ERP for Small Business
Small business is the backbone of the Singapore economy, but nowadays SMEs face challenges from overseas competition, changing FX patterns, and ongoing labour constraints. To compete effectively, small companies need strategic tools that enable them to streamline and fully integrate their business processes. Simply put, better efficiencies makes for better margins. And better margins means your company is still in business this time next year.
The tool SMEs are turning to to drive efficiency is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
ERP for Small Business in Singapore
ERP is commonly thought to be too expensive for small businesses. But in Singapore this simply isn’t the case. Setting up ERP solutions is nearly FREE as the Singapore government is keen to see small businesses in Singapore are run with productivity gains in mind. Businesses can get all the benefits of using an ERP solution, with limited costs thanks to PIC, ICV, and other government initiatives.
Why Should Small Business Use ERP?
ERP for small organizations offers distinctive functional and business process benefits like:
- Improved customer satisfaction (happier customers spend more!)
- Reduced operational costs (this is good!)
- Decreased manufacturing and planning cycle time (faster is good!)
- Reduced inventory levels (save cash!)
- Fewer errors in ordering and faster delivery processes (this is good!)
- Better intel to respond to evolving market conditions (change is scary!)
- Better resource utilization and reduced need for manpower (lower costs again!)
ERP enables small organizations to improve their profitability by automating business processes and making company information available across all functional departments. This in turn helps them to respond quickly to changing market conditions.
By integrating all the business process of your company into a single system, efficiencies can be identified and improved upon. ERP combines modules like financial, manufacturing, materials management, logistics, sales , distribution, and human resources into a single system. The combined work-flows help insure that inventory levels are reduced, machine down time is decreased, products are manufactured only per demand, and delivered to the client in most efficient way.
Because ERP software is modular you can include or remove the modules you need to fit your business and your internal work-flows. For example, most businesses benefit from an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module and Accounting module. But a company that doesn’t do manufacturing might not need a Material Management module. Customization is easy and part of a starting implementation package offered by any ERP vendor.
Built-In Best Practices
ERP for small business offers extended functionality enabling organizations to adopt preconfigured scenarios and templates, based on process best practices and know-how. This translates into rapid and easy implementation with little up-front investment and quicker return on investment. It also potentially helps companies adopt processes that have been time-tested and may be better than their existing work-flows.
Going with Cloud-Based ERP
These days most small businesses are opting for a cloud-based ERP solution over on-sight ERP servers and infrastructure. The main reason is of course budget related. A cloud-based ERP system is typically cheaper in terms of upfront costs and by using a monthly subscription small businesses can spread expenses over time in an affordable manner. Small firms can buy licenses only for the users that actually work with the ERP system, and they are not required to spent money on IT resources needed to support an on premise and large scale system.
Quick ERP Impementation
As a cloud ERP is fully managed, hosted and supported by the ERP provider, there is no need for infrastructure and hardware set up or software installation. The ERP implementation process is entirely focused on solution customization and company data import.
No Need for ERP Architecture
Cloud ERP releases small organizations from the burden of maintaining and managing the applications, infrastructure and hardware associated with an ERP system. Cloud ERP companies provide better and faster troubleshooting and maintenance services as they manage and run the entire environment including software, database, infrastructure and hardware. Instead small businesses can focus on and devote efforts to their core processes and new market opportunities.
ERP for Small Business Makes Sense
Automating business processes across all functional departments is one of the easiest ways to identify and remove inefficiencies in your small business. Fewer inefficiencies means higher margins and higher profits. The Singapore government recognizes the importance of productivity improvements and heavily subsidizes the costs of a new ERP solution for small businesses. It’s worth finding out how much your business could improve by implementing an ERP system.