Have you ever felt that your business data was frustratingly painful to manage? You have dozens of spreadsheets spread across multiple devices that contain some of the same data. It’s a nightmare finding the right information in that situation. Yet, many businesses, especially small ones, find themselves in exactly that position. Not only is it a disorganized business unpleasant to manage, but it’s also likely a badly performing business. Don’t worry! Your seemingly inescapable nightmare has a single long-term solution through cloud-based ERP.
What is ERP?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System is software that businesses use to holistically manage their operations. Most Enterprise Resource Planning systems provide key business functions, like:
- Supply Chain Management
- Project Management
A complete Enterprise Resource Planning system will also include additional features that help organizations perform better. ERP systems introduce transparency into your organization by objectively tracking all aspects of your business and providing invaluable performance data.
You can integrate an Enterprise Resource Planning system into your business to improve daily and long-term performance by streamlining operations and better integrating different business functions. A good ERP system is a single platform that has data on all your business functions.
How ERP helps in scaling your business
ERPs help scale your business in 8 following ways:
1. You get a centralized database for your business data
Most businesses have different types of data they record, like customer data, employee data, or financial data. Every business benefits from optimizing data storage and integrating different data types to draw meaningful conclusions. ERP systems help you achieve both goals.
You can store all your data in a single Enterprise Resource Planning system, which will optimally store the data. For example, employee data may be shared among multiple departments, like your HR, finance, and management. Normally, each department would have it’s own copy of the database, but you can avoid that duplication with an ERP system that stores the data in a single database and fetches it for each department.
Having a central database also improves data integration and analysis. A team member can virtually access all data from a single database. Most ERPs also have dedicated tools for improving data integration and analysis, too. Companies across the world are moving from legacy systems to ERP.
2. ERP Solutions can be tailored specifically for your business
Most Enterprise Resource Planning systems are dynamic and flexible software that can be adapted and edited to your organization’s requirements. So, you can tailor your ERP solution for your specific business needs. You can get a relevant ERP system regardless of whether you have a small business or a large organization.
Another feature is that you can implement ERP solutions modularly, which reduces the upfront costs of ERP implementation. You can pick and choose which features you want and integrate them sequentially, ensuring each proves beneficial and discarding those that aren’t.
So, you can get an ERP solution that is perfectly designed to fit your specific business solutions, and it won’t incur large expenses.
3. ERPs are intuitive and user friendly
Most ERP systems are designed to be used by non-technical users. So they generally have simple and user-friendly user interfaces, so even your junior employees can optimally use them. For example, a junior salesman could easily input customer data, like a customer’s name, email id, and purchase details, and instantly receive an invoice.
Most Enterprise Resource Planning systems are even designed with the help of business consultants who highlight the most important features for business use. The result is lean and efficient ERP systems with maximum useability and minimum learning requirements.
4. ERP allows for cloud and mobility
Most modern Enterprise Resource Planning systems are at least partly cloud-based, which vastly reduces the costs of conventional on-site ERP solutions. Cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning systems allow customers to fully or partially store their data and software online. Online storage improves security, mobility, and useability.
Online cloud storage is generally safer than on-site storage. A single point of entry also allows an organization’s team members to simultaneously access the same data and files without having to share files.
Many of today’s ERPs even work on subscription-based SaaS platforms, which further reduce ERP implementation time and costs.
5. ERP helps in integration of business automation
A good Enterprise Resource Planning system automates many business processes, like invoicing, payroll, and financial data calculations. For example, you could simply input sales data, and the ERP will automatically calculate relevant metrics, like your sales margin, and profit ratio–you won’t have to calculate anything yourself.
Enterprise Resource Planning systems also generate synchronized reports based on other business metrics and provide you with invaluable business statistics. The best part is that these reports will be nuanced and relevant since the ERP platform would have access to all your business data.
The result is extensive automation that provides you with relevant and useful business statistics and frees your time.
6. ERP eliminate action paralysis by enabling real time access to information
Modern businesses have become increasingly data-driven and dependent on business statistics. As a result, they can’t afford to wait for month-end management information. Instead, they need real-time statistics to guide them during daily operations.
ERP systems are the best way to receive real-time business statistics. The ERP system will automatically analyze business data and produce real-time information. You can then use that information to immediately make important business decisions.
For example, you’re running an ad campaign on Tik Tok and need to know a particular ad’s performance to decide whether to continue it. You can program your ERP system to automatically calculate the ad’s performance relative to its cost and alert you when it stops being useful for you.
7. ERP helps in improving your customer relations
Providing good customer service is a priority for most businesses, and an ERP system can dramatically improve your customer relations. Since ERP software contains all your business data, it provides instant access to customer data to relevant customer support or sales staff, reducing communication delays with clients.
For instance, a customer might ask your customer service agent to confirm if your organization received their payment. Your customer service agent could then instantly access that customer’s data and confirm whether your organization received the payment.
The result is a fast and accurate customer service experience for your customers, which improves your business’s reputation and increases customer satisfaction.
8. ERP provides cost-effective solutions
Reducing unnecessary costs is every business owner’s dream. After all, you want every dollar you spend to give you the best possible return. An Enterprise Resource Planning system could be your best friend in eliminating all unnecessary costs. ERP systems achieve this in two ways.
- Firstly, Enterprise Resource Planning software automates many business functions, which reduces administrative costs.
- Secondly, Enterprise Resource Planning systems can analyze your business data and identify unnecessary expenses for you.
Is an ERP solution right for your startup or small business
The odds are, yes. Enterprise Resource Planning solutions are modular, so you can get an ERP system with as many or as few features as your business needs. Even start-ups and small businesses benefit from centralized data recording, automation, and reduced costs. You can also acquire a good ERP solution for your specific needs at very low costs.
Yet, there are downsides to using Enterprise Resource Planning systems for startups and small businesses. You might exhaust your resources on Enterprise Resource Planning when you could’ve better used them on other functions. Your business might also presently be too small to benefit from the advanced functions of ERP systems yet.
Ultimately, whether your startup or small business should adopt an Enterprise Resource Planning system depends entirely on you. Your business should be sufficiently complex to benefit from automation and centralized data storage and have enough resources to afford an ERP system to benefit from it. So, you’ll have to figure out whether an ERP solution is good for you by understanding your business needs.
Most businesses benefit from cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning systems. An ERP platform centralizes data storage, automates many business functions, provides data analysis, and reduces operating costs. ERPs are also customizable and modular, so you can get an ERP that meets your exact needs. But, you should only invest in an ERP platform if your organization has the resources and complexity to purchase it without compromising other business functions.