Does your business need an ERP? Can you afford an ERP?

By Enabliser Natasha

Introduction
The scenario is a common one; your small business has moved beyond start-up mode and is growing but you are not sure it’s time to replace the accounting system you started with. Currently the disparate manual processes are working most of the time and business is still growing and these systems are becoming less effective … but really, can you afford not to invest in an ERP system to move your business forward?

Does your business need an ERP? Can you afford an ERP?
Some of the key signs that you need to consider an ERP:

  • Disparate systems
  • No central silo of information or truth and therefore no comprehensive ability to review the whole of the business
  • Difficult reporting, with many spreadsheets
  • Cash needs to be managed better
  • Customer demand is not being met as well as we want

Without an ERP how much time are you and your team are wasting time? Searching for data, entering information twice, reconciling information, trying to develop reports and attempting to manage and manipulate data in an ever increasingly losing battle!

What holds many businesses back is the vast expanse of information about ERP systems; you need to remember ERPs come in all sizes and for all budgets.  But yes, initially, you will need to spend money; whether you are purchasing a solution up-front, or by subscription where you pay a monthly fee – but overall the most important thing is for you to assess the Total Cost of Ownership after the initial investment.  It is not just a cost, there is a leap in benefits.

Many businesses leave making this decision until they reach a critical point in their business when it is becoming urgent, obviously this is not an ideal situation and does not necessarily enable you  to make the right decision for your business (or and may necessitate a rushed decision that’s not ideal).

But whatever the timing, chances are, now is a good time to start the process of listing your needs,  looking at your options and planning a budget.   ERPs are now more affordable than ever; and they have a variety of options regarding deployment which can significantly reduce initial set up costs.  Regardless of which ERP you choose, introducing a new ERP will provide more functionality and innovation; and most solutions come with neat out of the box solutions incorporating best practice business processes and comprehensive reporting. Modern ERP solutions offer more configurability and therefore for most businesses less need for customisation. But having said this, assume your business will change. Even if your business doesn’t, tax laws and requirements almost certainly will, so you need a solution that can be changed or that is developed by a major Vendor who caters for these mass legislative (and other) changes.

So you’ve made the bold step, done your research, and have a new ERP solution – now it’s time to reap the rewards! Just remember to keep an open mind and review all the benefits (current and potential) to your new ERP solution and I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the rewards.

Some of the more common improvements experienced are:

  • Reduction in operational costs
  • Better inventory management
  • Less waste
  • Increased profit margins and increased revenue
  • Happier customers because you are more responsive
  • Increased productivity
  • Better reporting and visibility

Conclusion
There are many ERP solutions on the market and without a doubt they can help you do business better and improve your business in any manner of ways. The price of ERP solutions has never been better and with the variety of deployment options, you can pay upfront, monthly and / or have your solution hosted. And there is plenty of help out there when selecting an ERP system.

Need more help: see our Resources page:

  • Enabling 10 Questions Series Selecting ERP System Booklet
  • Enabling 10 Questions Series Selecting ERP System in Cloud Booklet
  • How to choose an Accounting System Booklet

More questions? Talk to one of our Enabling ERP experts, click here to Contact Us.

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