What's the Best ERP for Small Businesses?
More and more small businesses and wholesalers are starting to use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to manage their day-to-day activities in real-time. It’s not hard to see why. After all, ERPs are integrated solutions that include a wide range of managing features. A good ERP can cover everything from finance and accounting to contact management and stock control.
In a fiercely competitive sales environment, more companies are realising that the key to success isn’t working harder but working smarter. ERPs are centralisation tools that encompass all core business processes in a single location. This makes them a one-stop solution for all business needs. Instead of purchasing dozens of software licences, companies can now take care of most of their business process with a single platform.
Because ERPs considerably streamline and automate most business operations, they allow organisations to ramp up their productivity like never before. But with so many ERPs in the market, it can be hard to find the one that ticks all the boxes. That’s particularly true for small businesses and wholesalers that need a truly customisable ERP with industry-specific features.
So, what options do small businesses have when it comes to ERPs? To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of things that you need to look out for when purchasing an ERP system.
What are the main features that an ERP for small businesses should have?
Choosing the right ERP isn’t as simple as clicking on the first search result on Google and purchasing an expensive yearly licence. While it can be tempting to go after the big players in the ERP market, the truth is that this isn’t always the best choice. In fact, most independent software reviewers claim that small businesses should stay away from big-money ERPs.
There’s a harsh truth about software that many developers won’t tell you. Most ERP systems created by big multinationals like Microsoft or Oracle weren’t developed with small businesses in mind. These ERPs cater to the lowest common denominator, making them ideal for billion-plus companies that have a finger in every pie.
But what if you’re an independent wholesaler working within a particular industry with a unique target audience? If this sounds familiar, you should prioritise certain ERP features over others. Here are the three most important characteristics you need to look out for…
Handling growth is one of the biggest keys to managing a small business effectively. In fact, small companies and wholesalers tend to start thinking about purchasing an ERP licence when they realise that their current application isn’t cutting it anymore. But does that mean you should always go for the biggest and more expensive application? Not quite.
As great as ERPs like NetSuite or Katana are, they’re not always the best choice for small businesses. But why? It all comes down to the question of cost-effectiveness. When you’re an independent wholesaler, every penny counts. More often than not, you can’t afford to pay for features that you’ll never use. If you purchase a NetSuite or Dynamics licence, that’s exactly what will happen.
So how do you find the middle point between being ambitious and making sure you don’t go over your budget? By paying for an ERP system that grows alongside your company. Before you make the final decision, make sure that you go for a fully scalable ERP that can meet the needs of your business. This means you can unify data and connect all areas of your business under one roof.
As your business grows, so will your admin work. Managing a business is hard enough as it is. So, don’t add a mountain of unrewarding admin tasks to your work pile when you can automate all these processes instead. Before you purchase an ERP system, make sure that it includes all the automation features that you need – from order processing to stock control.
One of the biggest problems of software like NetSuite or Dynamics is that their customisation options don’t work for every industry. This is because they are too focused on the finance side of things and overlook processes like stock management or customer service.
Luckily, you have other options. ERPs like Profit4 can be configured to meet the needs of a specific business – whether it is an independent handbags stockist or a medium-sized tools distributor. On top of that, Profit4 also offers role-based training – meaning that no member of staff will be left behind.
Now that we’ve gone through the three most important features of ERPs for small businesses, let’s answer the million-pound question…
What is the best ERP for small businesses?
If you’re looking for a fully scalable ERP with industry-specific features and complete customisation options, then look no further than Profit4. Designed to empower every single user across an entire organisation, Profit4 offers a wide range of features that make it stand out. From multi-channel sales order management to automated stock control, Profit4 will equip your business with all the tools it needs to grow organically.
With Profit4, you’ll never be left in the dark. Unlike other ERPs, it includes comprehensive, role-specific training for all employees – from your warehouse team to your customer service specialists. And with ongoing priority support, any issues that arise will be solved immediately. On top of all that, your Profit4 experts will also train your most IT-savvy employees to help them achieve super-user level. This means that you will have a knowledgeable in-house point of contact in every single team.
But Profit4 is much more than just an ERP. It’s also a valuable reporting and analytics tool for small businesses. Thanks to its customisable business dashboards, managers can make informed decisions based on real-time data and accurate industry-specific insights. Thanks to Profit4, working smarter has never been easier.
Cover all the bases with Profit4
The verdict is in – no other ERP will help your business more than Profit4. With fully scalable customisation options, comprehensive training available and industry-specific features, it really is a no-brainer. If you want to know more, just get in touch today and book a Profit4 demo – you won’t regret it.