Enterprise Resource Planning is often touted as a tool to be used only by the big daddy’s of business whereas small organizations are better off spending their scarce capital.
However, one common necessity of a business whether small or big is to only grow.
Hence, it needs one such common tool, which can structure and centralize the information.
ERP is truly one such tool that you can use in your organization and have it customized, not only based on the size of your company but your business needs, as well.
It helps mid-sized companies to support changes and increase operating margins by 21%, slash administration cost by 22% and operational cost by 23% ~ Aberdeen Group.
So, key reasons why small businesses should choose to implement this system are:
- It helps with increased productivity and efficiency in business processes
- It has the power to make fact-based decisions
- It allows for accountability and transparency
- It promotes collaboration among departments
- It allows for flexibility and long-term service
- It helps with improved customer relations
- It helps you get competitive advantages
- It reduces work burden on employees
- It assists with business transformation
- It monitors business performance
- It improves communication
- It reduces operational costs
- It centralizes information
- It improves management
What is ERP for small business?
This is a kind of tool that allows you to run your small business smoothly and efficiently.
It helps in integrating the fundamental processes of an organization in a single place.
A few core processes include accounting, finance, sales, marketing, HR, supply chain, manufacturing and services among others.
The system often works in real-time. It makes use of a common database for all its actions.
Comparing ERP for Small Business
An ERP software isn’t one-size-fits-all rather it’s built to benefit all sizes of businesses.
Some platforms are created for bigger enterprises, whereas others are built to suit the smaller businesses or startups requirements. A smaller enterprise generally looks for a software solution, which is optimized to increase growth and used by just a few.
How much is ERP for a small business?
You may though run your business without installing and integrating this software, every small business finally has to adopt it by getting it integrated into its organization.
Research by Aberdeen says that 96% of successfully running businesses have installed and integrated this type of system in their companies. And it is still not clear why.
If you have the right ERP in your organization, your business can get a wealth of benefits such as:
- Centralized customer information that helps in pulling up histories and resolving issues
- Enhanced business security with dedicated protection for on-premise/cloud servers
- Reduce inventory costs through inventory tracking and stock visibility
- Real-time reporting and analytics tools to support long-term planning
- Faster invoicing and administrative work through process automation
So, instead of opting for any enterprise resource planning tool, look for the one that is right for your company.
If you have a poorly chosen tool, you will surely face a serious hassle in its implementation.
A small business must step forward to have the right ERP implementation on the first go.
To make it possible, you will first need to understand the ERP software pricing models, licensing options you are looking for, and its implementation costs.
So, it’s only you who can justify the cost of a resource planning system for your business processes.
ERP software selection process
The software helps businesses achieve their goals, and you must choose the right one.
A few system selection criteria that you must consider while selecting are as follows:
- Technology and future scalability
- Total cost of ownership and ROI
- Integration with existing systems
- Upper management support
- Evaluate and select options
- Necessary customization
- Functional requirements
- Business requirements
- Budget and resources
- User support
How to select the right ERP for small business?
When it comes to selecting the right software like this for your small business, you first need to ask yourself what type of software will best cater to your business model.
Here are the few types of enterprise resource planning systems that will be the most suited for your small business.
- Proprietary – A viable option with aptly suited features and functions for a small business
- Open-source – publicly available, freely accessible and customizable
- Free proprietary – a full-fledged software with the free trials
- Cloud-based – low cost and easily modifiable.
- Free ERPs for small business
In this section, I have covered for you the few best & cost-effective ERPs for small business.
These suites are not only efficient but free, as well. Most of these software for small businesses are open-source
- Odoo – open-source cloud software for small business with free download
- ERPNext – open-source tool for small business with a free version
- Dolibarr – cloud-based system for small business
- ADempiere – A free license software
Apart from the above discussed software solutions, you can also look forward to the following ERP tools. While they aren’t completely free, they do offer a free trial.
- Horizon ERP: If you have a large number of invoices, this is a dream come true for you.
- Deskera: This is a one-stop solution with affordable prices and user-friendliness.
Sill confused in deciding which ERP software will best suit your company’s needs?
At Spire, we offer an assessment in which our team will evaluate your existing technology and business goals.
This will help you build a roadmap that can be used to assist in the ERP selection process.