A small business can get by with spreadsheets, but as a company grows it ultimately faces increasing complexity, and eventually reaches a point where it costs more to maintain spreadsheets than the insights they offer are worth. It's around this time that a business should consider upgrading to dedicated ERP software? But is your business ready?
A white paper from Focus Research called Is Your Business Ready for ERP? Is available on the ERP Software Blog, helps shed some light on the issue. The paper aims to answer four questions for any businesses looking for a way forward.
- When is it time for a new ERP system?
- What methods of delivery are available for ERP software?
- What should be considered when selecting ERP software?
- What benefits could a new solution provide?
According to the paper, basic ERP and spreadsheets lose their value when:
- Management can't keep track of a growing headcount
- Time spent on tracking resources is growing faster than the business itself
- Simple solutions are no longer meeting basic business needs
- Pressure from creditors, board members, and tax authorities creates new resource tracking requirements
ERP software, despite it's name, is for more than just tracking resources. It offers value for:
- Business intelligence
- Customer relationship management
- Management reporting
- Talent management
- Supplier relationship management
and many others. In other words, resources that can be tracked aren't necessarily limited to those an accountant would typically be concerned about, and ERP can be part of a planning, marketing, and intelligence strategy, just as much as a budgeting one.
Some of the benefits that come with correct use of ERP include:
- More sales and better conversion rates
- More working capital
- Swift cash collection
- Lower production costs
- Better inventory turnover
- Low sales abandonment rates
and so on. Furthermore, ERP delivery models are no longer limited to intranets. Solutions are available through:
- Traditional networks – This is when software is licensed and installed in-house. This means you are in charge of resources directly, which has some advantages but often means you will face the burden of maintenance costs and security.
- Cloud – In this case, you don't need to own the server or even an internal network at all. The data is stored by the software provider. While this makes some businesses uneasy, it typically keeps costs lower and actually results in better security, as well as making the information available regardless of where the workforce is located.
- Hybrid – Choosing between in-house solutions and cloud-based solutions is not an either/or proposition. It is possible to combine the advantages of both in order to achieve an optimal solution.
To learn more, take a look at the white paper, called Is Your Business Ready for ERP, for an in depth review of the road ahead.
By ERP Software Blog Editors, Download ERP Software White Papers