Should Your Small Or Medium Sized Business Buy an ERP Now?
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.” – Arthur C Clarke, author of 2001: A Space Odyssey
During the height of the pandemic, many were immediately thrust into remote work. Businesses scrambled to keep things operating smoothly. One of the resources that proved instrumental in making this possible was cloud-based ERP technology. Home office equipment sales exploded and pretty much all tech positions skyrocketed as a result of remote-work demands. Physical stores were no longer an option, so everyone was doing everything online. As the pandemic began to wane, however, the complete reliance for doing everything online proved to be not quite so sustainable. Already in 2023, over 121,000 layoffs have happened in tech according to Tech Crunch.com. However, a record number of people are still working in remote or hybrid capacities, so the need for the functionality that modern cloud-based ERP systems provide is still growing. That being said, everyone is still looking to save money in an uncertain economy. So, should your small or medium sized business buy an ERP now?
Benefits of an ERP
Purchasing and implementing any ERP system isn’t cheap. However, the benefits of cloud-based ERP are numerous and often provide the most help to small businesses. Cloud-based solutions make it so small businesses don’t have to maintain their systems by themselves, drastically reducing the need for in-house IT. This technology makes it possible for small companies with just one or two IT employees to take advantage of an ERP system they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to maintain. This according to Select Hub.
You also have a lot more options with your ERP solution. Buying an ERP is becoming more and more like car shopping. We are long past the one-size-fits-all Model T. You can buy little fast sports cars, large and rugged SUVs, luxury cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, fiscally reasonable and climate-responsible cars, and everything in between. ERPs are designed to fit the specific needs of your business whether you’re an accounting / CPA firm, a manufacturer, in the cannabis industry, in pharmaceuticals, education, custom furniture, or anything else. There’s an ERP that’s right for you.
An article by HSBC sums it up quite nicely. Some of the main benefits of using an ERP for your small or medium sized business are:
- Abridged Operating Costs
- Streamlined Data Flow
- Improved Quality and Data Access
- Improved Employee Productivity
- Accurate Analytics and Reporting
- Collaboration and Fast Sharing
- Decision Making
- Scalability For Your Business
- Happier Customers
Which ERP is right?
Again, that’s a tougher question to answer, simply because you have so many more options now based on the size of your business, your business structure, the industry you’re in, and other factors. There are many sites out there that offer comparisons of ERPs. One of the best is a comprehensive list from Q2 that categorizes the top ERPs for small businesses. Some of their top contenders are NetSuite, Odoo, SAP S/4 HANA and Business One, Sage Intacct, Acumatica, TallyPrime, and Striven.
Although there are a bevy of reasons to buy an ERP, there are also some disadvantages that would make you pause when asking if your small or medium sized business should buy an ERP now. We already touched on one of them. It’s not cheap. A full cradle-to-grave implementation can easily cost five figures.
The implementation process can also be long and difficult and disrupt your business operations. Depending on the data that needs to be transferred and mapped, the other systems that need to be integrated, the custom reports that need to be generated, you need a true ERP expert handling the process for you as well as providing your team the necessary training they need to run the thing once it’s installed.
And, like most technologies, it’s not as simple as turning on a light switch and getting immediate illumination. There’s a learning and execution curve with an investment like this. Think about a basic Excel spreadsheet. You wouldn’t just go in and plug in a bunch of random numbers in cells and expect it to do anything with them. But once you start learning formulas and conditions, those same numbers can turn into valuable pieces of data. And once you’ve set them up, you can run them repeatedly and consistently.
We Can Help
We’ve been doing this for over 25 years at DyNexus. We can help you make a decision on what ERP is best for you. But deciding on an ERP is only the first step. When you decide to buy a Samsung TV, you don’t buy it from Samsung, you buy it from Walmart or Video Only or Costco or Best Buy. In the ERP world, those are called VARs or Value Added Resellers. They would be the ones selling you the ERP software and doing the implementation. We can help with that as well. We are very well connected with some of the best VARs in the world and can connect you with the right people.
But it doesn’t end there. As you’re going through your implementation, we can help you assess what staffing needs you might have to maintain and operate your shiny new toy. We have Independent Contractors available to help with immediate assistance as well as ERP training services. We can also help you find full-time employees to maximize the efficiency of your ERP.
Look, it’s an uneasy time in the economy. But getting an ERP for your business is a decision that can actually save you money in the long run, make you more efficient, and make your customers happier. We hope we’ve given you enough information to start your quest as you decide for yourself: should your small or medium sized business buy an ERP now?