In today’s economy, things change quickly. If you want your small to medium-sized business (SMB) to run smoothly while remaining competitive, you must invest in the right resources. There’s no question that managing a growing small business can quickly become an unwieldy endeavour—especially if you’ve outgrown your business processes. You need to go paperless and find a software solution that can streamline your functions and scale as you grow.
That’s where an integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) system comes in. ERP is a software platform that seamlessly manages several key business functions using a single interface. It’s an all-in-one system for tracking customer data and marketing campaigns, managing orders, and so much more.
But is an ERP really the right solution for your small to medium-sized business? Integrated ERP systems are just as essential to SMBs as they are to large corporate enterprises, yet ERPs such as NetSuite, QT9, Acumatica, and others often fail to cater to the unique needs of SMBs.
It might be time to consider a cloud-based small to medium-sized business resource planning (SMB RP) solution to get enterprise-level support that is specially tailored to you. Read on to discover the key differences between ERPs and SMB RPs.
ERP: Good for Business
The main feature of an ERP system is a shared database that supports and integrates several functions within your business. This can allow you to do away with scattered spreadsheets, lengthy email chains, multiple documents, and several computer programs, ensuring that your business’ valuable data is organized and easily accessible.
A certain degree of synchronization and automation, especially with cloud-based ERP solutions, can greatly improve communication and visibility as well—both internally and customer-facing. With the massive reduction of manual or spreadsheet-based processes, there’s a smaller margin for error, which is essential since even tiny mistakes can have a huge impact on an SMB. One single integrated system is also helpful in saving on costly IT expenses that are associated with the maintenance of separate applications or outdated methods.
ERP: But Is It Good for Your SMB?
Even given the benefits mentioned above, using an ERP platform for your SMB is an oxymoron, when you really think about it. ERP has “enterprise” right in the title—so is it really suitable for your small to medium-sized business?
While SMBs can benefit from an ERP solution, it doesn’t always mean that they will unless they find a solution that is better tailored to their particular business needs. There are various ERP platforms that claim to be suitable for small businesses, so it’s important to do your research and determine what your business requirements beforehand.
Absorbing the cost of investing in the wrong ERP-related solution can be significantly detrimental for SMBs. If the resource planning system isn’t flexible, scalable, or integrated fully enough, it can contribute to an even greater sense of disorganization within your business.
Have you considered a small to medium-sized business resource planner?
SMB RP: Why You Need It
A key difference between an ERP and an SMB RP is that an enterprise resource planning solution like those offered by NetSuite forces your business to change its accounting software. A general ledger (GL) is at the core of ERPs financial management system and is used to manage the books, generate financial reports, and take care of all the accounting.
However, completely changing your accounting software is not always convenient or financially viable for SMBs, which makes ERPs a less seamless option. By using an SMB RP that is specifically tailored to your business—not just enterprises—you can benefit from ability to integrate the accounting software you already use. That means full, seamless integration with Sage Online, QuickBooks Online, Xero, or whichever accounting software that is already in place.
If you’re a small to medium-sized business looking for a solution with all the benefits of an ERP, but that doesn’t force you to change over to GL accounting, you need an SMB RP.