ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is essential software for many organisations. It allows the use of one solution for almost everything, avoiding all sorts of complications, such as duplication of data across different systems. SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises/businesses) can use an ERP solution to manage financials, communicate with customers, deliver online shopping, digitise documents and transactions, enable process automation, and create real-time easy-to-understand reports. All of this translates to increased efficiency, reduced costs and effort, and streamlined operations.
If you need to manage more than just accounting functions, ERP software is pretty much essential!
Why Should SMEs Use ERP Software?
Do you want to …
• better manage operations and remain competitive?
• gain time to focus on other matters rather than fighting fires?
• increase profits to invest where needed?
• offer your clients a complete online shopping experience?
• and so much more?
This can be achieved by selecting an ERP solution that delivers:
• increased efficiency
• automation of essential business functions and processes, including sales, production, finance, and quality
• manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and more (or less)
• elimination of errors
• digital documents and processes
With so much at stake, especially in the wake of Covid-19, it’s more important than ever to present your offerings, at the right price, to the right customers - and to complete transactions quickly and without errors.
What are the benefits?
Let’s consider some of the benefits gained by choosing the right ERP software:
ERP software eliminates repetitive processes, and greatly reduces the need to enter information manually, or into multiple systems. The system simplifies business processes, making it easier to collect data, and to make personnel more efficient.
ERP software allows proactive management of finances and business processes, and mitigates against disruptions, delays, and information errors, while accelerating decision-making processes. In this way, administrative and operating costs are reduced, and a strong return on investment can be achieved.
Operations typically become more complex as organisations grow. A good ERP solution speeds up processes involved in production, sales, delivery, and purchasing. It increases efficiency and accuracy, in part due to the fact that data typically need only be entered once, and often it’s captured automatically.
Accurate snap-shots and predictions
ERP software provides accurate estimates, and insights, on how to plan enterprise resources. Since the data reflects the real-time conditions, businesses can take effective, realistic, and immediate action to better position them for today and the future.
Collaboration between individuals or departments is a critical part of a business. Data in ERP systems is located in one place and consistent, making it easier for individuals and/or departments to work together. Further, a good ERP system will extend collaboration to customers and suppliers, helping build deeper and more effective relationships.
Structured and scalable ERP systems allow the solution to grow with you. This style of ERP solution allows SMEs to start by addressing essential concerns, then scale the system by adding new functions in line with the evolving needs and requirements over time. As organisations grow, and resources need more management, the right ERP software helps, rather than hinders, evolution. Moreover, a good ERP solution can be adapted to changing needs by offering flexible functionality that can be configured according to the unique needs of each business.
Besides total visibility, a more professional foresight capability is one of the important features of the ERP system. Implementing an ERP offers a single reporting system. It can generate analysis and reports whenever needed with the ability to share information across the business.
ERP software offers a solid solution for data security and separation of responsibilities. The system provides for security by role, with access controls designed to protect the integrity and confidentiality of information, while still allowing staff to complete their day-to-day tasks.
Compliance with legislation
Meeting regulatory compliance requirements is known to be one of the most difficult tasks for businesses of all sizes. Maintaining perfect accuracy and compliance for financial records is extremely challenging! ERP systems help with legal compliance by providing secure and verified data and reporting.
Quality and traceability
For businesses that need to track materials or products, an ERP solution provides traceability at a product or lot level, with the ability to track expiry dates.
Quality tools integrated with manufacturing or operational processes ensure that what gets delivered to customers meets their expectations.
Increased staying power
Of course, ERP software requires investment, but the costs for organisations that choose not to invest can be much greater. While some SMEs stick to the traditional methods of the past, those who invest in technology increase the longer-term chances of thriving.
In these conditions, the efficiency, savings, insights, analysis, and foresight advantages that ERP software offers means the business can stand out from competitors and can get ahead compared to those who apply outdated methods and tools.
In this article, we briefly touched on several benefits SMEs can gain from using ERP software, but this is far from an exhaustive list. If you would like more information about what the right ERP solution can do for your SME, please contact our ERP software expert, Kevin McMenamin.