• Zabe Siddique

6 Benefits Small Companies Get When They Use ERP

Not just for large companies, enterprise resource planning (ERP) is available in the cloud and ready to help organizations of all sizes reap the rewards of its unified business management approach.

Small businesses need easy to use, agile business solutions that are cost-effective, scale rapidly and support long-term innovation and growth. Too often, these enterprises are throttled by the entry-level software applications that were put in place early and never replaced or upgraded.

This leaves companies unable to scale, require too much manual intervention and eat away at both performance and profitability.

A top choice for small businesses that need a unified, cloud-based enterprise solution, NetSuite meets these firms’ evolving business requirements at every stage of growth. It not only runs their financials, customer relationship management (CRM) and ecommerce operations, but NetSuite also integrates easily with many of the applications that small businesses are already using (e.g., Shopify for ecommerce storefronts, Avalara for tax compliance, and Expensify for expense management, to name just a few).

Here are six more reasons all small businesses should consider replacing their disparate, aging and manually-intensive business applications with a unified ERP:

1. Improved data security. Modern ERP systems offer advanced user-permission settings. That means no more unsecured Excel sheets or Google documents for managing finances, accounting, inventory and other important functions. “ERP software is more secure and robust for these functions, and setting user permissions through ERP’s access control functionality can prevent sensitive data from ending up in the wrong hands,” Zach Hale writes in 7 Little-Known Benefits of ERP Systems. “Users will be able to access only what they need to from the system.”

2. Community-based knowledge and support. Many companies use ERPs and are actively involved with their respective platform’s online knowledge community. “If you experience an issue or problem, chances are someone else has experienced it too,” Hale points out. “All you need to do is run a simple search on your platform’s knowledge base for resolutions of less serious problems. These forums are pretty active, and you usually get answers from other users as well.”

3. Automated and streamlined daily processes. Inefficient processes and decentralized data mean greater labor costs for small companies that are already resource constrained. ERPs, on the other hand, can automate and streamline daily processes, freeing up your employees’ time to do things that actually generate revenue. “For example, software can automatically tie sales orders to the accounting system,” Hale writes, “or run reports without the need for complicated spreadsheets.”

4. Employees are freed up to focus on more important projects. By serving as a data center that establishes links across human resources, production, sales, customer support, inventory and supply, ERP software enables automatic data handling in the fastest and most effective way. As such it significantly reduces both paperwork and manual input. “This benefit results in a significantly smaller chance of human errors that can disrupt the production flow,” writes Light IT’s Alexander Roznovsky. “In addition, there is no need to convert data stored on paper into a digital format, which allows [companies] to direct respective human resources elsewhere.”

5. Improved customer service. A modern ERP platform also helps small businesses optimize their customer relationship management function. “Centralized data storage accumulates all necessary information on sales and clientele,” Roznovsky points out, “[making it] easier for sales managers and customer support staff to communicate with clients and reduces the delay before reacting to customers’ requests.”

6. Reduced redundancies and better productivity. Integrating and automating business processes on a unified ERP platform also helps companies reduce redundancies, improve accuracy and enhance productivity. “Departments with interconnected processes can now synchronize work to achieve faster and better outcomes,” Investopedia says. “Departments are better able to collaborate and share knowledge. A newly synergized workforce can improve productivity and employee satisfaction as employees [can] now see how each functional group contributes to the mission and vision of the company.”

You may have heard that ERP solutions are intimidating, but don't worry, the good news is that setting up an ERP can actually be quite simple when you select the right system and implementation partner. CEBA Solutions is a solution partner of NetSuite ERP and we help small business scale their businesses with NetSuite.

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