Applications and Uses of ERP Solutions

ERP or Enterprise Resource planning solutions help organization streamline the multiple, diversified, resources and processes, with the common goals of a business – productivity and profitability.

Through a single interface in the ERP, organizations can consolidate the business processes of various departments and bring them under “one-roof”. The different business units of an organization have a shared database, to support their various functions.

With an ERP solution, many business processes can be automated and synchronized . This replaces the need of doing manual data entry or maintaining separate databases or spreadsheets. Business units get streamlined into one system, where each one gets access to the information they require with respect to their unit or another’s. For instance, the Accounts department can drill out reports on the sales order. Or the sales order in turn can view the status of pending invoices. This way, business units leverage on the integrated systems of an ERP that helps them function in a coordinated manner, saves time and avoids duplication of data too.

Uses of ERP

ERP solutions can be customized to suit your business requirement . Some of the basic functions carried out by an ERP application are:

  1. Inventory and Order management(Supply Chain management)
  2. Accounting
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Payroll
  5. Human Resources
  6. Customer Relationship Management

ERP Applications

ERP applications have evolved over the years, ever since their entry into the software market. Diverse technologies have come into play to make ERP systems robust, customizable and flexible.

ERP-solution
ERP Application

Some of the Popular ERP Applications Are

Epicor

A legacy player in the ERP arena, Epicor uses Microsoft technologies such as SQL server as the database and is based on SOA architecture. It has a vast consumer base and a strong customer support system and is priced at the lower end.

Infor

This ERP product is popular for its SCM module for which it has a huge customer base. This ERP offers varying degrees of customization depending upon the business requirement. The ERP is stands at the lower end of pricing, compared to others.

Microsoft

Microsoft has been a competent leader in the ERP market and has catered well to small and medium level businesses. Its framework is designed in SQL server and dotNET. With its well networked distributions channels and the costing factor, Microsoft’s ERP has a wide established customer base.

Oracle

Java-based Oracle’s ERP is a highly customisable and flexible product. They have a huge market across the globe, this partly attributed to their stronghold in the databases segment, since so many years

SAP

As leaders in the ERP market space, SAP was the first to introduce the client-server ERP software. They have a stronghold in the market through their SCM(supply chain module), payroll and Accounting modules

ERP applications have changed the way organizations store, track, review and present their information. They have defined channels that facilitate better coordination amongst different business , by optimizing on time, effort and costs.

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What is “User Interface Design”? – Fundamental Studies

What is User Interface (UI)

User Interface (UI) is the place where the interaction between the system and human happens. Through this, the human can convey what he wants the system to perform and instructs the system on how to perform.

Why User Interface ?

Even though the human can interact with the system, he can only convey and instruct in the human readable form i.e. in english or any language but the system can only understand machine readable form i.e. binary system. So the main use of UI is communicating the instructions from human to system with translation of the human readable form to machine understandable form.

History:

User interface starts with the Industrial Revolution in 17th century when the machines are used to do the works of man. At the initial stages, UI is mostly based on the physical form like pressing buttons, punch cards etc. These also convey the instructions from human to machine but not in a current understanding of the UI.
As the computer and other machines developed, user interface had got a bigger role to play. Because these machines are doing more jobs than human and also in a efficient way. So the more humans depend on them, UI is getting more importance day by day. With the computers, UI is mostly interacting with the system using the input devices like keyboard and mouse. But when the evolution of touch screen displays starts, UI is not only through keyboard and mouse. Now the UI is more interactive with touch screens, audio input, gestures etc.

How to design?

In the olden days, UI is mostly based on the display because all your interactions through the keyboard and mouse will be captured by the display and translated to the machine understandable form with the help of CPU. But now-a-days, UI is not only through display, it includes microphone, camera, GPS etc. So the designing of UI is little bit tougher than before. And also it varies for specific applications.
For designing UI, you need to understand what are the ways to interact in that particular scenario like microphone, camera etc. So based on that you need to include the additional features utilizing the other ways.
Basic requirement in the UI is the Homepage with the links to all the functions of the system. And for specific functions, you can add the additional features to interact with the system.

Concepts used:

UI design can be done with many software tools based on the current technologies or advancements like HTML5.0, Android, Dot net etc. But all the designs should use a concept to make the UI more user friendly and easy to handle. Some of the major concepts used in the UI design are given with a brief description.
1. Minimalism – Using a minimal and most important links or grouping similar tasks under a link to provide a simple interface to the user.
2. Skeuomorphism – Imitating the real world things in the UI design like a book shelf for the E-book reader UI etc. This is more user friendly as the user has more experience with the real world objects that you imitate.
3. Laser focus – This is where we will be focusing on one single item to user. This makes the user to be concentrated on that task rather than drifting with the additional information available with it.
4. Context sensitive navigation – This is a more dynamic design as we can select which links should be visible to the user always and which will be visible after certain actions. This can make your UI looks simple with all the links hidden.
5. Collapsed content – This is also a dynamic design where you can group the links under one link which will expand when the user clicks on it.

How better is it:

Currently UI is mostly with the touch screen and camera to minimize the user activity. At most of the times, we have the best experience with the UI like easy clicking on touch screen, exact copy of the given image in the search etc. But on certain scenarios need more accuracy which can be provided only through the keyboard and mouse like Photoshop editing etc. So for the specific scenarios like that we have to improve the UI design to give more accuracy with the touch screen input itself.

What can be future developments?

Currently UI is dominated by the language which makes it accessible only to the persons who know that specific language. So it should be based on the pictorial representation or in other form which should not be constrain for most people.
Nowadays UIs mostly need an attached platform to work with, like screen of the mobile phone. This makes the people to carry the platform with them always. This can be avoided if the UIs can use any platform for the user to interact like the projector uses a white wall instead of the projector screen.
Future UI should have an alternate option for the physically challenged people to interact with, like embedded mark in keys F and J in the keyboard for the visually challenged people.

Growing Importance Of User Interface Design

Every web designer is a user interface designer in one way or other. So, when it comes to UI designer don’t neglect that it doesn’t concern us. Because we design and use user interface designs in many cases without realizing that is an UI design. In the near future, the role of UI designers will become even more important everywhere. While web pages today have simple user interface designs with no more than navigation and contact forms with it, the rise of new technologies and latest standards will create a demand for more dynamic and customized user experience.

Importance Of Clarity In Call-To-Action

The clarity and vision of the final output is very much important while executing it. Every single page will be having a specific call-to-action to be executed. That particular page and action should be clear in that particular page and section. Items that are logically connected should be grouped together on the screen to communicate they are connected, whereas items that have nothing to do with each other should be separated. You can use white space between collections of items to group them or you can put boxes around them to accomplish the same thing.

Word Your Messages And Labels Effectively

The text you display on your screens is a primary source of information for your users. If your text is worded poorly, then your interface will be perceived poorly by your users. Using full words and sentences, as opposed to abbreviations and codes, makes your text easier to understand.  Your messages should be worded positively, imply that the user is in control, and provide insight into how to use the application properly. For example, which message do you find more appealing “You have input the wrong information” or “An account number should be eight digits in length.” Furthermore, your messages should be worded consistently and displayed in a consistent place on the screen. Although the messages “The person’s first name must be input” and “An account number should be input” are separately worded well, together they are inconsistent. In light of the first message, a better wording of the second message would be “The account number must be input” to make the two messages consistent.

Thus UI design in India is improving in its importance and effectiveness. The work output is also improving alongside expertise in UI design. On adopting the latest trends and following UI principles, the scene of UI will improve further.

I am the Digital marketing manager of Pixint and I post blogs related to our services and at times information oriented. Our range of services include business application, MIS and ERP solution. For more of our blogs, please do visit our website http://pixint.com/user-interface-design.php

How an Efficient User Interface Can Make Up For Poor Development

A rose is a rose is a rose is a Shakespeare quote. But, now-a-days a rose can be a jasmine, can even be a sunflower. It is all possible with the presentation of the rose, which is similar to the user interface of an application. The development of an application is based on requirement elicitation. The user interface design service is based on both the requirement elicitation and the lacunae arising due to the shortfalls in development.

The Effect of a Dedicated UI Designer

   All the web designers, whether a starter or trained professional, face numerous UI related questions before working on a project. But it is the manner in which the professional player tackles and reaches the finishing line makes them stand apart. That knack of converting an idea into an efficient website will not happen in a day. The professionalism needs training and relevant experience. But it shows itself in the output.

Fine-Tuning an Application after Development

   Every application starts with an idea. After rounds of discussion, the idea is elaborated. Then it is told to technologists, who gather the requirements. Then it is developed. Final step is the design of the UI. In the journey from an idea to a developed application, the visualization of the application would be altered every now and then. All these modifications ought to be integrated into the application during UI design.

Apart from these, the typography, graphic design, color palette and aesthetic appeal also matters while a UI is designed for any application. Prepare a workflow and a checklist before plunging into the UI design. It will save a lot of time in iterations and future corrections immediately after the application launch. An UI cannot be categorized as special simply with its design standards, its more about the suitability of that UI for that application which makes it special.