing in a single database, application user interface.

It is a software considered to be a type of enterprise application designed to be used by large organisations and businesses. It requires dedicated teams to customize and analyse the data. It also handles upgrades and development. The need for businesses to strengthen its transportation systems calls for urgent attention and necessity for the use ERP systems in the entire transportation network.

The Nigerian transportation network suffers from several inadequacies especially the little capacity to handle unforeseen demands. Transportation is largely influenced by information and communication technologies with focus being on knowledge of customers’ demands and value added services.

The transportation sector today needs to evolve constantly to meet up with global trend and therefore all modes has to be efficient and reliable. It must have the capacity to deal with the increasing demands of customers, suppliers and all stakeholders operating within the transportation space, while simultaneously trying to optimise and maximise the entire business operations at minimum cost.

In order to keep pace with modern trend of globalization within the sector, Nigeria transport sector needs more than ever to use information technology to drive the needed growth, not just as an enabler of operations but as strategic vehicle and critical business tool to optimize efficiency within the sector.

The benefits of using ERP for the transport sector are enormous. It helps in the facilitation of door-to-door delivery, overcoming unnecessary delays. It helps in streamlining the processes and for successful implementation of the ERP system. There is need to make sure all information are stored properly in line to make the process swift and efficient.

ERP helps provide with the right system and performance that is needed. It helps an organisation reduce operating cost and it is very beneficial when running business analytics. It improves the coordination of processes into one streamline process where everything can be accessed through one enterprise wide information network.

Additionally, operating costs are reduced by being able to control inventory costs, lower production, marketing costs and it helps decrease the overhead of help desk support service. ERP systems can also benefit organisations by facilitating day-to-day management activities,It encourages the establishment of backbone data warehouses and allows employees to access the information in real time. This helps with research, decision making and managerial control. It tracks actual cost of the daily activities and can perform activity based costing functions.
Strategic planning is also benefited in such a way that the ERP system is designed to support resource planning in the strategic planning process.The reports and functions that ERP provides can help employees work through the strategic planning sessions and develop a comprehensive feedback that will help in the company’s processes and procedure.

ERP programs are being developed and updated all the time. With so many different types in the market,organisations should ensure they do due diligence and try out different packages before choosing one to use. Some of the programs even offer mobile capabilities so that you can always have a finger on the pulse of your business activities. With real time capabilities and the ability to be able to see what is going on in your organisation as it happens, ERP systems are handy when you deal with high volume. With an ERP system, your organisation will never have inventory shortages or idle time spent transferring files. You can test out an ERP system before buying it and see how it can work with your business.

ERP for Transport can provide solution for vehicle operations, ports, jetties,trucks, cars or any other commercial activity. ERP for transport industry can drive the provision of unique door-to-door services and also will help to prevent costly, unexpected break-fix scenarios and downtime due to neglected fleet vehicles and equipment. It serves as a ready resource for fleet maintenance history, fuel usage, and driver details.

ERP helps the transportation, maritime, railway, pipeline, consumer travel industries, freight & logistics Industries stay ahead.It helps transform rigid or underperforming legacy systems into efficient, integrated environments that give an added advantage by boosting productivity, efficiency, optimization, addressing security requirements and controlling costs.

ERP for fleet management serves as a ready resource for fleet maintenance history, fuel usage, driver details and can easily manage areas like insurance, asset management,equipment management, inventory management,human resources management as well as all expenses associated with operating fleet assets and financial assets.

The importance of ERP to modern day businesses operating within the transport space cannot be over emphasised and this article is intended to create the necessary awareness and encourage players within the transportation sector to upgrade their businesses by investing in viable ERP tools to maximise profit and drive down operational cost for the needed growth and targets organisations desires to achieve.


Festus Okotie

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