Small Businesses Can Benefit from an ERP System

Small Businesses Can Benefit from an ERP System
by Nilesh Mandani

Most small business manufacturers and distributors want the same basic features of an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, e.g. purchasing, order management, inventory control, manufacturing, warehouse management, financials, customer relationship management, and business intelligence.

But given their relatively limited internal resources, many small businesses question if they can take advantage of the full functionality of their ERP system, as well as if they can complete ERP implementation in a short period of time. The answer is, of course! Though, the degree to which small businesses can achieve an ROI (return of investment) from ERP implementation depends on the implementation method of their vendor.

During ERP implementation, a small business must work closely with its project manager to determine the core functions, processes, and rules that the system has to deliver by the go live date. At the end of the implementation process, the company should be able to carry out all necessary transactions in the manufacturing or distribution software system, as well as operate faster, easier, and more cost-effective than before the implementation. They should also begin to realize an ROI.

After implementation, what happens to a small business and how it uses its ERP system depends on the ERP vendor’s degree of involvement, as well as its plan to roll out additional features in the months following the implementation. The ERP vendor project manager and implementation team should continue to work with the company after the implementation period to create a post-go live plan to add extra functionalities. This will allow the organization to realize an ROI on its ERP software. The post-implementation plan may include leveraging features such as remote warehouse management.

An ERP system has thousands of features and functions that a small business can take advantage of. Making the most of an ERP system depends on the implementation method of the vendor, though. If the ERP vendor has worked with its small business clients before in coming up with plans to leverage the extra features of an ERP system, then the organization will be in a favorable position to realize an ROI in the months and years after the implementation period.