When it comes to businesses of all shapes and sizes, planning how to allocate all your resources can be a daunting task. Whether you have a sales staff of a hundred or only your cousin Mack and his two best friends, it is still a job and a half to organize sales, marketing, support and everything else in any kind of business. Some have found success using an organization such as AlfaPeople to help them identify the software that will be the most beneficial for their particular type of business.
This can include whether to recommend a well-known enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool such as Microsoft dynamics AX or to integrate their current software with an add-on that simply organizes. While generally considered useful only for larger businesses, these days more and more smaller companies are looking at using various types of ERP tools to make their organizations leaner and more efficient. Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of using such a tool for a small business.
Yes, it is indeed expensive for many small businesses to engage a full-blown ERP management software program if they don’t have a huge staff and the resultant income. But more and more these smaller businesses are finding cloud-based tools that are inexpensive, scalable and easily accessed. This makes them perfect for the small office that has a lot of balls in the air and really doesn’t want any of them dropped. But the important thing first is to cost out if the tool will be a cost saving for your business or simply handy to have. Handy is something you can work up to as you expand, but right now unless it is making some cost saving changes to how you do business, or allowing you to expand without hiring additional employees, you might want to put it on your wish list for next year.
A Sharing World
One of the big pluses to using this software is that it makes it very easy to share information to everyone in the team. It is so easy, even in small businesses, to develop silos that cut off communication and prevent collaboration. While you may not want everyone to be privy to all aspects of business, and most of this software is flexible enough to allow some fine tuning, you will have to be careful that the information isn’t shared improperly. That said, as a communication tool these are great, especially for a growing company.
Time, Money, Quality
As any business planner can tell you, these are the three sides to every question you should have about any change you make to your business. Does it improve the time it takes to complete the project? Does the extra cost initially pay off in the long run? Is the quality of the job improved through the use of this software? If you can answer these three questions, you can usually decide if the software you are considering is right for you. While there is no such thing as the perfect ERP system, for most businesses there is some version of one that will help in all three of these vital areas.