Do you own a small or medium-sized business? Well if you do, you surely know the importance of ERP in running it smoothly. Considering the size of your business, you must be wary of the need to purchase ERP software that specifically suits all your needs. Don’t be because we have a great solution for you. To be honest, an ERP can be employed in any business, irrespective of its size and this is why you should give it a shot too.
We will tell you everything about ERP for small businesses in this blog, which will help you get a clearer understanding of the concept and the details involved.
How an ERP Helps a Business?
An ERP for small businesses has several positive impacts, which speak volumes about the need to have one such software for yourself. It helps you use all the resources that you have access to. This not only improves efficiency but also reduces wastage and enhances management insights.
It also increases the productivity of your business and helps you understand what goes on in your enterprise by providing a clearer picture. Here are some of the essential benefits of ERP for small businesses:
a. Easy Management
ERP facilitates the management of business and responsibilities by helping you plan processes in advance and budget them accordingly. It also helps with easy data management and monitors regulatory standards, thereby providing your business the safety that is essential to its growth. Lastly, it helps you identify opportunities for yourself and your business and gives you an edge over your competitors.
Easy management of the business will directly have an impact on the number of risks that your business may have to face. A good ERP will help you handle risks proficiently with a pinch of reliability and accuracy. This will in turn provide you with an upper hand in predicting the future of your enterprise.
c. Employee Coordination
When all your functioning will be grouped under one roof, with the help of an ERP software, the interaction between your employees will increase drastically. You will also be able to directly communicate with employees of other facilities and reduce the need for being physically present.
d. Better Customer Relations
A good ERP software will help you deliver goods and services to your customers within lesser time and this will increase customer satisfaction thereby, having a direct effect on your business’ goodwill. It will make their experience of availing your services better, which will further have a positive impact for you.
e. Forecasting Demand and Supply
ERP for small business has the ability to accurately predict demand and supply of your business through a bunch of statistics and their in-depth analysis, buying patterns, knowledge of events, latest trends and consumer behaviour.
Benefits of ERP for Small Business
An ERP for small business has some key benefits that help your business grow manifold, easily. ERP makes your business:
- Faster: It helps fasten the processes in your business like procurement, production, sales and customer service among others. It provides better insight into how the business is performing across the globe.
- Simpler: It accustoms itself to the roles, preferences and workflows of your team. It also offers safe cloud and mobile access to all the information related to your business and streamlines the management of your enterprise.
- Flexible: It meets the specific needs of your small business and gives you total control over your data and IT strategy.
ERP also reduces costs, enhances productivity, provides agility and integrates the several departments of your business like no other software can ever do. An ERP comes with innumerable benefits, which you must avail and see for yourself.
Other ERP Software Benefits
Here are some other benefits of an ERP for small business:
- It streamline workflows and processes.
- It enhances visibility and promotes transparency.
- It helps in better decision-making by analyzing all aspects of your business.
- It improves data security and increases opportunities for better collaboration.
- It scales operations to match the growing needs of your business.
What is ERP? ERP for Small Business
Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP for small business was developed in 1992 by IBM engineers looking to refine and automate workflows. It is a software designed to provide you with an affordable, easy-to-use and secure way to manage business processes. It helps your organize day-to-day processes and ensure its smooth functioning.
When Should ERP be Implemented?
There are typically three signs which signify the necessity to implement ERP for small business. You should look for these within your enterprise and take further steps accordingly:
- Rising Number of Employees: A larger number of employees will require better coordination and collaboration and this is where ERP helps.
- Increased Funding: If you have recently increased the funds of your business, you can implement ERP, which is more sustainable and reliable.
- Boosting Customer Demand: If the demands of your customers are increasing rapidly, it is time to implement ERP which will facilitate its functioning.
How to Implement an ERP for Small Business?
To implement an ERP for small business, you must understand its capabilities and functions. Take all your senior managers on board and put an experienced ERP implementation team to work. You must give your employees appropriate training and allow for system upgrades and future changes.
List of Best ERP for Small Business and Comparison Criteria
Here is a list of the top 10 ERP for small business which you can choose from:
|ERP Software||Best For|
|SYSPRO ERP||Flexibility and Ease of Use|
|Dolibarr ERP CRM||Free ERP system|
|Versa Cloud ERP||Inventory-heavy businesses|
|Honey Book||End-to-end Project Management|
|Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP||Sophisticated supply chain requirements|
|Quick Books Enterprise||QuickBooks Users|
|NetSuite ERP||Businesses with a global presence|
|Odoo.com||Open-source ERP solution|
Overview of Best ERP for Small Business
a. Genius ERP
Genius ERP encompasses features like accurate estimating, inventory control, order management, procurement planning and accounts management. It also has extra features like product engineering and field service and costs $125 per month.
DELMIAWorks has certain core features like manufacturing and inventory control, sales and financial management. It is available at $35 per month and also offers a 15-day free trial.
c. SYSPRO ERP
The modular nature of SYSPRO ERP facilitates customization and comes with additional options like warehouse management and inventory control. It costs $199 per month.
d. Dolibarr ERP CRM
This ERP combines itself with customer relationship management or CRM. It is quite popular and described as a “value for money” product. It costs $9 per month and a free trial is also available.
e. Versa Cloud ERP
This is a cloud-based solution that may be accessed from anywhere through a desktop or mobile devices. It provides real-time financial and operational insights so that you can make more informed decisions and costs $149 per month for 3 users.
This ERP system encompasses features like electronic signatures, expense tracking and organized calendars. It costs just $9 per month and also offers a 7-day free trial.
g. Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
This ERP system includes material planning, financial accounting software and business intelligence among other top-notch facilities. It costs $ 175 per month and has no free trial available.
h. QuickBooks Enterprise
This software has features like cost accounting reporting, GAAP inventory management and the ability to deal with large data sets. It is relatively easy to use and is available at $140.84 per month.
i. NetSuite ERP
This system is an integrated solution that helps you automate e-commerce, inventory management, supply chain management, financials as well as CRM. It is relatively costlier and is priced at $499 per month.
This ERP solution helps you streamline your entire business without any additional software. It costs $24 per month and the company also offers a 15-day free trial to its customers.
Key Features of ERP
Here are some of the core features of ERP for small business. A good ERP Software helps you with:
- Accounting: It simplifies financial report and manage resource allocation.
- Human Resources: It helps administer HR business functions with speed and accuracy.
- Inventory Management: It tracks information on product supply to ensure optimal stock levels.
- Business Intelligence: It analyses data to help in decision-making.
- Manufacturing: It improves predicting so that budgets can be distributed correctly.
- Supply Chain Management: It tracks goods throughout the entire supply chain.
- Customer Relationship Management: It manages interactions and ensures their satisfaction.
- Automation: It simplifies business processes for greater efficiency.
- Analysis and Reporting: It provides comprehensive data for better decision-making.
- Customer Service: It simplifies complex processes.
How to Choose the Right ERP for Small Business?
Before you choose anything, you need to understand which type of ERP suits your business model. In our opinion, the following list of ERPs will best suit your business:
- Cloud-based ERP: These are low cost and easily modifiable. They rely on the web for functioning therefore, they are good for your business as you have to budget smartly. A small business does not have large infrastructure and so, this ERP will work for you.
- Open-source ERP: The source code of such ERPs is publicly available so they can be freely accessed and customized. They do not require a vendor thereby, making them a great choice for your small business.
- Free proprietary ERP: These are a limited version of a full-fledged ERP software. You can use the free trials for a short span of time, before using the paid version. As a small business you can give it a shot.
- Proprietary ERP: These are fully paid ERPs, but some of their features are well-suited for the different functions of a small business. If you have the resources, this can be a good option.
After choosing which ERP you want, you should assess its abilities separately along the following parameters:
The ERP industry is seeing certain new trends and three of them are very critical in the present scenario:
- Mobile app for ERP
- ERP integration in social media
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Other ERP for Small Business
You can check the following list of ERP for small business which are really good to work with.
- Allprowebtools.com: Best for a simple, all-in-one solution
- Microsoft Dynamics 365: Best for Microsoft-savvy workplaces
- Mothernode.com: Best for getting more done in less time
- Open Pro ERP: Best for open source LAMP technology
- ERP Gold: Best for multi-channel businesses
- Easy ERP: Best open source for small businesses
- Kechie ERP: Best for an integrated cloud solution
- Rover ERP: Best for tailored workflows
- Marg ERP: Best for businesses based in India
- Katana: Best for live inventory management
- M1 ERP: Best for real-time operational visibility
- E2 Manufacturing System: Best for job shops
- Realtrac: Best for shop management
- MRP Easy: Best for self service
- Visco: Best for importers
- Pilot ERP: Best for small manufacturers
- ERP 123: Best for a flexible, affordable solution
- Priority AccountEdge: Best for Mac users
- ERPAG for GSuite: Best for a Google Workplace solution
- SAP Business One: Best for industry-specific customizations
5 Most Important Modules of ERP for Small Business
The ERP module you choose must contain an application programming interface (API). API refers to an interface that defines connections between several software intermediaries. Basically, it sends a message from one software and receives a signal from another, thereby helping in end-to-end automation. Here are the five most important modules that your ERP should definitely have:
- Finance and accounting module
- ERP for HR
- Sales and Marketing Module
- Customer Relationship Management
- Supply Chain Management
Methodology for Ranking the Top ERP for Small Business
There is a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodology that is used in ranking the top ERP for small business. Here is a list of the methodology that is employed to analyze the top-performing ERP spftware:
- Customer adoption rate among small businesses
- Ease of implementation, including average time and total cost of ownership
- Breadth and depth of functionality
- Flexibility of solutions
- Scalability of solutions
- Ease of integration to third-party systems
- Vendor’s product roadmap and overall viability
- Ease of organizational change management and training
- Strength of vendor ecosystem, such as system integrators and partners
- Return on investment
Best ERP Software for Small Business
There are three main ERP software which are very often used by small businesses and believe us, they really work wonders.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: This ERP helps you with business and fiscal management and includes features like financial reporting, supply chain management, customer relationship management and project tracking. It costs $70 per month.
- NetSuite ERP: This ERP is offered on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis.
- SAP Business One: This ERP software includes features like financial management, CRM, supply chain management, purchasing and procurement and reporting and analytics.
Types of ERP for Small Business
There are certain ERP software, designed for small businesses only and you must try them if you own a small business:
a. ERP Software Designed Only for Small Businesses
These software can be on-premise or web-based although, web-based is more common for small businesses due to its lower upfront cost. Such software are less complex than others as they come with limited functionality to reduce costs. Such specific ERPs do not require you to pay for features you do not need.
b. Cloud ERP Software
This is a prominent choice among most small businesses due to the low upfront costs and lower SaaS monthly payments. This software is entirely online and easy to set up. You can add or remove modules as needed to customize the solution to your business’ needs as and when it grows.
c. Industry-specific ERP Software
Industry-specific ERP software cater to the unique needs of your business. Distribution, food production and manufacturing, manufacturing, project management and supply chain management are the most-frequently represented industries.
Cost of ERP for Small Business
ERP pricing varies due to a variety of factors like the number of concurrent users, additional modules, implementation costs, ongoing maintenance, scalability and training. While some plans are available for $20 per month per user, others are sold at $5,000 per month. You must expect to invest between $25,000 to $150,000 on an ERP system for your business.
Be aware of hidden costs which can make the ERP software more expensive. The ERP vendor you choose should help you choose only the functionalities you need to ensure that the ERP is cost-effective.
Top 5 Reasons to Upgrade to ERP Software
Here are the top five reasons why you must upgrade to ERP software right now:
- ERP enhances customer service
- ERP reduces costs
- ERP helps your business grow
- ERP provides real-time data
- ERP simplifies things
In this blog, we have listed the major ERP software for small businesses, which will definitely help your business thrive. ERP has several benefits and you can always refer to the given set of points, which will help you get a clear understanding of which ERP is best for your business.