Why innovative small and mid-market companies need Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to maintain their competitive edge

Posted in: Uncategorized- Dec 05, 2017 No Comments

Despite its name, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is NOT only for large enterprises—SMBs need to think big even on an SMB budget

Small and mid-market businesses (SMBs) have become the driving force in today’s economy, accounting for the majority of employment growth. They appear better equipped to leverage new markets and technologies, even in the face of tight credit and a stagnant overall economy.

Ironically, as they grow, dynamic, innovative SMBs are often constrained by their own outmoded and limited IT. They often end up with piecemeal solutions, adopting standalone systems to manage payroll, accounting, inventory, sales, ordering, customer service and so on. While lower-end solutions such as Peachtree Accounting may be admirably suited to particular tasks for small environments, often the limitations of a piecemeal approach become evermore apparent as the company grows. Some challenges include:

• Multiple systems require multiple skill sets, requiring additional training
• Particular systems are often critically dependent on one or two individuals for programming, data entry, maintenance and reporting
• The same data is often entered in multiple systems in multiple ways, creating redundant tasks and leading to errors and inconsistencies
• Multiple systems create multiple paths to data vulnerability and security
• There are multiple systems to upgrade and maintain
• It becomes difficult or impossible to provide centralized technical support

Given the pressure of today’s data-driven business environment, information bottlenecks, lags and omissions can lead to inefficiencies, disruption and delays. This puts companies at a competitive risk, especially in the face of financial constraints.

The pain and aggravation from multiple disparate systems is especially pronounced for midmarket manufacturers and distributors who must coordinate sophisticated chains of production, distribution and supply, in addition to all of the normal business functions such as payroll and accounting.

Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP) rejects this kind of piecemeal approach with an integrated software solution that provides complete control over the planning and management of all facets of a business, including accounting, manufacturing and distribution where pertinent. Some vendors, such as SYSPRO, offer mid-market companies a ‘single source’ solution that is not dependent on external core applications to run the business. Such an integrated ERP approach provides a common underlying structure and simplified processing. Integrated ERP also directly addresses the multiple system pains previously described in the following ways:
• A common interface simplifies required skills and makes it simpler and cheaper for users to learn new features
• It is easier for multiple users to provide cross-module data entry, maintenance and reporting, reducing the dependency on any particular individuals
• A common data stream flows from module to module, reducing redundancy, errors and delays
• A single integrated solution enables enhanced security
• Single-vendor support helps ensure that all modules are up to date and that a change to one part of the system won’t break another
• It is much easier to provide centralized technical support and training

While every company is unique and there is no perfect off-the-shelf solution for every industry or vertical, ERP offers a multi-dimensional approach that can be tailored for vertical requirements of varied supply chains for products and services.

A unified ERP system from SYSPRO and others can be custom configured to meet the business specific requirements in the areas of:
accounts payable, accounts receivable, bill of materials, collections, contract management, counter sales, credit card, CRM, factory documentation, general ledger, inventory control and forecasting, lot tracing, material yield, projects and contracts, purchase orders, sales and returns, shipping, work in progress and much more.

Integrated ERP can literally change the way mid-market manufacturers and distributors do their business. For example, a company can quickly determine the status of any order – whether it is in the warehouse, has been shipped or when it will be or has been received. This is on top of the individual benefits that standalone systems provided previously, such as a general ledger and accounting.

A less obvious though critical benefit for ERP customers is that ERP vendors can maintain close ties to the industries they serve, and respond quickly to the emerging needs of their customers. This provides the customer with the long-term assurance that as their mid-market businesses continue to grow, their ERP systems will grow with them to in response to future needs.

Small and midmarket businesses need not be separated from their larger counterparts in the marketplace. Integrated ERP allows SMBs to have a centralized view of their total operation at all times. Access to this key info allows them to make critical business decisions and to maintain a competitive edge in their industry, no matter how big or small their competition.

SYSPRO is the leading supplier of ERP software to mid-market manufacturers and distributors. SYSPRO has more than 15,000 licensed customers in over 60 countries around the globe. If you’d like an ERP expert to contact you and further discuss how SYSPRO ERP can streamline your business processes, please contact us.

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