To be competitive in today’s dynamic landscape, every small business has to decide what technology will help them stay organized, productive, and support growth. From order taking to accounting to communication, the business technology you invest in should make your life easier while guiding your business forward.
In the past, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has been reserved for the medium to the massive corporate enterprise. Companies needed deep pockets and the resources for an extensive technical overhaul to reap the numerous advantages that an ERP system provides. Fortunately, ERP technology has rapidly advanced over the last few years, and it no longer requires the massive investment it once did.
The reality is that ERP systems are now a useful and often necessary tool for small businesses today. Knowing that there are now affordable ERP solutions easily accessible to small companies and budgets, it’s important to understand what the technology does and how your business could benefit from using it.
What is ERP Software?
ERP is a business process management software designed to integrate and automate core areas of your business. From accounting and sales to inventory and supply chain, an ERP solution is a single software solution with the functionality to manage your entire operation and keep everyone on the same page. A centralized database brings all of your data and departments together to ensure one system of record for accurate, accountable reporting and communication. Automation is used to streamline processes, create efficient workflows, and enhance collaboration across your organization.
Most small businesses don’t traditionally start out with one single integrated system. Oftentimes, they launch their business with a combination of entry-level accounting solutions (like QuickBooks) and an application to manage email, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. (like Office 365). Depending on your industry, you might also be running separate software to manage customers or payroll or inventory management. Together, these convenient solutions allow for a quick start and provide the tools you need to cultivate your business on a small scale without a huge investment or commitment.
The trouble with this approach is that you are working with individual technologies that do not relate and require an additional step to access data, create financial reports, evaluate operational performance, and make decisions. These time-consuming manual processes cause added stress to your employees in a pivotal moment where your business could sink or swim. Over time, this causes major growing pains across your small business. These pains impact everything from closing out the month to order errors and mistakes – all of which can be avoided by integrating your company’s financials, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities from the beginning with ERP software.
9 Benefits of Using an ERP System for Small Business
While it may seem intimidating to invest in a full-stack ERP system before you’ve built your business, there are a number of ways this technology can fit a small business. For example, many modern ERP solutions offer the ability to scale up or down, depending on the functionality you need. You pay only for what you need at the time and add on as your business grows.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of using an ERP system to manage your small business:
- Reduced Operating Costs
Traditional on-premises ERP systems require huge upfront setup costs and infrastructure to get started. Today, small businesses have a selection of affordable cloud-based ERP solutions to choose from that eliminate the need for additional hardware, IT staff, maintenance, and upgrades.
- Streamlined Flow of Information
ERP technology automates routine tasks and workflows to reduce errors caused by manual practices and improve business process efficiency. In turn, this instantly improves data accuracy, collaboration, and operational visibility across your small business.
- Improved Data Access and Quality
Fast-growing small businesses don’t have time to wait around for reports or second guess their performance numbers. With total access to every critical process and piece of data in your business, ERP software opens the door to faster communication, reporting, performance analysis, and decision making.
- Enhanced Employee Productivity
Whether you have 2 or 10 employees, it’s critical to keep them happy and not burn them out from tedious tasks like data consolidation or working with technology that doesn’t fit their needs. Give them an ERP system that’s easy to use and provides every tool they need to efficiently do their jobs.
- Accurate Reporting and Analytics
The benefits of a single source of truth mean that your small business can take full advantage of your data and say goodbye to uncontrolled spreadsheets. Many ERP systems include business intelligence capabilities and functionality to make it easy to generate useful reports and analytics for financials, forecasting, and more. This benefit also impacts your ability to consistently meet compliance requirements.
- Fast Sharing and Collaboration
Instant access to your small business data in a centralized location allows for increased collaboration across your organization and streamlined completion of tasks.
- Informed, Timely Decision Making
One of the most significant advantages of an ERP system is complete operational visibility. When you can see the big picture at any given moment, you can make quick, confident decisions and pivot based on sound data.
- Scalability to Suit Your Business
ERP systems are modular in nature, which means each application can be implemented together or stand-alone. As a small business, this provides the flexibility to pick and choose what functionality works best for you at that given moment in time – but leaves the door open for integrated, easy expansion when the time is right.
- Happier Customers
Customers know when your operations are running smoothly, and they are being taken care of. With better tracking, streamlined processes, fewer errors, and more customer insights, ERP software allows you to focus on the customer experience and make your mark.
- Reduced Operating Costs
Transform Your Small Business with Tigunia
If you are a small business struggling to meet your customer’s expectations or spend more time on administration than strategic growth, it’s time to consider a better option. ERP technology can help you better access and manage data, maintain relationships, enhance productivity, optimize productivity, improve communications, and ultimately, make smart data-driven decisions that guide your small business forward.
At Tigunia, we believe that the right technology should help you build your business efficiently and make life easier for you and your employees. Our business process and technology experts are here to help you analyze your business needs and assess what technology will work best for your business, your people, and your goals. Book an ERP assessment today, and we can get to work on understanding your existing systems, budget, and future plans. Affordable ERP software is within reach and can last the life of your business – you just need the right partner to trust and get you there.