Is enterprise resource planning (ERP) worth the time and money? That’s a question on the minds of many small business owners. The benefits of implementing ERP systems are numerous. For starters, enterprise resource planning helps companies improve their performance and efficiency and operate as an enterprise-scale business. Unfortunately, several organizations mistakenly believe they are “too small” to adopt an ERP system. To dispel these myths, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why small businesses require ERPs to stay ahead of the competition.
First, know if your business needs ERP
Every company is different and encounters unique challenges. So, it is necessary to figure out whether you should invest in ERP systems. Take a look at a few situations below:
- Your employees are spending a lot of valuable time on activities that can be streamlined and automated.
- You lack access to the data required to make informed business decisions.
- Your business employs third-party apps and vendors worldwide.
- Your business has adopted numerous software processes and tools over the years, but they remain unconnected to one another.
- You have no clue what your daily inventory levels look like.
- You spend a lot of time looking up information, attempting to improve efficiencies and productivity, and integrating tools to scale.
- The different teams in your organization fail to share information or collaborate with each other.
- It gets difficult to access vital business information and data once off-site.
- You are not proactive when it comes to identifying issues and fixing them for smoother operations.
- You find it hard to stay abreast of the changes in regulatory compliance.
If you find most of the examples on this list relatable, chances are you need to begin evaluating ERP software providers and allocating the resources required for deployment. Make a list of challenges plaguing your business and consult with others about investing in ERP.
Once you set up ERP systems in your company, you will experience the following advantages:
1. Scalable production
The most important benefit of ERP is the high level of scalability it offers to small businesses. A company relying on manual processes to fulfill orders will find it hard to manage the situation in case of a growth surge. They will be unable to handle a greater volume than they are accustomed to. Worse, while trying to handle all the tasks, a few important ones might slip through the cracks.
Although a sizeable volume increase is bound to cause trouble for a small business, ERP systems are capable of minimizing the impact considerably. The automation relieves your employees from handling the lion’s share of the burden while ensuring a smooth workflow. As a result, your staff is free to focus on other areas.
2. Know about the latest regulations
Continuous government-mandated regulatory changes cause difficulties for employees. But with an ERP system, handling regulatory compliance becomes easier for businesses, including data security, product traceability, and financial accounting. The ERP software keeps everything in line while maintaining data accuracy. In fact, the modern ERP systems can help you trace issues back to the source.
3. Faster decision-making
ERP systems provide real-time data for use in marketing, management, and accounting. But most importantly, it helps organizations make important, timely decisions that decrease overdue deadlines. Using ERP software, teams are capable of finding potential issues that may affect the productivity levels. Once you receive a comprehensive report of business operations, you can make effective, informed decisions on time and respond faster to the ever-changing business environment.
4. Go mobile with your business
Several ERP vendors provide mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows devices for convenience. These apps usually provide real-time updates with important business KPIs, such as customer acquisitions, manufacturing output, sales, revenue, and web traffic. No wonder 60 percent of small and midsized businesses will choose cloud-based ERP systems by the year 2020. This is only going to increase as more users go mobile and tech-savvy professionals enter the market. Considering how the current generation looks for a connected network of apps for easy management through smartphones and tablets, they are likely to search for ERP vendors offering integrated applications with other software. This will allow them to switch easily between functions in a matter of seconds.
5. Utilize community support and knowledge
The number of businesses using ERP systems numbers hundreds of thousands. The employees of organizations are actively involved in this platform’s online community. What this means is, if you experience an issue of some kind, you will immediately gain some knowledge from a person who has gone through the same problem. You simply need to run a search on the knowledge base of the platform and get resolutions for all the minor problems. The ERP forums are all quite active, and you get good answers from other users to fix the problems of your business.
6. Reduce expenses for the company
When you successfully implement an ERP system in your business, you will trim your administrative costs. How? Well, an employee who has fewer manual processes to attend to on their agenda will be free to handle more profitable, innovative projects. Apart from that, work flows easily too. As the turnaround time reduces, the production capability increases in turn.
So, businesses that have inventory requirements can use ERP solutions to form business opportunities that save money through inventory management. ERP systems help forecast demand for certain materials, track the real-time supply, and reduce overstock. And any small business owner is aware that once the supply chain management goes smoothly, the whole company stands to benefit.
Rather than every department having its separate information system, all relevant data may be shared and then accessed in just a couple of clicks once ERP integration is complete. This removes the need to export or reenter data that can lead to errors. As a result, your business productivity increases and human resource expense decreases.
ERP systems: A boon for small businesses
To create a scalable, sustainable enterprise in the modern business environment, you require tools that help streamline tasks, leverage real-time data and boost productivity. And once you select the proper ERP system for your company, it’s only a matter of time before your small business experiences unprecedented growth.
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