As small businesses expand it is important that while growing, they must attempt to maintain efficiency and minimize cost. ERP systems are an excellent starting point in helping to achieve this aim.
Once, the ERP software was only available to larger businesses and organizations, but now businesses of all sizes can benefit from Enterprise Resource Planning. Small businesses may even benefit the most from ERP implementation.
A constant flow of information from all areas of the business will ensure the simplification of business processes throughout.
As all payment and shipping details are entered into the same ERP system, there are no longer needs to be approval from the accounts team before ordering large shipments of the required product. It is easy to maintain inventory and purchasing timetables using ERP as all purchase and sales are recorded on the system.
As everything is recorded in real-time, the efficiency of the sales process is greatly improved along with customer service. Each employee is fed with the most relevant and up to date information at all times, giving a more comprehensive knowledge of the process. Sometimes this allows for employees to grow an understanding of areas outside of their own regular duties.
Distribution software such as ERP software can also help companies' large or small keep within governmental regulations relating to licensing and industry-wide standards. This should be of particular help for those companies that do not employ a legal team.
As most ERP systems are web based, they do not require sporadic updates. In the constantly evolving arena of the ERP system all best practices are automatically kept clean and up to date with regulations. Of course, these factors can vary depending on your vendor but implementation, documentation, set-up, testing and training are always kept to a minimum.
Just as with larger companies, ERP allows small companies to protect their sensitive data. Personal and financial information is kept safe by a web of authentication. This should ease the mind of the company and its customers.
Failure to implement the system properly could result in a more costly outcome than not implementing it at all. This is why some companies are slightly reluctant to use the ERP system. However, this has been catered for by the option to use a shared benefits package.
This is where the vendor and company take a shared responsibility in implementing the system correctly; a particularly useful option for small businesses who may lack in the expertise and specialist resources to implement an ERP properly. Opting for this approach can benefit the business in the following ways:
• Providing a financial incentive for the teams to come in under budget, the project costs are instantly cut.
• A strong partnership between customer and vendor leads to a reduced project risk and maximized effectiveness and productivity.
• Maintaining tighter project scope as well as having a practical approach to change control results in a shorter time frame for the project.
As the company grows, another expense may seem daunting to undertake, but even businesses watching their budgets very closely can be comforted by the knowledge that the increased productivity and accelerated order processing will offset any costs of ERP software.
It is essential that the business works closely with the software vendor's project manager whilst it is also vital that the ERP system can fulfill all of the core needs of the business in order to achieve a solid ROI (Return on Investment).
ERP systems are ideal for small businesses that are looking to streamline their organization whilst increasing profit. It is the best system to help them compete with larger companies whilst economizing on cost and time.
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