With an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, you have software that can unify the disparate arms of your business. Planning, production, purchasing, sales, accounting, customer service and more are all brought together in an integrated system.
ERP software can be useful for small businesses. It improves communication and accuracy between departments and helps to streamline business processes. With greater real-time visibility, automation and analytics, small businesses can focus on growth.
What are the advantages of ERP for small businesses?
It is a common misconception that ERP software is only for large-scale operations. It’s true that the systems were first created to meet the needs of larger enterprises, hence the name, but modern ERP platforms are of massive benefit to businesses of all sizes. Integrating disparate processes and data under a single system can be hugely beneficial to all.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming your business is too small for ERP. You may be in your infancy in business terms, but you can operate in the same slick way as a large enterprise. ERP systems empower small businesses with:
- Information sharing: All departments of your company become interconnected with simplified accurate data and information sharing.
- Boosted Productivity: This can be achieved without bringing in new staff or expanding your operations. Automation tools and the removal of redundant processes increase shop efficiency./li>
- Business Intelligence: Accurate real-time data recording and reporting help you stay on top of productivity and performance. With enhanced insight into your business, decision-making becomes more efficient and effective.
There’s No Such Thing As ‘Too Little Data’ for ERP Systems
Your business is not too small for an ERP. In fact, over 74% of today’s small businesses use ERP software for their operations.
All businesses are extremely data-intensive. Even small-scale businesses amass plenty of data that can be organised and interpreted by an ERP. What’s more, it doesn’t matter how much data you have – it needs to be organised, interpreted and communicated effectively. This will improve every aspect of your business.
In any industry, it pays to have a handle on business resources. Things like cash, stock, personnel, production capacity and more need to be tracked to be able to maximise your throughput. If you lack a centralised database that monitors and collects data, things can quickly become chaotic. Moreover, without a perspective of the big picture via reporting and analytics, how can you know where you are at?
Business resources are what keep a business in action and you should be aware of them at all times.
Bringing All That Data Together
One of the core advantages of ERP is that it provides a comprehensive view of your operation as a whole. This enables unique insights into performance. When an ERP is implemented, all those data collection and reporting hours can be automated and used to provide a 360-degree view of your business. You will be able to measure critical KPIs in real-time through intuitive dashboards. This information lets you know where you are at and allows opportunities to optimise schedules and maximise capacity by improving efficiency.
What’s more, all this increased visibility is matched by tools for sharing information. Collaboration between departments will be better than ever before, so operational efficiency will improve organically.
Is ERP affordable for small businesses?
Historically ERP systems weren’t affordable for small businesses because they were on-premise and required heavy investment in on-site infrastructure and expensive software licences. Today, SaaS ERP providers like NetSuite offer cloud-based systems which can be highly affordable. There are flexible pricing models that allow small businesses to access the software based on the functionality they need and how many users are required making it more affordable than ever before.
Users access the software in their browsers, meaning they can complete their tasks from anywhere, at any time and on any device providing they have an internet connection. 57.5% of small businesses with between 50-99 employees strongly agreed that cloud and hosting solutions are worth the investment.
The right ERP for your small business will be one that lets you choose the modules and features you need. It will allow you to pay only for the number of users you have so you will be able to assemble a package and system that works for your needs and your budget.
Choosing the right ERP for your needs is all about what fits. This will be different for all businesses, with variables including size, industry and budget. The best solution for a multinational enterprise may not be right for a smaller business in its early stages.
Getting Maximum ROI
In a small business, everyone must wear many hats. When your team has to keep addressing needs that arise, the last thing they want is to have to manually process data every day.
ERP systems can automate a number of key processes like finances and order processing. This frees your team up to focus on the more important aspects of their jobs, boosting productivity and revenue. In this way, the investment in ERP can pay for itself.
In fact, in the same survey mentioned earlier, participants were asked to identify areas where ERP produced ROI. The top 3 answers were a reduction in IT costs (40%), reduced inventory levels (38%) and reduced cycle times (35%).
Top 10 Benefits of ERP for Small Businesses
- Greater efficiency through automation.
- Reduced IT and hardware costs.
- Better inventory management.
- Real-time reporting and analytics.
- Improvements to cash flow.
- Simpler, error-free accounting.
- Tools to boost sales performance.
- Greater customer and supplier satisfaction.
- Simple tools that empower employees in their role.
- Software that grows with the business.
Ultimately, ERP systems set you up for growth. From the minute business comes to your door, you have a comprehensive tool to see it through to completion and record every bit of relevant data along the way. Small businesses need jobs to move swiftly, efficiently and effectively and ERPs are ideal for that. They are fully integrated systems with a central database and tools to manage every aspect of your business from one place.
ERP implementation needs to be right for your business and it’s prudent to work with a consultant to find out which ERP solution will suit your business and who will go on to carry out the deployment. If you want to learn more about ERP, you might find these other articles helpful;
- 10 Signs You Might Need ERP Software
- Cloud ERP vs On-Premise ERP Comparison
- ERP Implementation – A Step by Step Guide
- Top Benefits of an ERP System
- The ERP Selection Process Explained
- Building an ERP Implementation Team
- ERP Cost Benefit Analysis
- What is an ERP Consultant?
- Top 10 Tips for a Successful ERP Project
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organisations (big and small) for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts to discuss your options or request a free demo, you can request a free call back here.