There are many options that are placed before small businesses. In order to build a very efficient system, Enterprise Resource Planning becomes a priority to most Entrepreneurs. This is a good move but in order to ensure that resources are equitably distributed; it is important to know if you really need ERP. This comes in the light of the fact that many vendors now offer ERP Services to small businesses. You can know if your business would benefit from it by understanding the points that would be highlighted below.

How to decide if you need Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system

If your company is experiencing rapid growth and the corresponding strain on legacy systems, or if you’re starting a new process — such as manufacturing — from scratch, you may benefit from an ERP system. Such a system maintains in a single database the information gleaned from a variety of business functions, such as financial, manufacturing, human resources, and customer management.

As such, ERP systems offer a bird’s-eye view into the working of the company and allow users to cross-reference business functions.

An executive might drill-down into the data, for example, to learn how business financials were affected by installation of a new customer relationship management (CRM) system. When ERP includes manufacturing information, businesses can reduce inventory by closely tracking customer orders and shipments, which helps companies clarify ERP goals before implementation.

The Big Business Model

ERP systems help you behave like a bigger business. By automating finance processes, you can do things like accept online orders and to business-to-business transactions electronically, instead of via e-mail.

Many of smaller players think they’ll have difficulty finding an ERP application. But all major ERP providers — with names like Oracle, SAP, Syspro, Microsoft Dynamics, and Epicor — make specialized offerings for small and mid-sized businesses. Many other vendors cater exclusively to the small and mid-sized business market.

When ERP is done right, the number one benefit is streamlining your processes and making them more efficient than doing data entry and keeping track of stuff in spreadsheets and digging for data. ERP makes those things more flexible and accessible to employees.

When organizations implement ERP, they can move from research and development to the manufacturing of many solution-based products in any industry. It enables them grow and stretch their frontiers to new horizons. When you are running QuickBooks and some miscellaneous packages; it may work well in the research and development stage. However, when it comes to Commercial applications, with the volume of transactions that would be going through manufacturing, ERP becomes essential.

The real value to small business

Purchasing and implementing an ERP system is no small task. A Consultant, vendor, or other outside help is often needed. The real value to small and mid-sized businesses comes in the way they customize and configure the core product to their own particular industry and individual needs. Ironically, that kind of customization can be harder for small businesses to find. For example, businesses located in areas without a pertinent systems integrator or reseller that can essentially make a house call, could face customization challenges.

The challenge is making sure the domain expertise is available in the geography you’re operating in. The good news is that ERP systems are affordable and can radically improve your business.

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