Businesses are constantly looking for solutions and tools that will help them improve their efficiency and gain a competitive advantage in the market. ERPs—Enterprise Resource Planning solutions—were first created as tools to manage inventory and quality control in large manufacturing organizations. However, advancements have allowed small businesses access to these benefits, including small retail software like SAP.
An ERP is a software designed to manage a business's day-to-day business activities and core functions. They create a central information pool by connecting multiple business processes and allowing data to seamlessly flow between them.
When Should Small Retail Businesses Implement an ERP?
The importance of an ERP for a small business has made it an essential tool. However, due to the price of ERP software for a small business, businesses need to make sure they actually need to make the change. So, when does a small business know they are ready to implement an ERP system?
- Expanding operations: The importance of an ERP for a small business is evident for businesses looking to scale their operations. ERPs help small businesses monitor and manage their inventory, supply chain, report to clients, and customer behavior.
- Expanding employee numbers: When the workforce increases, collaboration and management become larger burdens on a business. ERP solutions automate most business processes, which allows employees to focus on their duties.
- Better management: ERP solutions create a centralized information hub, allowing retail businesses to monitor and analyze their entire business operation from a single place. This tool helps retail businesses better manage all stages of their operation.
Small retail businesses can benefit from the shared transactional data created and managed by ERP systems. The shared information pool can also help businesses integrate a remote workforce into their operations or scale up without hiring new staff by automating processes, eliminating redundant work, and increasing efficiency.
Important ERP Modules for Small Retail Business
ERP is an expansive, flexible solution that allows businesses to integrate different modules as their need arises. There are a few key modules small retail businesses should consider implementing with their ERP, which include:
This is one of the major modules of ERP solutions. It helps small retail businesses manage their financial reports, record transactions, and communicate financial matters to external partners.
Supply Chain Management
Small retail businesses can use ERP solutions to trade data on consumption, usage, deficits, and delivery dates. This module allows businesses to automate their demand on the reception of orders.
ERP solutions must come with a human resource module to help businesses engage their fast-growing human capital. ERPs can also be used to oversee hiring, payroll, employee attendance, absence management, and exit management.
Sales and Marketing Module
This module allows retail businesses to track all records related to sales, and gives business managers a clear view of their operations while helping them implement marketing strategies and boost product sales.
Customer Relationship Management
Not every ERP solution comes with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) module, but this module helps businesses improve their relationships with customers.
Free ERP Software for Small Retail Businesses
For a long time, the price of erp software for a small business was a major restricting factor in the implementation of the technology. Small retail businesses can now consider one of the following options when looking for a free small retail SAP software: ADempiere, Dolibarr, ERPNext, Odoo, or Tryton.
Additionally, there are mobile app ERP solutions, ERP software as a service, and ERP integration in social media available for small businesses. Installing an Enterprise Resource Planning software is no longer exclusive to large-scale businesses.