SMEs are the lifeline of many world economies. They contribute significantly towards major economic activities like providing employment, boosting import-exports, supporting niche local industries among others.
SMEs have their own set of strategies, run on novel business models and are unique as compared to large enterprises. Their requirements too are different from large enterprises. From an ERP perspective too SMEs need business processes at a different operational scale. SMEs have their own set of challenges in adopting ERP solutions. Compared to larger organization’s SMEs are a bit restrictive in terms of human and financial resources. Their processes are like rolling stones, ever changing and evolving as per the surrounding external and internal situations. Therefore implementation of ERP in a SME is a daunting task and needs to be thoroughly studied to reap best benefits.
Most enterprises dread ERP implementations because there are plethora of failure stories that surround them. For SMEs, the ERP implementation is all the more terrifying because at stake are the already scarce resources, capital, workforce and time and then there is a constant tussle of SMEs in deciding whether to adopt the established ERP practices and tune their business processes to it or to stick to their original evolved processes. Implementing their own processes leads to costly customizing and accepting business processes of the ERP vendor leads to a whole gamut of changes.
The concerns are not only limited to selecting the right ERP and rolling out the implementation process but also extends itself to the post implementation phase. ERPs evolve and grow with businesses and therefore require constant changes, alterations and upgrades. However, to customize and include change is not very easy to handle because of the large scale processes and data associated with them.
SMEs therefore need a proper road-map and philosophy to implement ERP solutions. Below are some crucial factors that an SME should consider before setting off on the ERP adventure.
Clearly defined Goal and Strategies – Laying the Right Foundation
In an SME, the top management is usually completely involved in the working of the organization. While developing the road-map for the ERP implementation too their complete involvement is absolutely crucial. The top management needs to clearly define the long term goals and strategies and align the company’s vision and mission with the IT operational goals.
Choosing the right type of ERP- On-Cloud or On-Premise
Unlike earlier days enterprises now can choose from various different packages and ERP models. Cloud ERP has added a whole lot of benefits and simplified ERP management and brought down costs. Cloud ERP solutions can prove to be very effective for SMEs compared to on-premise ERP.
Moreover there are different subscription models that can be effectively used to manage cash-flows of the organization.
Gearing up the Workforce and Training
SMEs have usually close-knit work groups and everyone has some say in the organization’s working. Many people are very comfortable in the existing setup and may be averse to any change. It is likely for them to spread this feeling among other associates and a tacit resistance may develop among majority of the workforce. To avoid this tricky situation management has to have a clear and open communication advocating the benefits of adopting an ERP solution. Management should also provide effective training towards it.
Post Implementation Strategy – Exploring Various Options
Enterprises cannot simply relax after adopting an ERP solution. As the business evolves, requirements change, new processes need to be blended with the old, some processes need to be dropped and some need to be altered. There may be need of new interfaces, new apps around the existing business process. In the earlier days with traditional ERP systems any kind of customizing or change was a big cash outflow and a laborious exercise.
Today, however the industry presents a lot of simpler, smarter and faster alternatives to costly ERP upgrades. These solutions in fact are easy to deploy and reduce the cost and time of customized solutions to about half the standard price. Though these solutions perfectly fit an SME’s need they are usually offered as exclusive service for specific requirements. Most companies offer certain select software. This again poses a new problem to the SMEs as every-time they need to hire a new vendor for their customized needs.
At CloudIO we bridge this gap by not only offering a bouquet of different unique solutions but also by providing a modern independent platform to support and integrates diverse software. Our platform built on Agile Development Methodology helps companies rapidly build and deploy new customized solutions on their existing ERP set-ups. The CloudIO platform provides freedom to SMEs from restrictive solutions and offers ease of operating by supporting solutions that work on multiple devices. The platform is extensible and can easily accommodate diverse plug-ins.
Our platform has provided respite to many companies. We have been instrumental in riding many high energy start-ups and SMEs to their desired destinations with our expertise, offerings and solutions. Offerings from @CloudIOPlatform can fuel your journey too. If you’d like to know how? do write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at cloudio.io