November 20, 2018

4 Min Read
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It can be hard to keep up when your business is growing quickly. And when we say keep up, we mean with everything: new vendor relationships, product and service enhancements, an increased number of customer issues, new hires, C-suite requests for timely financial and operational reports … you name it.

The trouble is, focusing on solving immediate problems makes it hard to plan for “what’s next.” A game-changing opportunity could be staring you in the face, or a new threat could be lurking behind the corner. But can you see the these things—let alone proactively respond?

Be Ready for Anything

Competitive businesses need the flexibility and agility to act fast. That means your business systems, data, and processes need to keep your employees nimble and support—make that enable—ongoing change. A comprehensive, cloud-based ERP solution gives you the tools, insights and scalability to keep up and keep going. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why.

Process automation.  The most common organizational growing pains—data processing and reporting delays, data inaccuracies and expensive mistakes, costly oversights, overtaxed employees, underperforming profit centers, and more—can be eliminated, in most cases, by expanding capacity with technology.

Modern cloud-based ERP systems digitize data, taking it out of spreadsheets and manual workflows, to automate key processes and provide decision-makers with on-demand insights. Additionally, with digitally centric processes running “in the background,” your employees can focus their time and energy on more strategic, business-building activities, such as improving vendor relationships and enhancing customer-facing operations.

Manageable IT spend. Most small and midsize businesses lack the deep pockets of their enterprise-sized counterparts, but that doesn’t mean they have to settle for second-best in the IT department. SMBs are no longer limited to boxed software or customized on-premise solutions that bear hefty price tags and ongoing maintenance costs. Thanks to the cloud computing delivery model, best-in-class business software is finally within your reach! There are a few reasons for this:

  • Lower software costs. Users of SaaS solutions take advantage of shared resources, meaning—and let’s not get too technical here—the costs associated with data storage, software tools and vendor support services are spread across multiple companies, resulting in more affordable pricing. These cloud-based solutions don’t require user licenses, as pricing is typically based on user-subscribers who access their software over a web browser.

  • Lower hardware costs. Since cloud-based ERP software is accessible through the internet from any connected computer or device—and not installed on individual machines as they are for legacy and most company-hosted solutions—users don’t require new computers and the server room doesn’t need new hardware. That adds up to essentially zero investment up-front to get the software to run properly (or at all); users can get online, log in and go.

  • Lower personnel costs. SaaS ERP vendors manage all software maintenance and user support. That includes training, troubleshooting, bug-fixing, updating and all-around question-answering. This eliminates the need to bulk-up IT teams to support ERP software, while leaving existing staff with more bandwidth to focus on other projects.

Function-up. Today, your enterprise technology needs might be relatively simple. (It’s getting too complex for the smaller-scale technology you’re using now, of course.) That means you might start your foray into the ERP-sphere with the areas you’re most desperate to automate and take control of, such as financial management and CRM functionality. In a couple of years—maybe sooner—you’ll be ready to plug into new tools that support, say, distribution management and ecommerce. Or perhaps you’ll be ready for more powerful BI capabilities.

As your accounting, reporting, compliance and other fill-in-the-blank requirements become more sophisticated, you’ll need your ERP system to accommodate more and do more. After all, you’ll have more customers, more data and more at stake in your competitive marketplace. Cloud-based ERP solutions are designed for you to start small, relatively speaking, and expand into new territory as soon as you’re ready.

On that note, cloud-based software is built with flexible APIs, so they’re easily integrated with other cloud-based applications from your ERP vendor or other cloud solution vendors.

We can’t not mention the mobile-friendly nature of cloud-based ERP software as another fine point of cloud computing. Users can access their tools around-the-clock, anywhere, and on any connected device. This enables them to be more productive—upping their functionality—and work in a way that’s consistent with how they’re managing their personal lives: on-the-go, collaboratively and always ready for “what’s next.”

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.


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