An increasing number of small and medium-sized businesses choose an ERP software to manage all aspects of their operations. Selecting this type of solution has many benefits for SMBs, and can truly help them achieve their business goals.
According to an independent study by US research firm Aberdeen Group , best-in-class mid-market companies in terms of profitability are twice as likely to have opted for a cloud ERP solution than their laggard peers.
The result of this study is not a coincidence: implementing a cloud ERP system leads to operational improvements within companies. Indeed, gaining better access to data provides an opportunity to improve processes, thus maximizing employees’ time and driving growth.
Many characteristics of the cloud option, especially in SaaS (software as a service) mode, are particularly relevant to the reality of SMBs:
1. Low upfront costs
The cost of acquiring a SaaS-based cloud ERP software is low, as no down payment or software licensing fees are required. You do not have to buy additional hardware or data servers because the software is used in service mode. The monthly-fee pricing puts this option within the reach of more modest budgets. Monthly payments can be entered as operating expenses in the income statement instead of being considered a capital expenditure to be entered in the balance sheet.
2. Streamlined training process
The reduced implementation costs of cloud-based software can also be attributed to the fact that modern training methods can be used. Not only can users learn about specific features through e-learning, but they can also discuss with their colleagues to get some help. Training time is generally shorter, and instead of covering the whole application, it is focused on the features used by the company.
3. Savings in maintenance costs
Because cloud software is managed and maintained the vendor, there is no need to assign an on-site IT team to this task. In addition, since cloud software is automatically updated by the vendor, you avoid paying the significant associated costs.
4. Flexible solution
Cloud ERP software can accommodate a large number of users at an affordable cost, which is an important asset for growing companies making multiple hires. The modular aspect of cloud-based ERP systems allows you to add or remove features and applications without having to completely replace the existing infrastructure. Also, thanks to the automatic updates pushed out by vendors, you can always take advantage of the latest technology.
5. Scalable configuration and pay-per-use model
As previously mentioned, the scope of services covered by cloud ERP systems can be adjusted as your needs fluctuate. The monthly rate is simply adjusted in accordance with the usage. You only pay for what you really need and actually use.
6. Easier geographic expansion
Cloud ERP software is accessible through the Web, so it can be used anywhere, at any time. Let’s take for example a company that opened a new office in a different region than its headquarters. The employees at this new office will have easy access to the same system as the rest of the organization, and this, without the added expense of new hardware and data transfer. All that needs to be done is to give the employees access to the system.
Data entered in the ERP software are stored in the cloud. They can therefore be recovered easily in the event of a disaster, without the need for an IT team to perform regular backups. In addition, no matter where they are, employees have access to the same data, which minimizes the risk of errors and ensures that everyone uses the most up-to-date information.
8. Generally shorter implementation process
Since there is no need to install applications for cloud-based software in SaaS mode, they can often be implemented in a shorter timeframe compared to traditional systems, depending on the level of customization required. If the ERP software you have chosen fits your needs without having to be customized, you will be able to take advantage of it much more quickly, which is a clear benefit for growing SMBs that add new business units as they expand.
If you want to learn more about cloud ERP software and what they can bring to your SMB, visit erp.acceo.com/en/resources/. You will find white papers, market research, client testimonials and videos that provide more insight on this subject.1 Aberdeen Group (September 2014). Improve Your Midmarket Business Operations With Cloud ERP. Found at http://www.acumatica.com/control-aberdeen-offer/.