Question of the day “ERP for a small business? Necessity, trend or luxury?”
It is often said that ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning solutions are a costly option only available for the giants in the industry.
That couldn’t be further from the truth in today’s business environment. Good ERP systems are getting cheaper and cheap ERP systems are getting better than ever. One of the main reasons for this interesting situation is that the internet has pulled down the cost of building a robust ERP system by a big marginal.
What small businesses need to understand is that they need to tap into this resource. They should give importance to this matter for growing at a faster rate and stay ahead of competitions.
What Exactly Is ERP?
While the ERP term was coined by Gartner in 1990, it has been in use for more than hundred years[*]. Initially, it was used for inventory and manufacturing process, it has grown to be much more than what it was originally planned for.
Short for Enterprise Resource Planning, it is a business tool that gives a structure to the organizational management for a company. It is used in departments like accounting, customer relationship management(CRM), human resource management(HRM), project management(PM) and other various areas of an organization.
The best thing about an ERP system is that it has the capability to integrate information among multiple areas and provide a better data evaluation. All the process that occurs inside your company is interconnected using a shared secured database.
Where one employee can benefit from the information from other departments make for a truly combined experience.
If you want to learn more about ERP check out our previous article. We covered all the basics about ERP there. Below we tried to give some reasons why small businesses need ERP and how it benefits them.
How It Benefit’s Small Businesses?
Advancements in cloud computing infrastructure really did the trick here. It has brought down the cost of capable small business ERP systems extremely low. Nowadays it doesn’t make sense for a business no matter how big or small it is, not to use an ERP.
Increases The Flexibility & Scalability Of Your Team
Your team members are the biggest asset to your organization. Parallel to this statement scaling can be a hard task when you are dealing with a large number of people within your company. This is why ERP for small businesses make a difference.
It introduces a better option for your teammate to collaborate and work together. That too in more efficient manner. Time is really important when it comes to growing your small/medium business. What ERP will do is make sure all your limited time that you have among the members is spend in the most productive way.
Automation That Reduces Repetitive Manual Work
Why do the things that can be automated?
Though ?robots doing everything for us is still a bit far away there are simple automation tactics that can save a lot of time in the long run for your business.
Create a separate account in Accounting department automatically for a customer each time he/she is added to your CRM system or when an account of one of your employees is deleted from the HRM system it will also be deleted from the Payroll system all in real time or create an email that wishes an employee “Happy Birthday” from a predefined template that you set.
All of this can be done automatically using the automation features that you get using an ERP system. This simple automated tasks might seem silly but they will save you a lot of time and manpower in the long run.
Combine & Keep Record Of All Documents Centrally
Unorganized documents are the worst! You can’t find the one important document that you need right now, on time.
After using an small business ERP system for all your documentation needs, you will never have to face this problem again. Gone will be the days when you need to be dependent on other people and wait for them to send you that important doc. There are also some other benefits to this as well.
Double entry of a data becomes nearly obsolete. A central database manages everything. Administration personals can follow up an entire process. And the most useful of all, you don’t have to keep important documents on individual computers. Also, it is possible to maintain them securely from a single place.
See The Latest Updates In Real Time
The internet has made us impatient. There is an idea that everyone believes in – information should be up to date. Applying this to the workforce of your organization can greatly benefit productivity and reduce the overall needed time of finishing a task.
At the same time, the latest information is readily available at all time. So if a Customer Relationship Manager wants to follow up something and needs information from the HR departments at a certain time he/she can do so. Updates all happen in real time. Everything ready and updated in all time.
Same Best Practices Used By Big Enterprise
“If you can’t beat them, join them”
Do what the biggest enterprises in the world are doing. Every small organizational head wants their company to succeed and come into the limelight of the biggest stages. A place where big players are competing with each other. But the road to that is tough.
There are some strategies you can follow, growth hacks you can apply. Follow up with what they are doing and try to implement that in your circle no matter how small implementation it might be.
One of the early practice you can implement is starting using Enterprise Resource Planning. Every big corporation in the world right now uses one.
Signs You Need an ERP
Below are some signs that show you need an ERP as soon as possible in order to grow your business.
- Your company is struggling with productivity and wasting much of its time on things that don’t matter that much
- There is clearly a communication gap between the different departments of your company as they don’t have access to each other’s common information
- You are struggling with double entry of data
- You manage your inventory using Spreadsheet or some similar tool
- There is a need of keeping a central record of all the customer interactions that you did so far
- You are still dependent on physical paper
- There is no automatic report generation available in your organization. You have to do everything manually.
And the list goes on. While others are important too these are the red zones.
Get A WordPress ERP
By now it is true that small businesses need ERP. If they want to benefit from all the great features that come with it. But if you want to try out something before completely committing you can check out small business ERP systems that are available for WordPress.
We recommend you check out WP ERP. it is completely FREE to get started on.