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ERP vs SAP: What’s the Difference for Manufacturers?

When it comes to the manufacturing world, acronyms like ERP and SAP, MES and CRM, MTO and ETO, seem to pop up overnight like mushrooms, adding confusion to your already multifaceted business.

As a leader, you need to know what these acronyms mean and how they apply to your enterprise. Fortunately, we’re enterprise resource planning (ERP) experts who are well-versed in ERP terminology.

In this article, we’ll explain what ERP is, what SAP is, and the differences between ERP vs SAP. Then, we’ll help you understand how each applies to your company.

What Is SAP?

SAP is a globally renown software brand that was founded in Germany in 1972. SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing. An industry leader in enterprise application software, the company’s flagship product is SAP ERP, a brand of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

What Is ERP?

ERP is not a brand, but a type of software that helps businesses stay organized. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. ERP software is used by organizations, especially manufacturers, to manage and integrate all facets of their businesses.

ERP software acts as a centralized database for all information across the business, including financial data, human resources, shop floor management, production lines, and more. All departments interact with ERP software so that there is only one source of truth that the entire organization uses to make decisions. Having an all-encompassing software solution helps manufacturers streamline business processes, automate tasks, and generate accurate reports using real-time data.

ERP vs SAP: Key Differences

ERP and SAP are very different, mainly because one is a type of software and the other is a brand of that software. Yet, even industry professionals still use SAP and ERP interchangeably. That’s why it’s so important to understand the differences between ERP vs SAP.

This table outlines the key differences between SAP vs ERP at a glance.

ERPSAP
DefinitionA category of enterprise software solutions that encompasses all aspects of a business in a central location.A German brand of enterprise software within the ERP category.
VendorVendors include Infor, Netsuite, Microsoft, SAP, and more.SAP is a vendor of ERP software.
Features & ModulesERP modules and ERP features may vary by vendor, but generally include finance, HR, supply chain, CRM, and more.SAP offers common features and modules, including finance, HR, and more.
ImplementationImplementation processes can vary greatly among different ERP vendors. SAP is known for having a complex implementation process requiring an ERP consultant.
CustomizationThe best ERP systems are highly customizable to suit your business. Some are easier to customize than others.SAP is highly customizable but very complex. You need to have an expert to help customize your SAP software.

Which ERP Solution Is Right for Your Business?

When it comes to ERP vs SAP, the real question is: Which ERP software solution is the right fit for your manufacturing business?

While SAP is a global leader, we suggest growing manufacturing businesses use Infor. Infor is an ERP software solution that scales with your business. Infor OS offers 7 applications that help you store, manage, and visualize vast amounts of data. It also offers modules specific to manufacturing, like Materials & Inventory Management, Advanced Planning & Scheduling, Production Control, Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ), and so much more.

Read more about the advantages of Infor vs SAP here.

If you’re interested in exploring your ERP options, contact us to schedule a consultation today.

Discover what is possible for your enterprise.

Reach out to our team today to begin a conversation to discuss your specific needs, infrastructure, and growth opportunities.

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