ERP is affordable for everybody

ERP is affordable for everybody

  1. I have been seeing message after message with the tone that ERP is to complex and too expensive for a small or midsize business.  Nothing could be farther from the truth and we have all seen this before.

    In the mid 1990s top ERP suppliers discovered, and I use discovered loosely, SMB’s.  They were targeting the big fortune 500 companies, and I think that they finally realized that is great, but it only limits them to 500 prospective clients.  These top suppliers went back to the drawing board, restructured and attacked the market and their goal was to reach out to clients in the $50M to $500M range.

    Fast forward a few years and you will find industry consolidation -which is probably still going on today.  Big ERP suppliers started buying up companies with midmarket presence.  I find it ironic considering that there were a large number of software suppliers serving the SMB market with fully functional, broad based ERP.  Fact of the matter is that there has been just about the same amount of ERP usage at SMB’s as at larger firms.

    The perception in the marketplace is that ERP is complex and very costly.  it is definitely and intricate set of software applications, but midrange oriented enterprise systems always have been designed for users with little or no information technology (IT) knowledge.  Today I think the most difficult thing is getting used to the GUI interfaces and learning what each application does and does not do.  It would fall under learning a new business process rather than a new technical process.  It will probably be the biggest investment that a SMB will make, but they need to see it as an essential tool and not balk at the price tag.

    Every manufacturer needs to become integrated and have the ability to communicate online with customers and suppliers.  Large, major suppliers are starting to require that customers start to do all transactions online via the web.  While much of this type of business can be conducted with just the web browser alone, the real advantage is having the connection between online facilities and an ERP system.

    ERP is not just another convenient toy for large corporations; it is a necessary tool to survive in today’s tough economy.  ERP solutions are plentiful and they are surprisingly affordable even for the smallest of companies.

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