Many big corporations use an ERP system to manage their business. ERP, short for enterprise resource planning, is computer software that manages nearly every aspect of a manufacturing or merchandising business. ERP covers everything from order fulfillment, manufacturing, supply chain management, warehouse management, accounting, billing, human resources, to customer resource management. Proficiency in ERP imply being knowledgeable in overall flow of the entire enterprise. Therefore, nowadays new top-level corporate managers are often required to have proficiency in an ERP system. In fact, some MBA courses require you to take an ERP course such as SAP.
At the core of an ERP system is an enterprise-level database. Several companies compete for the ERP software market, namely SAP and Oracle. Being the software that controls fortune 500 companies, it's hard to get your hands on a copy of ERP. But, fortunately there are open-source ERP software, such as Compiere and Adempiere.
A modern business requires computerized information system to manage the business. Small businesses can do well with Microsoft Office and Quickbooks. But when the business expands and grows bigger, it needs an integrated information system such as ERP. Well, if you are interested in building integrated IT system for your business, you might as well get started with ERP such as Adempiere.