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ERP Systems/ ERP Software or Enterprise Resource Planning tool is not only important for large scale companies, but also for startups and SMEs. In their bid to be very appealing to the consumers, the entrepreneur does often forget that it is not only his product or service but also his operations which will help him to scale up. Lower costs of operations, faster turnaround time, synchronized departments, decisions on the go and better efficiency are some of the benefits of ERP for SMEs and startups.
Benefits of ERP Systems for SMEs:
1. Synchronized departments
For industries like retail and eCommerce which have multiple departments and locations, synchronization among the same is very important. Multiple warehouses, multiple hubs and co-ordination among them is very important. An ERP software helps in bringing all the data from all locations together and connects everyone on a single platform. It acts like an end to end business function for an organization. Imagine if you had details like sales order, POs, inventory flow of your multiple warehouses from a single platform which can also be viewed on the go, how much time would you and your staff be saving.
2. Faster Turnaround Time
With the help of ERP an organization can improve their efficiency, which is very imperative for any SME. Benefits of ERP is that it equips the sales, marketing and customer service teams with all business data very effortlessly and on time and a single click with the help of MIS and other reports. Based on which, everyone can take immediate action and increase the turnaround time. With the help of ERP, a lot of work can be automated hence, increasing the time for the team to serve the customer properly.
Benefit of ERP solution is that they can be integrated and use a single solution for all the core business needs. With the help of an ERP, any organization can manage their inventory, manufacturing, financial, human resources and other data from once ERP solution. This data syncing and flow in ERP encourages more unity towards team work. Any team member can enter data into the ERP and the same data can be accessed, viewed and used by the other members of the team even if the sales rep is not present on premise. It is also very true, without teamwork, ERP is not success. So for the success of ERP everyone in the organization would have to work as a team.
4. Control Over Operating & Operational Cost
Usually an organization has multiple systems to take care of its various operations. For accounting they may have a different system and for tracking inventory, they may have a different system. The problem with these accounting systems is that though they streamline the processes, they tend to create data duplicity. With an efficient ERP Solution, all the data is synchronized and the company can find out the leakages that are happening in the data and can fix the operations that is causing the company money and time wastage.
Without ERP in most of the organization, it has been observed that it is very difficult to do proper planning for procurement and production of the materials. Identification and control over operating and operational costs can help the company save a lot of money and concentrate on processes which will help them grow.
Eureka! Here is an infographic explaining how a cloud based accounting software can help improve productivity whilst saving time and money for your business.
5. Decision Making
With help of a cloud ERP solution, any organization can take prior decision with the instant available data. ERP solution helps an organization to be aware about the insight situation such as shortage of fund, inventory, and deliveries, etc. on the go anywhere, anytime and any device. Take your business with you and to the client. Be updated always about your inventory level in front of the client and update all the communication from your device once the meeting is over so that you do not miss out on any pointer for follow-ups. Set up notes, communications and trackers so that the team may get back to the client efficiently even if you are not in town.
How to Choose the Right ERP Software for Your Business?
Enterprise resource planning or an ERP software is a powerful data management software tool that enables the business to view and share data allowing for the streamlining and automation of essential business activities. It is a myth that ERP is just for the bigger companies, even small businesses can benefit from having an ERP system in place, especially if the system is modular and can grow as the business expands.
There are so many of ERP software solutions available in the market, make sure you follow a step-wise process in selecting the system, and have all the information you need before choosing ERP system.
1. Know what you need
Before selecting an ERP system, take time to analyze and define your business processes and identify all the weak points that can only be improved by an ERP software. Also keep a futuristic approach while selecting an ERP. Scalability is an important factor that the company should look into while selecting an ERP software. Here, the vendor’s ability to provide long time support and solvency to support his own business functions for a long time can be assessed. Ensure this process takes into account, operations all levels of the business, and simultaneous, also consult with the staff, end users and IT to get all relevant details about feature of an ERP will make their everyday tasks easier. This process should produce a list of needs that can be fulfilled by an ERP software and hence, providing a good starting point for identifying a power software solutions for your specific business needs.
2. Understand the cost of ERP implementation
Valuation of ERP system should consider not only the optimization of processes but also value-added services, the cost, employee time and the removal or modification of any current process. ERP implementation is not a simple process, and it can become expensive quickly; make sure your business is ready and in need of such a solution. Hidden costs and heavy customization can make the overall costing of the product more expensive.
3. ERP Vendor
The current trend is to treat ERP as a software service, for which you pay to a vendor a specific monthly fee, and they provide the system and the support from a remote server. Make sure you have a vendor who is committed to the product, and make the changes as per business requirement for committed year. There are a few big players in the ERP market who provide a lot of services whereas the smaller vendor may have a solution that better fits your needs for the time but going ahead, it may not be scalable and will not be able to support your business. Take your time to identify vendors that can provide long term support and assistance while not exceeding the costs.
4. Customization option
One of the main benefits of cloud based ERP software is their modular nature, allowing businesses to optimize and customize software to their particular needs. However, many businesses fall into the trap of purchasing many customization options that they don’t need and paying for them without ever utilizing the full potential. Stick to your list of needs, and be wary of customization options that are “nice to have.”
5 Tips to Pick the Perfect ERP Software Consultant for your Business
Picking an ERP consultant for ERP implementation is certainly a tricky thing. This is why it is important to be extra cautions when shortlisting a consultant from the crowd. Here are five tips to help you choose the perfect ERP consultant for your business.
1. Awareness of business processes/operations
For successful ERP implementation, it is very important for the consultant to have sound knowledge of your business processes. This makes it easy for the consultant to understand your business scenarios and requisites pertaining to the ERP in 2020. This saves your time and efforts both.
2. Good communication and analytical skills
One of the best qualities to ensure in your consultant is the skill of analysis. If a consultant lacks good analytical and communication skill, then it is possible you would have to explain the same scenarios/requirement multiple times. A consultant should be able to draft proper requirements, project milestones and its deadlines, proper documentation and most importantly, the consultant ought to have excellent problem-solving skills.
An experienced consultant is very helpful and fruitful for your ERP implementation and adoption. An experienced consultant always gives precise advices and suggests best ways and practices, which are healthy for your organisation. Most of the time, it is observed that many of the processes / scenarios of your organisation fail to fit in the ERP blueprint. An experienced consultant can suggest and illustrate perfect ways as well as would re-engineer the project’s plan to overcome these types of scenarios.
4. Comfort Environment
It is also very important for your ERP consultant to foster a healthy and comfort environment with your internal team. You should create a healthy environment between your consultant and internal team to make the consultant feel a part of your organisation. This is helpful for seamless ERP implementation.
5. Share your complete requirements
One of the best tips is to share your requirements in-and-out with your ERP consultant. You should share your requirements with the consultant very accurately and completely. Because it is only through accurate sharing of information and requirements, your consultant would be aware of all your ERP requirements and can plan, work and suggest accordingly.
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