Whether you're selling used cars or running an e-commerce business, you need systems in place to keep everything organized. Issues such as poor inventory controls or excessive labor spend can be detrimental to a company's bottom line -- and every penny counts for small and mid-sized businesses.
Rather than rely on several different software solutions to run your business, you may be able to get everything you need from an Enterprise Resource Planning package. ERP platforms such as SAP Business One not only provide these essential tools, they do so in a way that ensures every aspect of an organization blends seamlessly with the next.
Whether you're looking to upgrade your existing ERP package or try one for the first time, there are five clear benefits for SMEs -- and they all ultimately deliver a positive effect on the bottom line.
1. Increased Productivity
A lot of business processes can become increasingly complex and time-consuming over time. But ERP software automates many essential tasks -- freeing up time for you and your colleagues to concentrate on key objectives. For example, accounting or marketing tasks can be performed automatically in the background, on a cross-department basis. This means everyone within your organization has access to the same, real-time data, without having to spend precious time on data input and calculations.
2. Cut Costs
One of the clear benefits associated with ERP software is the ability to streamline operations and administrative tasks. Not only does this allow you to cut labor costs, it prevents payment delays, miscommunications and clerical errors that add to the overall cost of doing business.
For example, by linking payroll directly to accounting, the same data doesn't have to be entered twice. That's less time on administration, and more time for your customers. Not only that, you and your team can access real-time payroll data, and make scheduling decisions based on the changing needs of the business.
3. Improve Customer Service
A powerful ERP package such as SAP Business One ensures every department within a business is communicating with all the others -- all of the time. This helps to streamline the customer journey, and deliver a more satisfying purchasing experience for everyone.
For example, imagine a customer complains about a defective product you recently sold them. With an ERP package in operation, anyone with access could help the customer with their problem. A representative from the company could find the sale, log the complaint, order a replacement and inform the customer of an expected delivery date.
4. Manage Supply Chain and Inventory Issues Efficiently
The ability to order products in a timely and transparent way is crucial to the bottom line of any business. Having cash tied up in large inventories is never good for business, and can lead to potentially catastrophic cash-flow problems. ERP software manages purchasing -- avoiding sell-outs while keeping stock-holdings as low as possible. You can change ordering and stock-holding parameters whenever you wish, and view real-time reports for an accurate picture of the current inventory situation.
Especially in the case of the food and pharmaceutical industries you can get almost instant traceability for any product or inventory item both forward and backward, which can save money, time, and even lives in the case of a recall.
5. Scale Up Efficiently
Growth is hugely important for small and medium-sized businesses, but so is controlling costs. As your business grows, so does your ERP software. If you have this software in place from the outset, many of the financial and operations issues caused by expansion can be avoided. You won't miss out on business because of lost leads and opportunities. Sudden increases in stock-holdings can be managed effectively to minimize waste and cash-flow issues. And large increases in your workforce won't lead to administrative issues.
All five of these benefits ultimately lead to a healthier bottom line. By implementing a powerful ERP package today, you can concentrate all your efforts on developing your business.