How to Build an ERP for Agriculture?

How to Build an ERP for Agriculture
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

Are you wondering how to build an ERP for agriculture?

The global agricultural software market size is expected to reach USD 9.1 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 25.65%. 

The adoption of modern agricultural practices, availability of internet connectivity, and integration of smartphones with agriculture processes contribute to the digital transformation of the agriculture industry. 

Enterprise resource planning software helps with the organization and management of digital operations in the agricultural industry.

Build an ERP for Agriculture

ERP systems integrate and automate business processes like sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, manufacturing, inventory management, supply chain management, etc.

The advanced analytical capabilities of an ERP solution result in efficient data access, internal processes visibility, informed future decision-making, and reduced operational costs.

An ERP for the agriculture sector helps streamline agriculture-specific activities, including land management, crop management, livestock management, etc.

You will take the following steps to build an ERP for the agriculture business.

Perform Market Research and Decide on the ERP Agriculture Project Scope

You will start by conducting agriculture software management market research. You will analyze the current market trends and available ERP solutions in the market; their features, limitations, etc. You will also study the end user demographics, their requirements, etc.

In light of your research findings, you will decide your project scope, including the functionality of your ERP for the agriculture system. 

A few of the main agricultural ERP features include the following:

Land Management: This module helps an entire business operation of crop field mapping. Users can analyze the land quality, like water level, soil fertility, etc. Today, numerous IoT-based techniques are used to monitor land. ERP systems can read data from IoT sensors and display it for easy analysis. 

Produce Management: An ERP system helps streamline a range of crop farming activities, like planting, tilling, pest control, irrigation, etc. monitoring includes keeping track of weather conditions for better produce. ERP system schedules and monitors all these activities on time. 

Machinery Management: This module helps manage agricultural machinery, including harvesters, tractors, etc., and maintain regular maintenance schedules to avoid unexpected downtimes.

Livestock Tracking: This module helps with breed management, supervision of livestock health, scheduling regular veterinary appointments, etc.

Financial Management: This ERP component helps streamline accounting activities and manage financial data, including expenses, profits, labor wages, tax payments, etc.

Human Resource Management: This module deals with the management of farmers and seasonal workers. It holds information about people working on a specific land, their payments, benefits, etc.

You will finalize the functional and non-functional requirements of your ERP software for agriculture and share it with your ERP development team.

Form an ERP Development Team

You will require a professional software development team to build the required ERP features for agriculture businesses. You will hire the following roles for ERP implementation:

  • A project manager helps manage the complete ERP development lifecycle and meet timelines and cost estimates. A project manager also manages other team members working on your ERP product.
  • A business analyst helps improve organization performance and proposes solutions to business problems according to market demands.
  • UI/UX designers design the software application layout. They create an interactive user interface for a software application.
  • Frontend developers code the frontend components and application interface according to the design prototypes.
  • Backend developers build the core functionalities of the software, develop and integrate APIs, design database models, handle database integration, deploy a software application, etc.
  • A software tester tests the application to ensure it meets its requirements without any bugs or issues.

Decide Software Development Methodology

Your ERP development team will follow a software development methodology for the successful implementation of the project. 

Agile methodologies are largely used in the software industry for their benefits, including project visibility, faster time-to-market, collaboration with the end users, empowered development team, etc.

You can form a scrum team for your ERP development project. A scrum team consists of a scrum master, software developers, and testers.

The small cross-functional team works closely and delivers a deployable product feature at the end of each development cycle. 

A development cycle or iteration is called a sprint in Scrum parlance. The complete software development project is divided into multiple sprints.

High-priority features are developed in the initial sprints and deployed to the end users for their feedback.

The software solution is improvised in successive iterations according to the customers’ expectations. 

Read our article on how to implement agile in your organization for more details.

Provide Software Development Infrastructure

Next, you will provide software development infrastructure to your developers and QA testers. This will include hosting servers, networking resources, database technologies, storage solutions, software development platforms, debugging tools, etc.

We would advise you to opt for cloud computing technologies as they offer numerous advantages to users. Some benefits include easy setup, fast access to innovative technologies, easy scalability according to your organization’s requirements, etc.

You can analyze leading cloud service providers and choose the one that offers your required resources for ERP development. Top cloud service providers include Amazon Web ServicesMicrosoft AzureGoogle Cloud, etc.

You can read our article on the top benefits of cloud computing for businesses for more information.

Design an ERP for Agriculture

Your UI/UX designers will create ERP mockups that explain the application layout and interaction of features. They will design the user interface components and their placement on the application screen.

Moreover, designers will create a visual theme for your ERP. They will select an appropriate design theme, color palette, etc., and follow UI/UX principles in the process to create a visually appealing and easy-to-use user interface.

Your UI/UX designers will use tools like Adobe Creative CloudInVisionSketch, etc., to create wireframes and prototypes.

You can consult our UX design process guide for more details.

Develop Agriculture ERP Software

Your developers will code the front-end and back-end features of your ERP application.

Frontend Development

Your frontends developers will build the front-end components like buttons, menus, headers, etc., and code the application layout according to design prototypes. 

They will use programming languages like CSS and JavaScript and frameworks and libraries, including ReactJSjQueryBootStrap, etc., to accelerate the process of front-end development. 

Backend Development

Your backend developers will code the core functionalities of your ERP solution. They will use programming languages like PHP, Ruby, Java, C#, etc., to build an enterprise-level ERP application.

These programming languages are robust and have extensive libraries and frameworks support. 

Some backend development frameworks that your developers can use include CakePHPRuby on RailsSpring Boot.Net MVC, etc.

Database Development

The database is an essential component of an ERP system. Your ERP application requires a database system that can store large amounts of data in various formats. Moreover, it should allow easy access and manipulation of data values. 

Your developers will design a data model according to the structure of your business data. Some database models are relational, entity-relationship, document, network, etc.

Some database solutions your developers can use to implement a database model for your ERP are MySQLOracleMongoDB, etc., as SQL and NoSQL database technologies. 

You can read our article on SQL vs. NoSQL for more details.

API Development

Application programming interfaces or APIs allow software applications to interact with other external or internal software services.

APIs as loosely-coupled software services are easy to scale, maintain, etc. Your developers will use REST architecture, GraphQL query language, and tools like PostmanSwagger, etc., for API design, development, testing, and documentation.

Your developers will also perform API integrations to use third-party services in your ERP product. API integrations accelerate the development of a feature-rich software application as they do not have to build each functionality from scratch.

For example, your developers will integrate Accuweather API to track weather conditions, Google Maps API to integrate real-time locations, etc.

Latest Technologies

The latest technologies are important to build an innovative software application. Your developers should be familiar with machine learning, natural language processing, virtual reality, etc., to build an ERP for agriculture with advanced features.

For example, machine learning algorithms will help understand huge agricultural data and make future predictions based on historical data values for weather, farm yields, etc. 

Augmented and virtual reality technologies can be used to monitor atmosphere conditions, soil quality, etc., to make future farming decisions.

Software developers commonly use Python programming language for machine learning model implementations. Python has extensive support for libraries, frameworks, and tools for machine learning. 

Your developers will use ML utilities like Scikit-learnPyTorch, mlpack, Theano, etc., to run machine learning algorithms efficiently.

Frameworks like Vuforia, ARtoolkitOpenCV, etc., will help your application developers build AR features in your ERP.

Test ERP Solution for Agriculture

Your developers will ensure the quality of their application code through unit tests and integration tests. These test routines will guarantee that software modules run successfully individually and together.

Your software testers or QA engineers will conduct comprehensive testing of your ERP application. They will run multiple tests to test the functional and non-functional requirements of your application.

They will perform security testing, regression testing, performance testing, usability testing, feature testing, etc. Software testers automate testing scripts to accelerate the process of quality assurance.

Testing tools like Selenium, TestProject, Qualibrate, etc., will help your testers in automated software testing.

Deploy and Configure

Once your ERP is tested for its functionality and performance, your developers will initiate the deployment plan. The high-priority features are deployed first, followed by the low-priority software components. 

DevOps practices help in faster deployment with continuous testing, automated configuration, and close collaboration between team members. 

Your developers will use DevOps tools like Git for version control, Docker for distributed applications deployment in multiple environments, Ansible for task automation, Puppet for real-time context reporting, etc.

Your developers will configure your ERP system with the existing business processes. They will verify ERP operations and their outcomes in the live environment, including data migration, output verification, etc.

Monitor and Maintain Your ERP System

After a farm ERP deployment, an important task is ERP monitoring. You will set KPIs to monitor the performance of your ERP application and analyze improvements in users’ productivity, revenue growth, etc.

You will also plan a maintenance schedule with your project team to provide regular software updates, feature improvements, etc.

Ready to Build an ERP for Agriculture?

Agricultural businesses run critical operations dependent on various unexpected and manageable factors. Robust software helps manage many controllable circumstances.

However, you will require a competent team of software developers and testers to build a feature-rich ERP for agriculture. We would advise you to partner with a software development company with experience in ERP development.

Why not take a look at the field-expert community of developers at DevTeamSpace? You can outsource your complete ERP software development project to us or hire developers according to your project team’s requirements.

All our developers are vetted for their software development skills and have experience in building cutting-edge software solutions for multiple industries.

If you want top-quality talent to work on your ERP development project, send us your initial project specifications. One of our account managers will get back to you to discuss further details on how we can help you.

FAQs on ERP for Agriculture

1. Can I build my own ERP system?

You will require technical expertise to build custom functionalities in an ERP system. You will decide the system requirements and features, form a development team, and provide them with a software development infrastructure. Your developers will design, build, test, and deploy your ERP system.

2. What is ERP in agriculture?

ERP in agriculture offers multiple uses, such as land management, including organic farming lands, vegetable farms, etc., real-time data insights via dashboards, crop planning, financial management, etc.

3. How much does it cost to build an ERP system?

The cost of an ERP system will depend on the complexity of ERP features. An ERP software application development can cost anywhere between a few tens thousands of dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars. You can contact DevTeamSpace and get a more accurate estimate depending on your product specifications.

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