Three Tips for SMB Manufacturers Preparing to Implement ERP

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an automated technology solution designed to streamline key business processes by developing and storing a company’s data in one central location. Traditionally large businesses were the sole market for ERP software; however, many small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) today are implementing ERP to improve overall performance. With the introduction of cloud-based options that eliminate many of the hosting and maintenance costs shouldered by on-premise solutions, SMBs are adopting ERP for a range of functions including accounting, inventory management, manufacturing, supply chain management, customer relationship management, human resources, and business intelligence.

According to Predictive Analytics, the top four benefits of ERP for SMBs are operational efficiency, analytics and reporting, improved responsiveness to customers, and quality control. Current trends in the ERP space are making the software even more palatable for SMBs. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) models operate fully online, mobile app options put real-time data in the hands of users, and social media integration enhances interactions with customers and employees.

If you are an SMB ready to ditch your complicated spreadsheets and outdated accounting package for an ERP solution, below are three tips to remember while preparing for implementation.

Operate as a small business that is becoming a large enterprise

If your company is like most SMBs, you are motivated by the dream of bigger and better, and growth is a top business objective. What ERP solutions are best-in-class for high-performing enterprises in your industry? Which of these can be scaled and customized for your unique size and business needs?

For a Maryland-based manufacturing company, the drive toward growth is its primary motivation for implementing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS solution. The enterprise advises fellow SMBs that want customers to treat them like large companies to seek and follow the same operational practices as the best big businesses in their industry. 

Make ERP implementation a top business priority

As you begin to model a large enterprise, don’t wait too long to upgrade your financial and business management systems. Many SMBs hold off on ERP adoption because they are avoiding implementation costs; yet they often discover that the cost of delaying is even higher. Begin to build ERP implementation into your near-term strategic goals. Take the steps and invest the resources to make your vision a reality now.

For years the manufacturing firm in Maryland had been limited by its existing mishmash of desktop applications and antiquated financials run on a DOS-based system. Among other drawbacks, the software could not recognize PC improvements such as the USB interface for printers and peripherals.

After choosing to implement Business Central, the company has traded its spreadsheets for a SaaS ERP platform with best-in-class security and up-time. Business Central’s decades of heritage as Navision and Dynamics NAV—flagship ERP systems in manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain management with a robust financial management suite—enable Business Central to interface with other best-of-breed applications to run the company’s full operation.

Be picky about who leads you

Transitioning from a homegrown or packaged financial management system to a sophisticated ERP solution should not be done alone. Choosing a reliable and experienced implementation partner is one of the most important steps toward ensuring a successful ERP transformation. When working with a seasoned leader who has expertise in configuring and implementing the system, SMBs can chose the right solution for their business needs and plan how their organization will use the new system to its full capacity.

Over 200 client companies strongly recommend working with a certified Microsoft partner like BroadPoint that can sell the licensing and provide ongoing support through consulting and systems integration. With BroadPoint the days of sweating IT preparedness are over. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a SaaS solution that is also available as an on-premise deployment. An implementation partner such BroadPoint will walk you through all the steps for interfacing the system with other applications, helping you reduce or eliminate your IT footprint.

Interested in growing up with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central by BroadPoint? Contact us today to learn more.

Zach Volpicelli