Computers have long since become an integral facet of companies of all shapes and sizes. With computer systems becoming more complex and adaptable, they have been able to meet the demands of both giant manufacturing organizations and small B2B operations. For companies both large and small, there comes a point when operations are made much easier by implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
What is an ERP?
An ERP system is essentially a database designed to track all of a company’s tools and processes in one place. While in the past, ERP systems were mainly used by manufacturing and distribution companies, today they can help with processes that affect all types of businesses like:
- Supply Chain and Inventory Management
- Back End Finance and Accounting
- Customer Service
- Human Resources
For startups, it can be difficult to know when an ERP system becomes necessary. Even with lower cost cloud-based software options, implementation takes time and money. At the same time, ERP can bring a new level of efficiency to your startup saving you more than enough time and money in the long run than you would spend setting it up. If you’re experiencing the following scenarios at your startup, it’s time to start looking for an ERP system.
When should my business start looking for an ERP?
#1: You Have More Questions Than Answers About Key Business Information
Business success is dependent on knowing how your business is running. As you get your startup off the ground, performance metrics are crucial for understanding where and when to respond. Metrics like average sales margin, sales to date, and marketing campaign statistics can be difficult to access if they are being tracked independently or even manually. ERP systems can connect the dots between sales, accounting, and other functions to help you get the same information immediately.
#2: You’re Seeing Sales Slow Down and Customer Complaints Go Up
No matter which industry you’re in, customers are at the core of your business. This includes both future and current customers. If you reach a point where sales have slowed, it can mean you’re not reaching all of the potential customers that you can. At the same time, if you reach a point where customer complaints are getting worse, it signals that you’re not meeting their expectations. Consolidating operations with ERP has proven to quickly translate into both a smoother customer experience and better sales through client advocacy.
#3: Your Business is Growth is Causing More Headaches
They say more money, more problems, but startups aren’t meant to remain stagnant. Growth is always paramount to success. Once you have your foundation established, you are most likely looking for ways to grow your business. At this point, the accounting system, inventory system, or CRM system you have been using may no longer cut it. ERP lets you bring inventory, sales, operations, and accounting into the same frame. At the same time, you should look at whether your competitors are using ERP systems—it can be a competitive advantage as you grow!
It sounds like I’m ready for an ERP, but where do I start?
So you’ve determined that your startup is ready for an Enterprise Resource Planning system. Now what? The available software options can be a bit overwhelming. The key is to take your time and do some research on the options that will best fit your needs. Online customer reviews are a great place to start as you plan out ERP system implementation. Once you find a great fit, your startup is sure to benefit!
While you’re looking for systems to scale with your growing startup, finding the right accounting provider should be at the top of your list. Save time researching your options with The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Accounting & Tax Options which covers all the options out there so you can see and understand your alternatives in one place. The best part? You can use the interactive exercises to compare vendors side-by-side to help see which solution suits your company’s needs.