A question that frequently businesses have to address (whether they realize it or not) is how exactly they will cover their business software needs. Some choose to adopt a one-size-fits-all strategy. They buy a full suite that covers every aspect of their business, from sales and CRM to marketing and inventory management. Some people take it a step further and use a different approach for each task that needs to be completed in their operations. They gradually piece together a full picture using ERP software solutions for their CRM, document management, communication, etc.
What is ERP Software?
ERP software is a technological tool that allows users to manage their company processes and build a solid foundation for their enterprise. ERP software solutions help businesses that are expanding quickly, becoming global, or setting up their processes for upcoming commercialization.
We think the most effective strategy is closer to the “fragmented” approach and that it depends on the business.
- Picking different business software per task. This allows you to pick the best and more focused solution for the problem at hand. You can pick the ideal solution for doing your accounting, the optimal way of email marketing, and the best way to monitor your sales. The opposite approach may give you a simpler all-in-one-place view but is not necessarily accurate or useful.
- Cost considerations also work in the fragmented solution’s favor too. Trying to put together the complete custom solution you want is a never-ending process that keeps sucking money from your actual business. Why not adopt multiple cloud solutions which generally are very cost-effective and require no significant upfront investments
- Flexibility is an additional bonus. Nowadays it’s effortless to stay behind when following technological developments. Why stay tied to a legacy CRM for years when you can change CRM solution for the best out there as often as every year if a better alternative comes up?
- Employee training is also less of an issue for cloud solutions. Usually, they are much more user-friendly and ‘light’ in terms of features. This means that they are easy to learn.
Of course, the approach we suggest has its drawbacks too.
It implies that someone must keep up with technological developments and search the market. That’s because it’s necessary to find the best solution to suit the company’s needs. In any case, that’s not an impossible challenge. Business consultants are available if the immediate stakeholders are not up to the task.
Finally, care must be taken to prevent situations such as ‘vendor lock-in’ (i.e. finding your business unable to export company data from an existing solution) or needing expensive custom software to bridge applications. Such as connecting your ERP to your eCommerce platform but again that’s something that can be addressed.
Overall, the model of the future when it comes to running a business is to combine the best of different apps into a number of flexible business processes.
Dimitris Athanasiadis oversees Operations and Customer Relations in Megaventory.