If you’re a small manufacturer looking to go big, how do you get from A to Z with minimal growing pains? You’re going to need increased capacity, a bigger staff headcount, and scaled-up manufacturing abilities—each a challenge on its own. With this combined complexity, you need to manage operations and processes smoothly and be able to adapt quickly before chaos arises.
A prepackaged enterprise resource planning (ERP) system such as SAP Business ByDesign is an optimal solution. The advantages of ERP packages are there for the taking, and it’s never been easier to implement ERP in a business. Cloud-based SAP Business ByDesign features all the functionality a growing business needs without the complexity of an on-premise ERP system implementation.
A prepackaged solution comes preconfigured with processes and best practices so you don’t have to start from scratch. This dramatically cuts the implementation time and expenses typically associated with ERP rollouts. The rollout process for a cloud-based system is streamlined significantly, which helps avoid the common bottlenecks that can occur with system setup and IT project management.
This means your executives and workers can dedicate the majority of their time and resources to what really matters most: business growth.
Advantages & Disadvantages of ERP
New technology can be scary, even for the tech-savvy. When employees are already so busy with the demands of your business, it can be a hard sell to convince them that a new system will be worth disrupting the workflows they’ve already established along the way.
When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of ERP, it’s helpful to separate myth from reality. Here are some of the disadvantages we’ve most frequently heard concerns about when it comes to ERP rollout, and the actual value customers have experienced after using the system in practice.
1. Workers don’t like change and aren’t going to adapt to a new system.
When employees have processes that they believe already work well, it can be hard to convince them that there’s an easier way to do their jobs—especially if they don’t like technology and are satisfied with their paper-based recordkeeping or are using software that they already know how to use.
Cloud ERP dashboards are designed for simplicity and ease of use. Once employees become familiar with the system, they can see its value fairly quickly: elimination of redundant work tasks, automatic data refreshing, custom report generation without major effort, and process streamlining save them time and allow them to focus on more strategic work.
The advantages of ERP in finance departments in particular are immense. ERP simplifies consolidation of data for financial auditing by accessing reports from every area of the business and using them to generate statements without any need for time-consuming file conversions and data validation. Complete visibility across the entire organization helps facilitate predictable spending and manage costs.
2. A system change might compromise data quality.
Data quality is a concern on everyone’s mind, and rightfully so. Businesses are managing more regulatory and industry requirements than in the past, and the public can read 24/7 news reports about data leaks, which underscore the reputational risks of improperly managing data.
ERP packages can strengthen and enhance data quality to an extent that cannot be understated. An ERP system can instantly capture all aspects of a company’s operations without the need to manually enter data into different applications and risk duplication errors, and you get a more complete picture of financial performance. ERP in finance departments, along with other business functions, simplifies financial consolidation and provides real-time data on all the areas of business where strong oversight is needed.
3. Implementation will take too long and cost too much.
This disadvantage is well known—but it’s related to implementation of on-premise ERP systems, which tend to come with a large upfront capital expenditure and require extensive customization around existing processes. The more customization needed, the more configuration, custom code, and person-hours implementation will eat up.
Cloud ERP eliminates most of these challenges. Most business processes are not truly unique, and an enterprise often is better served working with common best practices already established in its industry. This reduces the burden on staff during implementation, since less subject-matter expertise is needed during setup, and the solution vendor can help tweak a few elements of the system as needed for any truly unique processes.
An off-the-shelf cloud ERP solution also comes with a much lower price tag, but doesn’t sacrifice on functionality. The subscription-based payment model allows you to allocate your budget for ERP as an ongoing operational expense rather than a large capital expense.
Cloud ERP Can Eliminate Potential Challenges With Implementation
If you’re looking for cost management, increased productivity, and stronger, faster decision making, the advantages of ERP packages are clear. An ERP solution is a strategic element that can be used to control and connect all your business processes in one place.
Navigator’s SAP Business ByDesign features come loaded in a complete, affordable solution that allows you to scale without complexity and unnecessary costs. Our solution helps you manage your entire business as an integrated whole, so you can see the big picture or gain insight into specific operations and how they affect other areas of the business. This gives you the power needed to get from A to Z in your growth journey.