Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face tough decisions from the very beginning. In the early stages you have big dreams, but limited capital. Any capital you do have must be invested into an operational foundation that will directly build the business. Back office solutions such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) may seem like a luxury you simply can’t afford. So you start running your business by the seat of your pants. “Management by walking around” is common. So are manual processes and spreadsheets. Decision-making is driven more by gut feeling rather than data and hard facts. And that works… for a little while. But then you have a bit of success and you start to find yourself stumbling a bit.
You start of thinking, “All we need is…” at first your list might be small. Your sales team can’t manage without a tool to manage contacts, opportunities and pipeline. So maybe you find some inexpensive, or even free software. Accounting needs to balance the books and turns to Quickbooks or Quicken. Inventory needs some rudimentary inventory control. Another inexpensive or free software fills that gap. None of these talk to each other, and before you know it your “back office solutions” is held together with the equivalent of baling wire and duck tape.
These solutions that were originally implemented to solve problems and save time are now costing you in terms of efficiency, productivity and may even be limiting you in terms of calling your business. In other words, they are holding you back. If you don’t have a solution that is helping more than hindering your business, if it is not a complete solution that is easy to use, then you are defiantly operating at a disadvantage. While you might think you are saving money by not investing, instead you are more likely to be leaving money on the table. It’s time to make a move.
Why wait? yes, deciding to purchase a new ERP is a big decision. If you are thinking your situation is not that bad, do you think it will be any easier to fix the problem when things get worse? Or when your business is larger and more complex?
If you are a small business operating without a technology-enabled modern ERP solution, ask yourself the tough questions like:
- Are you in control?
- Are you focused entirely on running your business? Or do you spend more time searching for and collecting data than analysing it and making decisions?
- Are all the departments in your organisation supported? Is your current solution complete?
- Are you managing against realistic and achievable goals?
- Are you saving money or leaving money on the table?
There are dozens of questions you could ask yourself. Depending on how you answered the questions above, instead of asking if you can afford ERP, the better question to ask is, “can you afford not to invest in ERP?” The cost of full integrated ERP solutions have come down, while at the same time both ease of use as well as full feature functionality have improved significantly. A well-executed ERP implementation can enable change and provide on-going savings that can help and grow your business. Why not get started now?