Why is ERP Software Important to Small Businesses?

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: February 6, 2021

At some point, most entrepreneurs will see their business needs start to outgrow the capabilities of their basic accounting software. When that happens, it can be a stressful time. Without knowing what the future holds, small business owners must make decisions that will affect their business, especially when it comes to investments in new tech. So how do you choose the tools that will help your businesses grow? Which tools will still make sense one, two, or even five years down the road?

Dilemmas like these highlight the importance of ERP software for small businesses. As the CEO of Third Stage Consulting Group, I have worked with hundreds of small businesses as they embark on their own digital transformation journeys. One lesson that I think is invaluable to all small businesses is to not underestimate the importance of ERP software. Here are a few ways enterprise-level software can help your small business.

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Alleviate QuickBooks growing pains

QuickBooks is great, but the software itself can only handle so much. If growth is constantly on your mind, transitioning to ERP software is a rational next step. ERP software offers a combination of tools that can alleviate many operational bottlenecks that stem from simpler, but overburdened software.

This strain on small business software builds up over time, and there are usually a few early red flags that indicate that you may be outgrowing your current software implementation. For example, are you thinking about adding additional products or skews in the near future? Do you want to handle inventory without purchasing additional software add-ons? You may appreciate QuickBooks for its user-friendly interface and pervasive market-share, but at some point, it may be a better business strategy to transition to a new caliber of software — one that’s designed to wear many more hats.

Raise your software expectations

When it comes to automating and managing the different digital realms of your business, nothing surpasses ERP software. There are several reasons why this is true for small businesses. The first is that many organizations rely on manual processes in their day-to-day workflows.

Some of these processes, especially in industries like manufacturing, need to remain manual because we don’t have the technology to automate them yet. However, there are many processes, regardless of your industry, that can be optimized if automated. ERP systems act as a digital catalyst and provide various benefits such as increasing efficiency, streamlining operations, and in a lot of cases, cutting operational costs.

Another way ERP is revolutionary to small businesses is data collection. These days, good data is worth its weight in gold. ERP software can aid in collecting a variety of new data and help you track and digest it, turning it into actionable insight.

In addition to the two fields mentioned above, a digital transformation can help small businesses remedy a variety of different business aspects, from sales to production, customer service, finance, inventory management, human capital management, and everything in between.

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Grow and support your digital future

During the current global pandemic, small businesses are feeling the squeeze of volatile market conditions more than ever. Companies now face building pressure from competitors to be flexible, adapt to changing market expectations, and find new ways to thrive. One of the best ways to rise and meet these new expectations is to invest in your digital strategy.

ERP software allows any business, big or small, to operate on a higher plane. It’s a type of technology that enables higher growth and profits by breaking down the barriers between eCommerce, finance, and customer relationship management. When it comes to accommodating aspirations of scale, ERP software can help you grow and support your business needs by supporting your digital future.

Continue your digital transformation

Have questions about what an ERP implementation would look like for your small business? Feel free to reach out to me directly, my team and I are always happy to give helpful advice or brainstorm ideas with you as you define your digital transformation journey.

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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