Technology and digital transformation are increasingly present in our lives and influence all aspects of the world as we know it. For businesses, it is also having an impact and is helping them to optimize their performance to the maximum and to remain competitive.
One of these tools that help manage companies is ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). It is a software system integrated into companies and is responsible for collecting information from different company departments to record, interpret and interconnect them in a standard interface. ERP simplifies processes and improves information management to adopt strategies to increase sales and reduce costs.
ERP for SMEs
ERP has become the most widely used tool to improve the management of business resources.
Initially, ERPs were only suitable for large companies, but gradually, many ERPs have been developed specifically for small and medium-sized companies.
Today, in the highly competitive market we live in, it is not strange that ERP has become an essential resource for SMEs as it allows them to be more agile, efficient, and productive, but with the large number of ERPs that exist for SMEs, which one to choose?
How to find the best ERP for your SME?
It is essential to know how to choose which ERP is best suited to your business type. You have to take into account different features, functions and how they will adapt to your company:
Define your real needs
The first thing to do is analyze the company’s operations to see which processes can be improved by using ERP. To do this, an evaluation of the needs of the SME must be made to be clear about what they are and not to add functions to the ERP that are not necessary, and that makes its use more complicated.
Local ERP or in the cloud?
Once we know the needs that we have in the SME, we select the type of ERP that is required. We will have to choose if we want an ERP in the cloud or on-premise. The best software architects usually recommend using ERP in the cloud to SMEs because it offers the optimal use of all resources, it is not necessary an own infrastructure to implement it, it has automatic updates and data integrity, and it will not have any problems related to hardware.
It must be taken into account that the implementation of an ERP is a long-term investment. It has to be able to cover the needs you have at the moment, but it has to have the flexibility to incorporate more elements necessary for future years.
Betting on security
The ERP is a tool that will deal with a lot of confidential internal data, so security is an essential feature in ERP. What do we mean by security? We suggest that the tool has to track all user logins and logouts and other activities that take place during each connection.
ERP is software that will be used by most of the employees of the company’s different departments, so it mustn’t be challenging to use. Something fundamental to consider is that it should be an intuitive tool so that it is possible to make the most of its functionalities.
Choosing a technology partner
Once you know the type of ERP you need, you have to select the best technology provider for its implementation. It has to be a reliable company that will work hand in hand with you throughout the undertaking.
It is essential to consider that it can provide an adequate technological response, thinking both in the present and in the future. It is also vital that you look at their upgrade policy and the customer service they offer so that you can get the most out of it.
Once you have selected the ERP and the right technology partner, you will enjoy the benefits of having management software within the company.
Advantages for SMEs to have an ERP
Through the implementation of their ERP, SMEs obtain immediate benefits:
Management from a single platform
Thanks to ERP implementation, SME managers can see the entire business process from start to finish in the same tool. Companies can access all processes and files from the ERP. They can be informed, for example, of the functions of the financial, commercial, and logistics departments without having to use another tool.
Improve internal communication
With ERP, the information between departments is interconnected. It will show the information in real-time so that all departments can see the information that another department is managing at that moment. Thanks to this, time will be reduced since, for example, the sales team can see the information they need from the finance department without waiting for it to be sent to them.
Thanks to the implementation of an ERP, many processes can be managed automatically. Everything that involves a pattern of behavior can be programmed in the ERP to be addressed, and thus employees can be freed from that burden and devote their time to more productive tasks.
Time and cost reduction
The centralization of internal data on the same platform and the access to it from the departments offered by an ERP will optimize work times to be more productive and efficient. In addition, as we have already mentioned, the ERP will help the company automate processes so that many tasks that are usually performed disappear.
Although we are talking that ERP allows departments to have access to data and be interconnected between them, ERP offers a lot of security because you can control which department has access to which information.
In today’s world of technology development and digital transformation, it is necessary to use additional tools to manage companies. One of these tools is Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP simplifies processes and improves information management to adopt strategies to increase sales and reduce costs.