Small to mid-sized businesses have started realizing the value of integrating Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems in their operations to better manage their extensive resources. Some of the standard functions of ERP systems include product planning, purchase planning, inventory management, shipping, payment, customer relationship management (CRM), and supply chain management.
CIOs and managers in savvy companies rely on cloud ERP solutions to better plan and manage growth while boosting productivity. They utilize the real-time data from cloud ERP systems to be more selective and effective with the growth approaches they pursue. According to a 2017 report by Panorama Consulting Solutions, the top reason why businesses are implementing ERP systems is to improve communications across departments and business performance.
Below, John Sykstus, a growth financial specialist, describes how to select and deploy small to mid-sized business ERP systems:
Selecting the Right Business ERP Systems
A credible ERP solution is a viable growth strategy that can turn customers into evangelists. Hence, using ERP systems to leverage strategies such as upselling, cross-selling, analyzing, delivery rates, and customer information in real-time is key to growth. Small to mid-sized businesses can buy ERP solutions as a comprehensive suite or opt for a narrower focus such as production planning or a solution that is designed for a particular industry such as financial services.
When it comes to selecting the right ERP systems, businesses can choose from three options, namely: on-premises ERP, web-based ERP, or the hybrid approach where some solutions are in-house and others cloud-based.
According to the Gartner 2020 projections, 35% of product-centric ERP system deployments will be in the cloud but loosely integrated with on-premise systems. Meaning, cloud-based solutions will be the most preferred solution for small to mid-sized businesses in the near future.
Important ERP System Features to Consider
- Human Resources
- Business Intelligence
- Analytics and Reporting
- Inventory Management
- Supply Chain Management
Deploying the ERP Systems
ERP systems can bring a lot of efficiency to SMBs and medium-sized businesses. However, before implementing an ERP system, a business manager should analyze the business’ unique needs and the automatic budgetary allocation. This will help a company choose the right deployment option based on the specific features suitable for that particular business’s ERP needs.
Software as a Service (SaaS): This is a web-based solution that is easier to deploy and more cost-effective compared to the on-premise ERP solutions. Therefore, with the cloud-based ERP solution, a business doesn’t need a dedicated IT department to monitor and maintain servers as SaaS operates via a web browser.
Mobile App ERP option: With this option, business owners and managers can remotely access business operations via a mobile app interface from their mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Projects managers don’t have to be tethered to their desks while working as they can monitor the progress of various projects and give the field personnel feedback in real-time, regardless of their locations.
Social Media Integration: Today’s ERP providers have started integrating social media into their packages. The created internal applications boost employee interactions along with integrations between social media networks and ERP solutions.
A good enterprise resource planning system will have a significant impact on different facets of small and medium-sized businesses. Selecting and deploying an ideal ERP system requires a well-thought-out strategy that aligns well with your company.
Because of the impact ERP systems have on businesses, it is essential to research and settle on an ERP vendor who will meet your business needs effectively and who will help you fuel your business growth. Ensure that you select an ERP system that fits well into your business environment and that will help you implement the industry’s best practices for process improvements.
About John Sykstus:
John Sykstus is a financial strategist with 25 years of experience helping businesses realize growth potential. Through rigorous analysis of an organization’s history and current market climate, he develops turnaround strategies that transform systemic difficulties into efficiency solutions. When he’s not on the job, Mr. Sykstus enjoys golfing, and spending time with family and volunteering for faith-based charity efforts.