Think Enterprise Resource Planning is just for the big guys? It’s time to change your thinking. If you are a decision-maker for a small to medium-sized business (SMB), there’s a strong chance that ERP is a smarter way to do business. ERP isn’t magic, it’s simply an integrated suite of modules that can bring together the operational and transactional systems of record for your organization. The key word there is integration – which might sound intimidating to many smaller companies, but it’s that kind of innovation that is proving to be the most financially and technologically intelligent approach for SMBs.
As detailed in NetSuite’s “Think You’re Too Small for ERP? Think Again.” white paper, most SMBs hesitate to embrace ERP because they feel they don’t have the budget and expertise needed to deploy an integrated IT solution. But that’s precisely the point: ERP is modular, cloud-driven, and much easier to implement and maintain than a traditional rigid accounting system. The initial investment might seem like an intimidating expense, but what you stand to recoup in the realization of much greater operational efficiencies and a more effective workforce makes ERP implementation a brilliant move. And with cloud-based ERP systems like NetSuite, you no longer need the massive upfront capital investment that historically comes with an ERP.
While larger organizations have the resources to stand up complex and expensive solutions, there are also very affordable alternatives that provide a complete and integrated solution perfectly suited to SMBs. Here are some of the tell-tale signs you do indeed need an integrated solution:
- You’re not in control: Processes are manual; data is scattered in file cabinets, offline spreadsheets and across desktops. That data is transferred between desks four or five or even six or eight times, adding little value and introducing the risk of errors.
- You spend more time searching for data than you can really afford: You’re operating blind, not knowing where or when a crisis might develop. You need real-time data at your fingertips and you need better time management.
- You have no idea how and where to expand: Your business is growing. You want to continue to add new geographies and new market segments. But you have no visibility as to what aspect of the business was most profitable. Was it in healthcare in the northeast? Was it in commercial business on the west coast? Was it in government contracts? Lack of visibility leaves you with no logical next steps in your plans to grow.
- You can’t meet customer demand: Your inventory levels are rising, yet you still can’t seem to meet customer requested ship dates. How do you better forecast demand, lean out your inventory, and produce product just in time?
- Your office manager also manages your payroll and administers benefits: The same person who orders your office supplies is the person your employees turn to when they have a question or issue with their benefits. And this person also runs your payroll. Is that person expert and up-to-date on the latest payroll regulations? Is he/she still using spreadsheets? Are they 100% error-free? Do you have a backup if this person is ill, injured or takes an extended leave of absence?
- You have no IT staff: The closest you have to an Information Technology (IT) staff is that bright kid you hired to manage your internal network, your laptops and phones. Technology is leaving you behind but you’re growing and would rather invest in revenue-generating activities, not overhead.
- Cash is tight: Whether you need to finance your supply chain costs or invest in growth, credit is still tight. You are handicapped in maintaining a close eye on cash and liquidity.
Download the full white paper to learn more about how NetSuite’s cloud-based solutions can offer your organization the same business systems technology platform as Fortune 1000 companies. Also, contact me to discuss your organization’s specific business requirements and we can help you determine next steps.