What Is An ERP System?
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to a piece of software that ties all of a business’s key processes together under one roof. These processes include accounting, order processing, order management, inventory management and supply chain, to name just a few.
Think of it as the brain of the business, packed full of information and connections which work effortlessly to ensure the body of the business remains healthy and functioning as it should.
Using one system to manage all business processes and data ensures high accuracy levels and allows business decisions to be made based on truth. Historically, these systems have caused businesses to require powerful hardware and software on-site, but it looks like things have moved forwards, or more accurately, upwards.
An Introduction to Cloud ERP
Cloud-based computing (also known as Software as a Service or SaaS) has been around since the late 90s, with NetSuite recognized within the industry to be the first cloud computing software company. SaaS runs services such as ERPs on shared computing resources via the internet.
Traditionally, businesses bought on-premise ERPs that they store locally on their hardware and server; however, they are held and maintained in remote data centres by the software provider with SaaS.
Because the software is cloud-based, it allows users to access it from anywhere and at any time, making it a truly global business solution. It’s also a firm favourite with small and medium-sized businesses. This is because it provides access to a fully functioning ERP at an affordable cost which frees up valuable time to grow their businesses.
Top Ten Benefits of Cloud ERP Solutions
- Significantly cheaper than traditional on-premises ERP systems.
- Up-front costs and investment becomes manageable monthly licence fees.
- Streamlined processes and less reliance on manual processes and single personnel.
- Ability to scale-up very quickly.
- Ability to integrate with other software systems.
- Can integrate with many CRM and E-Commerce systems at the same time.
- Global and real-time access to management information.
- Remote and home-working opportunities.
- Easier to deliver in a shorter period of time.
- Significantly cheaper to maintain and upgrade.
Cloud-based ERP solutions can be significantly cheaper than traditional on-premise ERP systems, which usually require large payments upfront, followed by eye-watering maintenance and upgrade costs further down the line.
The software license fee is spread across a period of time, making Cloud ERP systems far more affordable for businesses. Upgrades also cost less, and maintenance is mostly looked after by the software provider as the services and resources are all held remotely.
There are also other less obvious cost savings to be had by choosing Cloud ERP business solutions. With more streamlined processes and less reliance on manual ones, businesses may find that their headcount can be reduced due to increased productivity.
One of the biggest benefits of Cloud ERP solutions is their ability to be scaled up quickly as the needs of a business change. This is another extremely tempting proposition, allowing businesses to grow quickly without the costs and headaches that upgrading business systems can inevitably cause. If you’re asking yourself, “how can I grow my business quickly”,, then Cloud ERP may well be the answer you’re looking for.
Scalability has been a driving factor in the surge of businesses choosing cloud-based solutions in recent years. Several cloud ERP vendors, notably industry leader NetSuite, now provide their Cloud ERP solution to over 40,000 customers worldwide. This should give you a strong idea of the increasing popularity of cloud-based solutions.
This increased scalability isn’t solely limited to the functions cloud-based ERP software can offer. NetSuite, as an example, offers a range of software applications and services, which a business can integrate into their existing software systems as and when the business requires additional functionality.
These range from customer relationship management (CRM) software to an e-commerce platform capable of delivering an omnichannel e-commerce website. This ability for cloud-based business solution providers to bolt on additional modules and services highlights the true scalability of choosing to run a business in the cloud.
Another attractive feature of going cloud-based is the enormous flexibility it brings. Members of an organization can access a wealth of business information from anywhere globally and on any device. This ease of access to information means decisions can be made quickly and based on real-time data, increasing the businesses’ reactivity.
With home working now the new norm due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s this kind of flexibility that will have made it easier for cloud-based businesses to transition their operations into their employees’ homes.
How do I know I need an ERP System?
When a business considers which systems will best suit its needs, it will have its own set of priorities. However, if you can relate to any of the below, your business may benefit from a Cloud ERP system…
- Your business is outgrowing your current systems and processes.
- You use different systems for different functions of the business.
- You lack the visibility of KPIs, which makes decision making difficult.
- You are overly reliant on spreadsheets and outdated database programmes.
- Your business lacks the flexibility to expand into new areas and markets.
- Your current systems are becoming increasingly costly to maintain or upgrade.
Increasingly as a business and the world in general heads into the cloud, traditional ERPs could well be on the road to extinction. It’s understandable why so many businesses are choosing cloud-based solutions with their plethora of benefits.
They can be delivered faster, are easier to scale and cost less, making their popularity with businesses set to rise further. They provide businesses with a flexible solution that traditional ERPs can’t offer, allowing them to future-proof themselves against any business challenges.
Here at Eventura, we take pride in helping businesses become more agile and react to and scale to meet modern demands. Using cloud-systems like cloud-based ERP, we can help them become slicker and more efficient in their business processes while also saving on cost-of-ownership.
If you would like to speak to a member of our ERP team, you can request a free callback.