Contrary to popular belief, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are not just for big brands and corporations. The notion that ERP software, applications, or systems are useful mainly for tracking inventories or sales orders doesn’t quite represent the whole picture about what ERP brings to the table for businesses of all sizes.
There’s also the myth that it’s expensive to buy an ERP system, again because ERPs are commonly associated with multinational brands.
We’re here to tell you that even if you’re quite new in the business, chances are, you can benefit from having an ERP system too. In this infographic, we’ll take a closer look at ERP from the point of view of someone who wants effective solutions for challenges that are common to small businesses.
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What Does ERP Do for Small Businesses?
Before we delve into the uses and benefits of ERP for your business, it’s important to put ERP into proper context first. If the long-form label Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) doesn’t quite give you a clear picture of what it is or what it does, then the simplest way to look at it is to think of all the processes and data that are part of your business—and then think of ERP as a means of integrating all those things into a single system using a single database.
So, even if your sales and inventory teams belong to different units, both of them can have ready access to any information they need thanks to a shared database, which is a core feature of any ERP system.
Even if you’re a local small or mid-sized enterprise (SME) in the Philippines, the fact that you have staff, customers, and overall operations to manage makes it important that you start looking for a reliable ERP system in the Philippines.
Here’s what you can gain from utilizing ERP solutions in your organization:
1. Streamlined Process
Regardless of the size of your business, your operations will cover everything from planning to research and development all the way to marketing, customer service, and after-sales. ERP systems allow you to integrate all these aspects using a single database, software, and platform.
By having a single point of reference, ERP users are able to coordinate all activities of your organization without the need for extra steps, processes, or tools. This can be particularly useful in avoiding the pitfalls of poor customer service, which costs businesses as much as $75 billion a year.
With an ERP system in place, your help desk and tech support can just look at your CRM data and provide assistance to customers in a fast and efficient manner without giving them the runaround.
2. Customized Solutions
ERP systems come in different shapes and sizes, but they can be tailored to suit the nature of your business. Not only is ERP applicable to companies involved in retail or logistics business, but you can also derive a lot of functionalities from ERP for service-oriented industries like healthcare, tourism, or hospitality.
The key is in tying up the right ERP system for your business model by determining which ERP features are must-haves and which ones are nice-to-haves for your organization.
3. Accessibility of Data
When it comes to accessibility, ERP systems fall into two categories, namely on-premise ERP and cloud ERP. As the name implies, the first one can only be accessed on-site, giving you internal control over your ERP software. This has better use for big companies with complex IT requirements and infrastructure.
But with more and more smaller businesses taking advantage of cloud services, ERP solutions are leaning toward cloud-based technologies nowadays. Because this type or ERP is hosted on the web, you can access your ERP system remotely from anywhere or from any device at any given time. So even if you’re constantly traveling away from the office, you’ll be able to see figures about your company’s production, inventory, or sales in real-time.
4. More Quality Social Engagement
Billions of people around the world are using social media to connect with their community or with their favorite brands. Needless to say, it’s important for you to have a social media strategy as you try to drive engagement from your customers or target audience.
At the same time, you need to be able to track your brand’s social engagement across multiple platforms to help you determine which of them are giving your business mileage. ERP products and services come with social integration features that let you keep track of any likes, shares, comments, or mentions pertaining to your brand.
5. Better Predictive Analytics
Digital technologies are paving way for the so-called big data phenomenon. As a business, you’ll most likely encounter large volumes of data coming from a variety of sources like emails, websites, and other online applications. With so much data in your hands, you’ll need a central repository where you can store and organize bits and pieces of information, which you can later use to guide your business decisions.
ERP systems are designed to help you identify patterns in your data resources, such as which particular product or service has the highest demand volume during any given period, allowing you to conduct advance planning with your workforce or business suppliers.
The Bottom Line?
The use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) is equally relevant in your startup as it is with larger firms. ERP offers a good mix of strategy and tools—exactly what you need to grow your business.
Through ERP, everyone in your organization can enter data into a single database, so the same information is shared across the whole team. There’s also no need for end-users to spend additional time or log in to another interface re-entering data as it gets passed from one department to another.
And since access to data is possible via ERP cloud, everyone can get the information they need when they need it and use it to perform tasks or to direct their decisions. Last but not least, you can pull up data in your ERP system to help you or your employees with the preparation of reports.
When choosing an ERP provider, make sure that it fits the size and needs of your business. You don’t have to go full-scale all at once with an enterprise-level ERP system, some features of which might not be necessary for your business model.
When it comes to ERP systems in the Philippines, Hilsoft provides a great alternative for small businesses who are looking to have their customer management, business intelligence, and financial management rolled into one effective, affordable system. Contact us today!