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What is the Connection Between BPCS and ERP?

H. Bliss
H. Bliss

Business Planning and Control System (BPCS) is closely connected with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) because BPCS is a type of ERP software. The basic difference is that BPCS is a specific type of ERP made by a business software company called Infor®. Because not all ERP software is the BPCS kind, BPCS and ERP cannot always be used interchangeably. BPCS is sometimes called ERP BPCS.

BPCS and ERP are similar with some small differences in their functional meaning. ERP systems are integrated planning and management systems that are made accessible to many users using either a server kept either on company grounds or one hosted off site. Generally, an ERP system is used a tool used in a process called business systems planning. Enterprise resource planning is a broad phrase which refers to a number of business planning processes, including manufacturing resource planning and computer integrated manufacturing. Common manufacturers of ERP software include Oracle®, Infor® and Peoplesoft®.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Generally, BPCS and ERP perform the same tasks, since BPCS follows the same pattern of features as other types of ERP software. Financial planning, manufacturing and distribution planning, and supply chain management are common features on BPCS and ERP software. This type of software may also include features to help a business manage databases of information, which can be helpful when organizing customer data.

When spoken, BPCS is pronounced like "bee picks." It was originally developed by a company called System Software Associates® (SSA®), which became SSA Global Technologies® and later was acquired by a business software company called Infor® Global Solutions. Infor® is not the only manufacturer of ERP software, and BPCS is not the only ERP software made by Infor®. The differences between BPCS and ERP software can be confusing to some people. Even though an ERP may not technically be BPCS, some users who have become accustomed to BPCS may refer to all ERP software as BPCS, though incorrectly.

In addition to ERP applications, other planning systems offered by Infor® include workforce management (WFM) and enterprise asset management (EAM) software applications. The workforce refers to the employees that make a company run, so WFM software helps a company manage its personnel resources. When a company is engaged in asset management, that means that it is maximizing its physical resources to make the best use of them. When in use, EAM software would help a company best plan the use of its buildings, vehicles, and machinery so they are of their highest value to the operation of the company. This can include scheduling the use of manufacturing equipment and office facilities to make sure they are used in a way that most benefits the business.

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