Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) have a few advantages over large companies: they are energetic and change quickly to meet the changing needs of their customers, and they win customers with the personal touch their size allows, which isn’t always possible for enterprises. One area that’s more difficult for SMBs is computer systems and the software needed to run their business.
The SMB operates using a blend of applications from several different vendors. A lot of manual labor goes into making the applications work with each other. At some point, senior management comes to the realization that the organization needs an ERP system. This decision can be based on production needs, but the lack of financial visibility in the company tends to be the key driver in buying an ERP system.
Without a good ERP system to store data and provide a resource for monitoring operations, SMBs will only grow so far before disaster strikes.
SMBs are replete with disorganization. There is an inherent chaos in the business as different people do their jobs on different applications. Communication between departments is not synchronized. Likewise, the IT department is probably taxed with keeping the different servers, databases, and operating systems working smoothly. Data resides everywhere and this results in operation lag.
An effective ERP solution can help SMBs connect people, processes and systems to ensure data is stored, organized and accessible on-demand.
The first problem the SMB has is key people. This isn’t bad by itself, but the SMB manager usually dreads when those key people take a vacation, get sick, or leave because they cannot be replaced quickly, and one or more of these key people almost certainly performs some manual calculation that is critical to the business’s operation, most likely in a spreadsheet. The manual calculation is done to tie data coming out of one application to the input needed for another.
As the company grows, senior management is less involved in day-to-day operations. Although this transition is inevitable, it means that senior management must rely on reports to monitor the company’s status. Here’s where an ERP system shines: the system collects all the data and automatically presents them to senior managers as reports. Sure, some custom reporting will probably be necessary, but that’s easy compared with manually assembling all the information into spreadsheets.
Financial reporting takes less time and effort with an ERP system. As companies grow, the timeliness of their reporting becomes increasingly critical. Handling such reporting within spreadsheets becomes error prone and time-consuming the larger the company grows. Being able to follow a routine that the ERP system provides means that the company’s financial reporting is done much more efficiently and much more reliably.
To learn more about how InterDyn BMI can help you get the most out of your Microsoft ERP solutions,