The Latest Trend for SMEs: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Between financial fragility and major disruptions caused by COVID-19, small and medium-sized businesses throughout the world are looking for solutions. According to one study of nearly 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses, the median business only maintains about 2 weeks’ worth of expenses as cash-on-hand. This means any disruptions to the cash flow of a small or medium-sized business can lead to severe consequences.

Furthermore, COVID-19 caused massive disruptions to cash flow for a large number of small and medium-sized businesses. According to The Wall Street Journal, these disruptions lead to the closure of over 200,000 businesses within the U.S. alone. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses are looking for ways to become more resilient. Many chose to adopt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software as a method of achieving this goal.

So, here’s why adopting ERP software has become a trend for small and medium-sized businesses as a method of becoming more resilient while also improving overall performance.

Cloud ERP Solutions Reduce Implementation and Maintenance Costs

Implementation and maintenance costs were a major reason small and medium-sized businesses had not adopted ERP software. Traditional, on-premise ERP software required expensive implementations and IT staff to maintain the software. With cloud-based ERP software, these expenses almost entirely disappear.

Nowadays, cloud-based ERP software provides simple and low-cost implementations and removes the need for internal IT staff to maintain the software. Instead, the cloud-based ERP provider maintains the software and usually offers simple implementations under a SaaS model. This allows small and medium-sized businesses to access ERP software under a low-cost monthly subscription instead of a single, large upfront cost.

AI Insights and Predictive Analytics Make Leveraging ERP Software Easier

Prior to AI insights and predictive analytics being brought into ERP software, businesses needed data analytics staff to leverage the value of the data collected in the ERP software. This prevented small and medium-sized businesses from utilizing the full value of ERP software as they typically do not have the budget for a dedicated data analytics employee.

Thanks to recent advancements in AI technology and predictive analytics, insights drawn from ERP software are far easier to access. Instead of requiring an employee to sit down and analyze the data in the ERP software, the ERP software itself will provide these insights for a business. These insights allow businesses to find ways of operating more efficiently, identify weak points, and further optimize overall business operations.

Mobile Accessibility Reduces the Costs of Managing ERP Software

Current ERP software typically comes with mobile support. This allows all members of an organization to access the ERP software regardless of their location. As a result, the improved access to the software reduces the burden of data entry that would otherwise typically fall on managerial staff. With mobile support, everyone from employees on the warehouse floor to employees working the register can input data as it is acquired into the ERP software. Not only does this reduce the burden of data entry, but it also ensures all data contained within the ERP software is fully up to date.

Each of these advancements in ERP software that allow small and medium-sized businesses to adopt ERP solutions are available through Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, you can connect all of your business operations into a single software providing comprehensive insights into your business operations.

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