When speaking with growing SMEs, I’m often asked, “How can Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) reduce costs across our business?”. It’s a very valid question that every small business owner will ask when considering the implementation of a new system.

The truth is there are many ways in which ERP systems help organisations save money. Firstly, because systems are typically end-to-end, it helps SMEs reduce the amount of applications required to complete daily tasks. I’ve known some companies reduce their annual IT budget by nearly £100k just by stripping out all their disparate solutions in favour of SAP Business One.

There are other ways that an SME can realise a return on their ERP investment. The automated nature of a business management system means you’ll instantly become more efficient and productive. That’s a benefit every user of an ERP solution enjoys.

How can ERP help a business?

ERP solutions are proven to help SMEs make significant savings by improving stock management and eliminating unnecessary inventory spending by accurately forecasting demand. SMEs can also avoid purchasing surplus stock by gaining better control over their supply chain.

By streamlining processes and ensuring you meet customer demand, you’ll also increase satisfaction levels within your client base and improve the chances of repeat or return business. An ERP solution is the cornerstone of every successful business. It’s also no coincidence that organisations that manage to accommodate growth do so with an integrated solution.

How can ERP help internal control?

Running a growing business can be tricky. It’s difficult to juggle multiple plates. And with so much going on at one time, it’s difficult to allocate time and focus on tasks that matter. That’s where ERP solutions come into their own.

Business management systems help organisations take back control. Tasks are simplified; core processes can be completed automatically; and owners can get to grips with what’s really going on across their business.

By storing information in only one database means there’s a single source or truth across your business. There’s no extracting data from multiple systems to run reports. Everything that happens in your organisation is tracked and can be monitored to make better, more strategic decisions.

How can ERP improve a company’s productivity?

One of the biggest impacts an ERP solution has on business is increased productivity. Users love solutions like SAP Business One because it gets more done with less effort. The systematic nature of ERP means you no longer need to spend hours importing data into one system.

Organisations can maximise resources and improve outcomes without increasing overheads. It’s only by improving levels of productivity that your business can grow and reach its potential.

How can ERP improve business efficiency?

Just as an ERP solution helps an organisation become more productive, it also improves efficiency. What’s the different between productivity and efficiency? Think of it like this. Productivity = quantity. Efficiency = quality.

ERP is guaranteed to drive levels of efficiency across small businesses. Because you’re not constantly juggling plates with an ERP system, you can focus on driving levels of quality across your organisation for better outcomes.

Can lean and ERP work together?

Lean and ERP go hand in hand. It’s the perfect fit for organisations looking to trim both metaphorical and actual waste. For instance, ERP has been proven to help organisations achieve lean manufacturing and a streamlined inventory.

By providing 360-degree access into every aspect of an organisation, SMEs can quickly and accurately identify areas of waste that can be eliminated. In many cases, the deployment of an ERP solution is the platform SMEs need to go lean with predefined workflows that drive improvements.

Can ERP be used for accounting information?

One of the main drivers for the implementation of an ERP solution is outgrowing or becoming frustrated with existing accounting software. I’ve worked with hundreds of firms who initially used applications like QuickBooks, Xero or Sage 50, yet as their requirements evolved, these systems caused more problems than they actually solved.

The accounting and financial tools in an ERP solution take SMEs to the next level. You can manage chart of accounts, organise and sign off budgets, process incoming and outgoing payments, and control and monitor Fixed Assets. It’s all there. All these tools, plus much more, are included to help you professionally manage your finances.

Want to find out more about ERP and what it can do for your business? Get in touch today to arrange a free consultation with one of our product experts and see the benefits you could enjoy with an end-to-end solution.

Missed Part One of the ERP Basics series? Check it out here