What options are in enterprise resource planning system for small/medium-sized businesses?
What are options to small business owners who are looking for enterprise resource planning solutions? What are comparable systems to SAP-business on design?
Maggie, this is a huge landscape with lots of options and each of those options has myriad options. The first question I'd ask you is what do you want out of the ERP? There some products that are essentially accounting software that lashes together all the processes that touch "the books" (e.g., AP, AR, Sales, WIP, etc). Perhaps question 1b is what's your business? Are you services, manufacturing, distributor, etc? There are ERPs that are oriented towards specific types of businesses. Finally, make sure the ERP doesn't impose unnecessary burdens on your staff that would reduce their productivity. For me, this one means you need to involve your staff in the decision.
Maggie, Our company (AcXess) hosts SAP B1 Cloud for SMBs and that gives you all the functionality and customization of SAP without the restrictions of the 'by-design' product. There are also similar options with Cloud-based ERP like Aplicor and Acumatica.
I would need much more detail about your business to give a thorough answer, but a great resource where you can do some research yourself would be:
I hope this helps.
Hi Maggie, you're likely to get a boatload of "options" from your inquiry although I'm not sure many will be of much use, only the name of a product. The reason being that a lot of what makes an ERP system right for a particular company comes from what the businesses functional and operational requirements are. If you could tell us what industry the company is in it might help pare the list down a little. Systems that compare to Business-By-Design vary also depending on need and depend largely on what you mean by "comparable". There are literally hundreds if not thousands of "ERP" and ERP-like solutions out there. For the record, since you asked :) we implement Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, and SL systems for companies in the greater New England area. They're popular but without some more info tough to say if they'd be a good fit. Hope this helps.
Research options specific to your industry, and then ask the finalist 2 or 3 companies to give a demo. If you are not looking at an industry specific option, then you can probably integrate all your software solutions into Microsoft SharePoint, or IBM's Domino solutions. Both have customizable features, but should be implemented by someone who understands the foundational level of deployment. If you deploy an ERP solution without proper planning and design, you'll be sorry later. In the Inland Northwest, I can connect you to an expert who could help.
All good answers so far but I think an OpenERP solution is worth strong consideration....you can then customize it by mapping out business processes using appcode apps like Mendix.
Hello Maggie, I agree most other people here that you probably need to define your industry type, what exactly is your expectation from ERP system. There are many open source ERPs out there which could suite your requirement. We have a in house developed ERP software for SMEs and we provide customization and support options on that.
There are quite a few options to consider. Please spell out your business line, broad outline on your business needs for an ERP solutions, and your monthly / annual budget so people here can propose the right options.
Hello Maggie - My company has developed a system to evaluate and select enterprise software solutions based on company requirements. You can compare systems like SAP BbyD against others (side-by-side) to see their strengths and weaknesses. It's a great starting point for any software selection project. Good luck with your search.
There are Open source products available for this group which will keep their investment to minimum. But the challenge is to find a good support team to help them implement and support. Other alternates are ERPs on cloud. They can look at good partners who can bring the best of the products at an affordable cost
Hi Maggie, this question can be answered by looking at 3 factors:
1. Your available budget for this solution
2. Your stance on Open-Source vs. Commercial softawre
3. Your in-house skillset
If budget is not limited, the sky is the limit, from expensive Microsoft Dynamics custom solutions through to cloud based systems. In house skills may also be a determining factor if you intend to deploy in-house. Open source (Linux) skills are very useful for a full blown system like OpenERP.
A hybrid solution would be to look at what the Various cloud vendors have to offer. Many ERP systems offer a cloud based solution for a very reasonable fee.
Once again, determine whether this fits in with your company strategy around Cloud and web-based solutions. A full decision matrix around features, price, ease of deployment will help to make things clearer.
The choice of an ERP system has as many potholes and pitfalls as settling on an email system or even desktop operating system (or not).
As several have pointed out, without more specifics, it is hard to provide you with a good survey of the market, much less some specific recommendations.
I work for what is considered a small company (500 employees/+$100M in sales) and we do not have an ERP system per se. We have outsourced a number of ERP like functions to companies like ADP, Peerless, and Concur. Because we have a large supply chain requirement and a global finances, we did invest in modules that would support those features.
When investigating an ERP system, take the following into account:
- do you need a full blown system?
- are there service companies out there that can provide the service you company needs?
- do you have, or expect to have, the staff necessary for the care and feeding of an ERP system?
- Are you in an industry with strict controls - such as SarBox or DCAA?
- Are you going to have to customize beyond the vanilla installation?
Most ERP systems have large capital costs and even larger, sometimes exponentially larger care and feeding costs. Updates for the HR payroll systems alone can occupy a couple of people full time. Commercial systems have generally high licensing and maintenance costs, but OpenSource solutions have equally high manpower costs, even through you can sometime avoid the actually capital costs (less than 10% of overall ERP system deployments). Configuration changes, especially for SarBox or DCAA, will require development time at installation and will require more sophisticated operational support.
ERP systems are generally 24x7 systems, which means that you will either have to have a rock solid infrastructure or you will have to rent space somewhere to host it. They require very tight oversight for audits, change control, and employee access. Any of these can affect their availability and operational security.
Before going down the road of an ERP system, ask, do you really need it? And then all the other questions. And then go find a good consulting company and have them work through your business model and determine if an ERP is right for you.
To a certain extent, it will depend on your type of business. Do you need support for manufacturing. If so, what type of manufacturing (process or discrete)? Or, do you need support only for planning and distribution? There are some good choices but those choices depend on your answers to a fairly short set of questions. Thank you.
So far, they can opt for Microsoft Dynamics Navision, which is scalable.
They will select a few modules depending on the size of their business, and later on add more modules as the business grows.
In my humble opinion, it is a bit more complicated to answer this question. There are more factors to consider such as more about the business itself, your needs and goals, what is important to you, growth expectations, company size, budget etc.
For example, when we work with prospective clients we want to help them make the best decision that works for them, not just now, but into the future to avoid frustration and re-work later.
I know it may not be the answer you may have been looking for but
it is critical to have more dialogue about your specific needs and exactly what your unique business requirements are. We work with small to mid-market companies and I would love to find out more about your business needs if you are interested in discussing further.
Regardless, it is a good idea to make sure a service provider and the system they recommend actually factors in at least all of the information mentioned above. I know it is a lot to consider, but based on my experience, you'll be glad you did.
As you can see from all of the responses you have received to date, there is a lot to take into consideration when deciding on which ERP best suits your business. As an SAP partner I know all too well the difficulties customers face when trying to make this decision.
I think your best approach and possibly starting point is to define a high level "Roadmap". This effectively gives you an idea of how your business functions today with its current business applications and what areas need to be improved for you to increase productivity through core business processes whilst reducing your running costs. This Roadmap essentially gives you an end goal and summary of requirements.
Once you have completed the Roadmap, you should now have a document that details your current business processes and provides key areas that need improvement through the adoption of new applications and technologies or replacement of legacy (ERP) systems.
You can quickly reduce the number of ERP applications you are comparing by their capabilities and functions. You will find very quickly, as mentioned in a previous post here, that many of the ERP applications only deliver basic accounting functions and do not have a broad range of features (ERP Modules AR/AP/SD/WM/FICO/MM/IM, Mobility, Collaboration etc.), which are truly integrated.
Hello Maggie! Well I have not got much experience on resource planning system, but the one that we use is good enough and covers all our needs!It's called Comidor and generally is a business collaboration suite based on cloud technology.It's easy to use and learn, fully customizable and affordable (very important for small-medium businesses). Take a look at its features at https://www.comidor.com/en/features
ERP is by definition an enterprise sized investment. Most companies consider only the cost of hardware and software when they buy a ERP. They forget to consider the cost of ERP contractors, expanded IT support team etc.
You have two options here - you may maintain ERP software and operations inhouse or you can host it on a hosted Cloud. Most SME's find the cloud a viable alternative.
Cloud based ERP is way more restricted than inhouse ERP though. I implement both and leave it to the client to decide based on their budget and scope of work.
My first port of call would always be https://bitnami.com/ you can then download virtual images of the various application and evaluated them against your requirements then you can decide which product fits your need and then decide if your want to host it on your infrastructure or on the cloud service they provide.