Byoosi.com got answers to your questions on ERPs…..
If one thinks of business as our body then ERP is really the nervous system. It’s a mechanism to capture all the business operations and then pass the information to other parts that need it. For example if you captured a sales order, there is an impact on production , inventory, quality management, customer service , costing as well as finance.
Unless you have such a central integrated system, running a business beyond a certain scale is almost impossible.
We actually need an ERP system even to work out true impact of a strategy on our business.