To Cloud ERP or not to Cloud ERP: that is the question?
“To ERP or not to ERP?” is the question on every businessman’s mind especially small businessmen. Acquiring a business solution is an important investment that a business must make, yet many of the smaller players have the misconception that they are ‘too small’ for an ERP. SMB’s historically didn’t have the funds or technical support to create the infrastructure necessary to use these solutions. Therefore, small businesses ended up creating a fragmented business structure made up of several standalone solutions to handle finance, inventory, sales, payroll and more. This creates a nightmare of sorts in terms of duplication of effort due to navigation issues between solutions, reporting nightmares and data portability issues.
As a matter of fact, no business is now too small for an ERP solution as cloud ERP solutions offer the same software functionalities and features as top of the line solutions at a fraction of the cost of traditional legacy based on-premise ERP solutions.
Small business and ERP: Is there a fit?
In a small company, employees wear multiple hats as everyone pitches in based on need. Valuable time is lost if you manually process multiple spreadsheets and create reports based on mountains of data? As the business expands and transactions increase, it becomes more time-consuming and difficult to process a larger volume of data as manual management of business processes become much more tedious or if it is distributed across standalone solutions e.g. inputting sales and purchase orders from various clients, updating inventory, manual stock checks, processing invoices, billing, creating reports, compliance and keeping track of client interactions etc.
ERP systems are able to blend and automate key business functions management and transaction easily and quickly with inbuilt compliance with a few clicks.
Transparency: All relevant data can be shared and accessed by all the departments. This eliminates the need to re-enter or export data, which results in lesser errors, increased productivity and reduced expenses.
Decision-making: Real time data provided by the system can be beneficial for marketing, management, accounting, and enables the organization to make vital decisions on time. Teams can detect any potential obstacles or issues that may upset productivity levels. An accurate overall picture of operations in real time allows for business leaders to make effective decisions and respond quickly to contingencies. The software available to today’s businesses allows for advanced reporting options and business analysis capabilities that can help business owners gain a better outlook of operations, trends, forecasts, planning and even managing customer/supplier relationships. By accessing analytical reports and performance metrics, you can work to tweak strategies and eliminate those that aren’t working, and to come up with new strategies that are relevant.
Productivity: With increased clarity by streamlined business processes, staff can shift their focus on managing increased volumes of business transactions. ERP software solutions allow supervisors and other managers to easily track every phase of a project in real time. It also allows all of your team members to work together productively across your organization in a collaborative fashion, no matter where your employees are located. This will enable employees to understand and add value to the larger vision of the enterprise and work towards it together, creating a synergy which will increase productivity across the company.
Financial Growth: Implementing ERP software ensures highly-integrated business functions including modules such as: finance, human resource management, sales, marketing, supply chain etc. An ERP solution with a finance and accounting module guarantees that the enterprise has compliance in accounting, tax management and capital management.
How will it make business sense?
As a small business you want to invest in the most cost-effective solution that meets your needs in terms of cost & ease of use & functionalities and fits your industry in terms of compliance.
Here are key factors to consider when choosing which ERP is best for you:
Ease of Use: Consider the learning curve involved. Is it user-friendly?
Customization: Is the dashboard customizable and what is the level of customization required in the ERP to make it feasible? (Too much customization will inflate costs and reduce feasibility) Highly customized systems will create a higher cost burden. You must design a workflow that works for you and ask the vendor to run the demo based on that.
Scaling: Is it easy to upscale or down scale based on need? The ‘freemium’ software (small, basic packages) will be too difficult to scale as your business grows.
Affordability: Is the cost burden conducive to your cash flow or does it upset your financials?
Functionality: Does it have the functionality required for your business and what are the additional features that you initially had not thought of but are present and could help your business?
Upgrades: Beware of the mandatory upgrades that compromise uptime or add to costs, unless you are purchasing additional components; make sure fees don’t increase after you start using the solution.
Security Measures: Ensure that the security of your data and be aware of how to play your role in the system to prevent data violations with minimal time and cost imperatives on your part.
Support Service: Take into account the commitment of support is offered by the vendor and find out if there are any additional costs for troubleshooting. It is a good idea to contact current users of the solution for the quality of the experience before you sign up.
ROI: The goal here is to accurately forecast your ROI by taking into account all relevant costs including hidden costs before adopting it.
With many SMB enterprises looking to reduce operational cost while growing in the competitive business industry, many are adopting this genre of software.
OUR VALUE PROPOSITION
We at Versa Cloud ERP have created a multi award winning, secure, comprehensive Cloud ERP solution that is e-commerce and mobility ready. The Versa Small Business Cloud ERP dba VersAccounts system is accessible anytime, and on any smart mobile device. It provides support for e-Commerce and Multi-Channel Retail includes integration with 3rd party e-commerce platforms as well as POS systems.
In addition, the VersAccounts Small Business Cloud ERP system includes the ability to remotely manage Master Data on multiple e-commerce and POS systems including product description, pricing, images, etc.
It is affordable and targeted towards small businesses and is backed by a promise of dedicated support. It is being used by clients in diverse verticals and could help you redefine the way you operate and grow your business.
Our solution is designed for fast growing small businesses, between $1-$50 M in annual revenue, looking to upgrade business management solutions like entry-level accounting products or mid-tier legacy on-premise ERP systems or even those looking at comprehensive and affordable ERP solutions.
Built from the ground up on the latest cloud and mobile technology, the Versa Cloud ERP system allows businesses to automate and optimize their operations across multiple companies, countries, and currencies with one integrated ERP system.
We will help you in a structured manner to migrate your data seamlessly from Epicor, Infor, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, MYOB, Sage, SAP Business One etc when you make the decision.
We’d love to hear from you.