ERP can be perceived to be too complex for SMEs. Previously considered the domain of “big business”, SMEs have shied away from the solution thinking it’s “too big, too pricey” for their needs. But you operate in a competitive market. Without access to the best tools to run your business, the question really is can you afford not to have your hands on ERP?
Who says that just because you are not floating on the stock market that you have to use antiquated and not fit for purpose software? Who says that a smaller business shouldn’t be entitled to access all the responsive and competitive software which their larger counter parts have been deploying for years? Cloud based solutions now bring ERP into the realms of the smaller company…and with astonishing results.
Here’s 5 things you should know about cloud ERP for SMEs:
- The user interface is NOT ugly and inaccessible. Many software providers allow you to change your UI so it’s configured to your needs. Simple drag and drop technology allows you to set your dashboard the way you want it, which enables user adoption. (Read “Why I Love My NetSuite Dashboard”)
- ERP will improve your real time information. When your business information is contained within silos of spreadsheets and conflicting software, it can take a lot of time (sometimes days) and manpower to extract the information you need to get visibility. By that time, it isn’t real time business information. ERP gives you a 360 degree bird’s eye view of your business. How empowering is that!
- The CRM will help you sell more. Take it from someone who knows. Having sold all my days, I get the real value behind tracking a customer from a lead generated by marketing through to a sale. Without really knowing the value of your pipeline your sales function can’t, well… function. Once you know what is really working for you, you can spend your time doing more of that and less of the expensive and time wasting exercises you sort of know don’t work but are too afraid to stop.
- ERP will make you more profitable. SMEs often labour under a false pretence. Especially when you are trying to get off the ground, received wisdom is that all business is good business. Not so. We’ve all had clients who we suspect are more trouble than they are worth. There, I’ve said it! ERP helps you understand the profitability of your customer base so that can spend more time on the ones which make you money and less time on those who don’t
- Moving to the cloud will minimise your down time. SMEs can’t afford to make the best use of time, all of the time. A bigger business can afford to absorb down time. An SME can’t. And there are a multitude of situations which can conspire against the SME when it comes to ineffective working time. Whether you are accommodating working parents, running your business through a big freeze or making best use of travel time – your employees can log in anytime and anywhere, providing you have a device and access to the internet.
At the end of the day, the key to growing your business is to think big – start with your software!
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