Small and medium-sized businesses more popularly known as SMEs play a significant role in meeting several indigenous market needs. Most of the small and middle-sized organizations are though not certain of the kind of innovation they will need to achieve their growth goals. Majority of business owners still are unaware of ERP software and its scopes or functionalities for small and middle-size businesses. Entrepreneurs should adopt proactive behaviour when it is related to the organization’s growth such as upgrading management skills, or systematically maintaining data, and investing in leading edge technology. Currently ERP Software is increasingly used by business enterprises in order to streamline data that is available in several departments, thereby making information available, making better informed decisions and enhancing productivity.  

As a leading ERP software development company in Bangalore, we recommend adopting Enterprise Resource Planning software which is more familiar as ERP is a business process management software by any organization be it a small and/ or medium sized business to use a system of integrated apps for smoothly managing business and automating several other back office functions associated with human resources, services, and technology.  ERP is mainly used by large organizations considering its costs of installation and maintenance. 

What is meant by ERP?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning that considers managing all the processes involved in running a firm, for example inventory and order management, accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), human resources and so on. ERP software integrates these operations effectively into a single centralized system that streamlines procedures and information at its most basic level throughout the organization contributing a great deal to ERP software development services in India

Significance of ERP:

As technology becomes increasingly accessible, small companies are on the verge of acquiring tools that were previously only within the range of large companies. Today, small and middle-size businesses are equally working with major league players to generate a wider scope of competition along with an additional sense of urgency for the laggards in odoo ERP software development in Bangalore. With the rapid increase in the business industries along with an increasing number of companies of all sizes, managers are expected to use and thereby provide technologically advanced services, which leads to an urgent need to implement new tools and methods. The ERP software is capable of managing everything right from customer relationship management and human resources till complete accounting infrastructure depending on the software version.

Benefits associated with the ERP Software:

Wondering on Why an ERP system is required for your organization & What may be the Benefits Of ERP Software for small and middle-size businesses?

The following are some of the core benefits of ERP software for small and mid-size businesses that can be highlighted:

1. Improved Visibility

ERP software enables complete inclusion of every important aspect in your business process by gathering data from every department and making it easily accessible to all the employees in an organization.

For example, with ERP it is possible to observe inventory levels on a daily basis, along with the current inventory in transit and the future shipments which render you accurately control your main capital by more precisely understanding your inventory levels. Furthermore, all your business information is accessible within a central location, allowing for a better collaboration and more accuracy of the tasks. This comprehensive visibility undoubtedly leads to a more unified workflow and enables you to track cross-departmental processes with maximum efficiency.

2. Focused IT Costs

Although ERP software is comparatively a large investment, it can well integrate your IT costs and increase efficiency. Rather than spending resources for multiple channels that require specialized staff, or infrastructure, support teams, and licenses, you can very well rely on ERP software for all these. Additionally, if you spend on a centralized ERP, it will even help you to save overhead IT costs as using a single system significantly reduces training requirements for the end-users as they need to learn only one system properly rather than interact with several applications. ERP can include multiple functional areas as well which allows you to exclusively use the features that meet your needs. Essentially, ERP can be considered as the bridge that connects the systems and their data. Some ERPs even enable you to integrate third-party software into a unified whole.

3. Advanced Reporting and Planning

As visibility significantly increases, better perception certainly becomes one of the principal advantages of ERP software. Implementing a centralized ERP across all the departments means that your organization has a unified reporting system for each process. By having a single centralized source of information, the ERP software can easily deliver useful reports and analyses at any time. The software further enables analysis and comparison between departments without any requirement for multiple spreadsheets and emails.

One of the most crucial reports is related to finance. Standard financial reports e.g. cash flow statements, income, etc. are often integrated, and custom reports can also be generated quickly without any IT intervention. 

Furthermore, many ERP software provide business intelligence services that enable companies to gain profound analytical insights into their operations. These insights definitely are helpful for them to plan by identifying operational strengths and critical areas that need improvement. Providing this enhanced view of the overall company data enables ERP users to make better and informed decisions based on contemporary trends and indicators.

4. Improved Efficiency

Along with reducing IT and training costs, ERP can also be effective in  minimizing your employees’ time and effort to go through their daily activities. On average, the ERP software system is capable of reducing operational costs by 23% and general management costs by approximately 22% which is undoubtedly  a huge amount of money that can be saved over a period of time. ERP solutions can effectively reduce or eliminate repetitive manual processes when implemented properly, enabling the team members to focus on tasks that significantly impact revenue. Additionally, the system can assist in the adoption and implementation of industry best practice processes and coordinate in between all actions of the entire company.

Forefront technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) support the recommendations and automation features in many ERP software applications. These advanced functionalities can manage business activities including forecasting demand, or generating purchase orders, tracking the entire process of a product right from its manufacturing to delivery.

5. Integrating the flow of information and increasing productivity

ERP assists small businesses to integrate their flow of information between the different business perspectives in the organization while collaborating business transactions with the financial system of the organization in real time. It also helps them to post relevant business transactions to the company’s general ledger and other financial systems which enables the management to view the financial implications when it is required.  It further helps to encompass the core processes starting from sales order entry, product pricing, shipping/delivery, inventory as well as warehouse, invoicing, production, procurement, financials and several others.

When key data from all departments are made available on a single platform, the need to contact employees and/or to go through excel sheets to collect disintegrated data does not arise.  ERP system effectively maintains a master data for various vendors, customers, products/materials, routines and manufacturing work processes as well as bill of material (BOM), and other data which is critical.  This enables them to maintain consistency in the work processes, saving time, and thereby enhancing productivity.

6. Improved decision-making and Scalability

To establish and continue with the success of your business, one must focus on the leading edge technologies and future aspects as taking core business decisions demands the availability of necessary information at the right time. In a small business when such data is constantly updated in the ERP system, the management is able to make proactive decisions that are necessary for business growth and sustenance. Most of the companies often do not plan properly and later encounter serious growth problems. Having a system that can effectively and gracefully adapt to business growth is crucial, and certainly ERP software can very well make this easy for small and mid-size businesses. For example, with the available data, the managers are able to compare sales figures and revenue of different months, which further equip them to forecast future sales, financial needs by taking effective decisions that suit the business requirements.

7. Increased Flexibility

One of the most significant advantages of ERP software which it imparts to the small business is agility and flexibility for better adapting to market needs and/ or the conditions that are imposed by buyers.  Dedicated ERP software offers flexibility in terms of making relevant adjustments in data management to maintain the business flexibility. For instance, stock adjustments or changes in sales figures and/ or cancellation of orders etc. can easily and proficiently be maintained with the help of an ERP software rather than laboriously deleting data and keying information in a spreadsheet. This modular structure of the ERP software provides multiple applications that can be implemented together on the basis of business requirements. With a few exceptions, each of these applications are designed to be standalone or rather integrated with a larger suite. In both ways, your business is able to select which components are most effective and thereby skip unnecessary components.

8. Enhanced Data Security and Improved Quality

ERP systems provide enhanced data security as the core of the ERP concept is data. Sharing data across functional perspectives such as customer service, sales, marketing, and/ or business development can significantly improve collaboration across the enterprise. Another important aspect of universal data access is to effectively control who can view and edit information. ERP solutions put forward built-in controls to corroborate the security of your valuable data.

Furthermore, ERP platforms are able to maintain a high level of data security because they provide a single entry system. Collecting information from multiple systems often generales conflicts between sources, but having a centralized information repository can help improve the efficiency, accuracy, consistency, and finally the security of valuable business data.

Both cloud-based and on- premises ERP systems can provide an organization with a higher degree of security. The database system that runs the ERP software can also centrally back up for all your critical and sensitive data. However, the cloud-based ERP systems are supposed to provide an additional layer of security. Since the business data is managed and maintained through the cloud, many vendors tend to hire security experts 24/7 to protect their servers which in turn makes it difficult for hackers to run test attacks as they can do on private servers.

9. Better refined collaboration and workflow

Collaboration is definitely a crucial part of a successful business. The ERP software simplifies the process of collaborating by giving employees access to the data that they need and when they need. The software provides a database in which information from each department is gathered in a centralized location which is accessible by all the employees within the organization. This actually enables real-time project updates and improved communication across the company. With an ERP system, each employee is able to access the data across the company when they need it, allowing them to use the information they need to make proactive decisions feeling more valuable. The net impact ultimately on your business leads to an increased efficiency and comparatively lower operating costs that is otherwise associated with manual data tracking along with  increased employee engagement.

10. Customer Service benefits

Since customer information is centralized and optimized, customers also derive benefit from the ERP system as your sales team will be able to focus better on establishing and maintaining customer relationships apart from just maintaining electronic forms. After all, the very first thing a company needs to care about is customer acquisition and retention. With the detailed information and efficient tracking provided by the ERP system, a business can provide better customer interactions starting from marketing automation to customer service.

Additionally, most updated ERP suites support e-commerce integration which implies that your business will be better able to handle web-based order processing as well as  customer interactions. According to the data on the Forbes website, approximately 62% of American shoppers said that they are now interested in buying more goods online than ever before during this time of pandemic. Therefore, your ERP solution should be able to support e-commerce integration.

Wrapping Up-

To be an achiever in today’s increasingly competitive business environment, one should definitely think of implementing systems that can be simplified, automated, and scaled efficiently. Although installing new ERP software for small and mid-size businesses can change many things significantly, the benefits can be observed almost immediately. However, the cost of installing ERP software is comparatively higher than maintaining data through spreadsheets but the advantages of this software system make it quite a necessary tool for small businesses that helps to manage data more effectively, simultaneously maintaining confidentiality, adjust flexibly and increasing work productivity, sales, and make effective decisions at the right time. Custom ERP software for small and middle-size businesses further helps reduce technology obsolescence within the organization and helps to facilitate long-term business planning.

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