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The key to growing your business you might be missing

If you’re a small business owner focused on growth, you’re already invested in marketing and scaling up your ability to deliver goods and services. One thing you might be overlooking, though, is a software-based tool that can support your company’s growth through data collection, sharing and workflow automation. This tool is known as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, and it’s so important to modern businesses that the market share for ERP software is expected to grow to $49 billion by the year 2024. Here’s what you need to know about modern ERP solutions and how they can help your business grow.

What is enterprise resource planning?

Put simply, ERP systems are software solutions that bring processes from many different parts of a business operation together under a single roof. ERP solutions can be used to manage everything from finance and accounting to customer relations and product distribution. Tying these different departments together through a unified software solution allows for easier data collection and sharing between departments. All this leads to making your business more efficient and productive.

Keep your business growing

One of the most important advantages of implementing a modern ERP software in your business comes in the form of improved workflow. ERPs provide for automated workflows that will take your employees through tasks in a step-by-step manner, making it less-likely for oversights to occur. In this way, your SMB can exert higher levels of quality control on its processes and spend less time correcting human errors.

A modern ERP solution can also support your company’s growth by providing you with valuable marketing insights. Thanks to their ability to collect and share data, modern ERP platforms can be used to measure the effectiveness of growth strategies such as expanding into new markets or penetrating further into existing ones.

Using operational insights produced by an ERP solution, your business can refine its marketing, adjust pricing and even develop a more complete customer profile for future targeting.

Improve customer service

Of course, the benefits of a modern ERP solution aren’t limited to the back end of your business. ERP software can support the customer-facing side of your SMB by providing improved systems for inventory control, sales and even customer relations. When your team can communicate and collaborate easily through a unified ERP platform, your customers are likely to have a much better experience and encounter fewer difficulties.  

Cloud-based ERP solutions offer strong security protections that can be managed by a third-party vendor without draining your limited resources away from more critical tasks. If you want to keep your SMB on track for sustained growth by implementing good data security and cybersecurity practices, a cloud-based ERP solution can be a useful tool.

Conclusion

From improving efficiency and use of resources on the back end to supporting your marketing efforts and customer relations on the front end, ERP software solutions can provide incredibly useful tools for driving business growth. By making it easy to collect and share data between different departments, a modern ERP system can help your company make the best use of its resources and improve the customer experience it provides.

If you want to maximize the growth of your SMB, consider having your IT staff or managed services provider implement an ERP solution that will meet the needs of your company.

6 reasons to upgrade to a modern business application platform

For years businesses have been stuck using inefficient methods to manage everything from operations and processes to IT. These methods include things like computer processors, spreadsheets, and basic email. When it comes to collaboration, they can be confusing and frustrating.

If this sounds familiar, there’s a good chance you have outgrown your processes. The good news is that there are a variety of business application platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions available that can transform the way you do business.

If you’ve been considering an upgrade, now might be a good time to make the change. In fact, we’ve compiled six reasons why it’s definitely worth the effort to upgrade to a modern platform.

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Adaptable

Modern business application platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are designed to be fully adaptable. So as your business changes, you can keep up with modern trends and easily address client requests. Also, since most platforms are Cloud-based, they also keep you connected to your business anytime, anywhere, allowing your business platform to adapt to your needs and your busy schedule.

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Scalable

When it comes to growth, scalable services are critical for your business. With modern business platforms, you only pay for the platform and the services that you need now, not what you might need later. So as your business grows and changes, you can scale the platform and services to match your growing needs rather than replacing the solution when you outgrow it.

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Related reading: Comparing ERP to on-premise

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Reliable

Choosing a reliable modern toolset is crucial to this new stage of your business management, as is reliable customer service. Finding a reliable platform will not only improve your processes and reduce errors, but it will increase your ability to help your customers and ultimately add value to your business as a whole.

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Related reading: 5 signs you need an ERP system

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Manageable

The ability to manage and track your inventory is a basic need for most businesses. Switching over to a modern business application platform makes this much easier, more efficient and overall more cost-effective. When you know the true status of your assets you can position your company for growth, improve customer service, and plan ahead for the future.

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Flexible

Every industry has a unique set of requirements. There are a number of different platforms designed with this in mind. Some platforms, such as Acumatica Cloud ERP Solutions, offer a range of options that are uniquely tailored for several industries, to help you address your challenges and reach your ultimate company goals. This creates a great starting point for you and limits the amount of initial customization required to get things set up just the way you need them.

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Related reading: The difference between accounting software and ERP solutions

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Customizable

One of the greatest assets that modern business application platforms and ERPs bring to the table is the ability to customize the platform to your individual business’ needs. You have worked hard to build your business over the years. When you’ve done everything from designing spreadsheets to creating letterhead, It can be hard to let go of some of the fruits of your hard labor. With customizable platforms, you don’t necessarily have to let go. Many modern business application platforms offer the possibility of deep customizations to suit your specific business needs. This allows you to incorporate some of your personal documents that you’d like to continue using to avoid customer confusion.

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Related reading: ROI of your ERP system

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Final thoughts

If you think you’re ready to upgrade to a modern business application platform or ERP, you can begin right away. Although it might seem overwhelming, it will have a lasting impact on your business for years to come. To get started, we recommend the following process:

  • Assess your needs – Start by assessing your current business needs. Are you looking for financial management? Customer support? Project management? What are you looking to accomplish with this new platform?
  • Budget – How much can you afford to spend on this? Don’t forget to account for implementation, training, and ongoing costs.
  • Research your options – Now that you have a budget in place and you know what you are looking for, you can begin your search. You may want to use an external vendor to help with this process if your budget allows for this. If not, be sure to take your time and really review all of your options.
  • Narrow down your choices – Try to get your options down to a top two or three. These are the ones who you will ask for a detailed proposal from. Talk to them in detail and be sure to ask all your questions.
  • Make a decision – Make an informed decision based on the proposals submitted and move forward.

How modern ERP helps businesses make better decisions

According to a recent report, 44% of supply chain leaders have already implemented an upgraded ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system or are currently in the process of implementation. Around half of these organizations report undergoing this process simply to replace an outdated software system. However, the key to success with an ERP is fully understanding the benefits it provides. Modern-day, cloud-based ERP systems – such as the Acumatica platform – are invaluable tools to a business owner and management team, especially in a fast-paced decision-making environment.

As a uniquely specialized managed services provider, AppSolute has explored the top four ways that a modern ERP helps businesses make better decisions:

Simplify business health reports

Successfully owning and operating a business of any size is no easy feat. While most business owners have an idea of their company’s overall health, it can be a long and complicated task to fully analyze performance. With a modern ERP in place, you no longer have to wait for reports and analysis from various departments before receiving a full picture. Instead, all the crucial information you need is presented in a comprehensive manner at your disposal. In turn, this allows you to identify your business’s strong points and overcome any minor weaknesses before they turn into critical problems.

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Related: 8 Business Benefits of Having Managed Services

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As your business grows, the day-to-day activity and the operation as a whole become drastically more complex. With a modern ERP in place, you eliminate common time-consuming mistakes like data re-entry with access to real-time data and information across all departments. In turn, each department is able to collaborate with one another more efficiently and effectively. Modern ERP software allows every aspect of your business, from manufacturing to accounting, to operate in sync within a single system. This allows all senior management from numerous departments to offer valuable feedback while looking at the operation in its entirety.

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Related: 5 Signs You Need an ERP System

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Focus on customer retention and pursuing sales leads

With a modern ERP, many repetitive, manual processes can be drastically reduced or eliminated altogether. In turn, this allows employees to focus on other aspects of their job. For instance, instead of spending hours entering data into a spreadsheet, employees are free to focus on customer retention, sales leads or other revenue increasing tactics. Similarly, this eliminates frequent human errors and makes the information more accurate and accessible to management.

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Related: The Difference Between Accounting Software and ERP Solutions

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Fine-tune targeted marketing campaigns

A compelling advantage of using a modern ERP is the ability to track customers from the beginning of their journey to the end. The data is stored and compiled to more quickly and easily identify your target audience. In turn, you can be more confident in your targeted marketing campaigns utilizing this data. Along with saving an immense level of time, it can also eliminate the guesswork associated with marketing and improve your overall ROI by up to 33%.

Remain competitive in your industry

Above all, one of the greatest benefits of implementing a modern ERP system is to stay ahead of the competition. In today’s technology-driven business climate, it is likely that your competitors are already reaping the rewards of the software. While older, standard methods are still utilized, business owners who invest in innovative solutions save time and money in the long run. This allows them to achieve more accurate results and make better, more informed decisions for their business.

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Related: 6 Best IT Practices for Your Business

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Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of modern ERP systems like Acumatica, and how to get the support you need to maximize them for your business.