Each stage of the business growth journey brings new challenges for an organization. Selecting, moving data and learning new software should not be one of those challenges.
Thankfully, the migration to larger software solutions as a company grows not longer has to be a problem. With thoughtful initial selection, a small company can choose a software platform when it is small, then graduate to the larger version of the solution later on without having to learn a new interface, a new way of working—and without having to port all of the company’s data to the new system and make it fit.
The key is picking the right initial software platform, or moving to the right platform if backend software already is in place.
SAP Powers Both Small Businesses and Fortune 500 Companies
Standalone business software works until you outgrow it. Backend software by SAP grows with your business.
That’s because SAP has enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP) for businesses at each stage of their growth, and these solutions have a shared user interface and simple migration path so a company can use a single platform and expand as it grows. More than 404,000 businesses across 180 different countries use SAP systems, from small businesses with only a dozen employees all the way up to multinationals on the Fortune 500. While multinational businesses such as Coca-Cola, BP, Burger King and Audi use SAP for powering operations, roughly 80 percent of SAP’s customer base actually is made up of small to medium-sized businesses.
There are three flavors of SAP offerings, depending on the size and needs of the business.
First, there’s SAP Business One. Business One is the small-business offering for managing an entire business from accounting and financials to purchasing, inventory, sales, customer relationships, and project management, to operations and human resources. SAP Business One is a single, integrated solution that provides clear visibility into your entire business and complete control over every aspect of your operations.
For fast-growing startups and medium-sized businesses, there is SAP Business ByDesign. ByDesign turns complexity into simplicity, and helps fast-growing businesses recognize potential strategies more quickly, gain transparency across multiple subsidiaries and branch offices, and assists with meeting business growth needs at an affordable cost.
When a business gets big and outgrows ByDesign, then there is SAP’s offering for large enterprise customers. S/4 HANA Cloud Public Edition is a complete enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with built-in intelligent technologies, including AI, machine learning, and advanced data analytics. Companies what use S/4 HANA benefit from tight, native integration between processes, industry depth, and a consistent in-memory data model with SAP HANA software.
Turn on Features or Graduate to the Larger Solution
SAP makes the growth path easy for businesses in two ways.
First, there are offerings for each stage of business growth, with a consistent user interface and similar methodology. Businesses don’t have to change vendors, move data or train employees on a new system during the busy and often chaotic growth of the business. The growing business more or less just moves to the larger SAP offering and the additional capacity and functionality it provides.
The second way that SAP makes its ERP solution that last business software that a company will need is through a modular functionality approach.
When a business is small, it can turn on only the few functions it needs for operations today—maybe accounting, human resources and inventory management, for instance. As it grows and needs more features, or when it is ready to use more of the software, it just turns on the additional modules that deliver this extra functionality.
This way, a business is not burdened by features or complexity it does not need. The features it needs are turned on. The features that it doesn’t need are left off.
With this approach, businesses can right-size the software for the functions it needs even before it needs one of the larger SAP solutions; within each of the solutions, businesses can use only what they need or are ready for.
As cloud-based solutions, all three SAP ERP solutions also benefit from the scalability that comes with the cloud. Adding employees or additional resources is as simple as clicking a few buttons. This way, a business can always have the resources it needs without paying for excess capacity.
“Can your systems support where you want the business to be in two years?” asks Christopher Beck, global head of IT at shaving products manufacturer, Harry’s, a proud SAP customer. “It is always challenging to plan ahead as a startup. But try to aim for that as opposed to playing catch-up after the fact.”
With SAP products, you can.
How Can SAP Help Your Company?
We’ve helped more than 500 companies power their business with SAP enterprise resource planning solutions. For more on how SAP can help your business, call one of our experienced ERP consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at email@example.com.