ERP Software isn’t just for big companies anymore. There has often been the perception that investing in ERP Software is impossible for smaller companies. However, an examination of the current ERP Software landscape would probably surprise small businesses that have shied away from investing in ERP software in the past.
There are two substantial concerns for small businesses when it comes to ERP Software.
The first concern focuses on budgets. ERP Software has typically required a large capital expenditure. Small businesses have a hard time proving the cost / benefit (ROI) of the purchase when they look at their current cash flow. It’s understandable. Who wants to make a significant investment when dealing with a cash flow concern? The phrase, “It takes money to make money” does have some validity. If a small business has been able to recognize small year over year gains, then there is a sense of satisfaction in this, and maybe even a bit of complacency. When focus becomes solely about numbers, then you can lose sight of where you are going, and where you hope to be. Investing in ERP is important because it’s a tool that affects daily operations, increases entity collaboration, and assists with the customer’s experience. It is a comprehensive tool that touches each aspect of the business. It is also a tool that provides a significant amount of data that can pinpoint shortfalls in the production process.
The second major concern for small businesses exploring ERP is the idea of customization. When ERP Software first came on the scene, it not only had a large price tag, it often had to be customized to suit the business. Today’s ERP software does not require the customization efforts that its predecessors commonly required. With the evolution of ERP technology, ERP software has become a more “out of the box” experience. This does not mean that implementation planning and resources have become obsolete. It means, that with a standard implementation budget the expectation that your production needs can be accommodated is much more likely than ever before.
With cloud based applications and the advances that have been made in ERP Software, it is more accessible than ever for small businesses with big ideas.
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