Blog

What ERP Software Can Do for Small and Medium Businesses and How Cloud ERP Can Return Greater ROI

ERP software offers many advantages for small and medium businesses including greater agility, competitive edge and improved operational efficiency. Move your ERP to the cloud and it becomes more advantageous for small and medium businesses as it empowers them to better compete and achieve greater ROI.

If you’re a business just starting to research ERP, it might be good to start with the history of ERP Software and how the technology evolved.

ERP had its early beginnings from MRP or Materials Requirement Planning, which integrated additional data specific to employee and financial information into the scope and planning. It then changed to Manufacturing Resource Planning primarily due to industry interest before it morphed into what we know today as ERP – a solution that streamlines internal and external operational processes to improve efficiency and profitability across the entire business.

Enter cloud technologies, specifically Cloud ERP, and now a company has the ability to achieve greater ROI by improving operational efficiency, being more competitive in the market and proactively planning for their growth and greater profitability. For small and medium businesses, Cloud ERP may be a more viable solution, delivering greater ROI.

Improved Operational Efficiency
It’s widely known that ERP Software is designed to increase visibility and transparency across every department. And that certain industries will have specific initiatives relevant to industry drivers. Move to the Cloud and you now have your ERP on demand creating access to services from anywhere the internet is available. This allows for greater collaboration between employees, regardless of where they are located, improved visibility and a clearer picture of financials across multiple departments. And having the ability to act quickly to business opportunities as they arise will only improve overall performance and agility.

Be More Competitive
An additional benefit associated with ERP Software is the capacity for a company to gain greater competitive advantage and remain resilient. To be exact, a company’s ability to meet the demanding needs of the market faster than the competition, distinguish their value proposition from the rest and remain ahead of the competition. Many believe this is the single most important aspect of staying competitive. Cloud ERP adds further to the value proposition by bringing fluidity to the business – allowing an organization to adopt new technology without disrupting business or having to add additional resources while adding the ability to better manage cash flow. This is especially important for small and medium business owners that can benefit from:

Dynamics GP Only For Big Organizations?

Well, it probably depends on your definition of “big.” Microsoft defines its mid-market as
companies with revenues of $5 to $500 million. $500 million is big, but Microsoft has a pretty hefty range at work.  The bottom line is, there are a lot of $5 million companies running Microsoft Dynamics GP,  and depending on what your business objectives are, the savings in a cloud environment mean much smaller organizations find that GP often has a niche to meet their needs. In fact, a good number of our newest accounts at SMB Suite have been smaller organizations jumping up from Quickbooks.

Whether or not GP is a fit for you also depends on your budget. If you have $600 to spend on software, go with QuickBooks. Microsoft Dynamics GP is not for you. But if you’re willing to consider the real cost of software that no longer meets your business needs, you might come to the realization that $600 is just money wasted if QuickBooks falls short of your requirements.

Here’s an analogy that I just made up on the spur of the moment. Once upon a time, you had only
1 sales rep working for your company. And your phone system had only 1 outbound line. Most of
the time that sufficed. Now there are 4 sales reps working for your company and you still only
have one outbound line. So sure, you can say you have a phone and it doesn’t cost a lot of
money, but at any given time you have 3 sales reps sitting around doing nothing as they wait for a
phone line to free up. It’s pretty obvious from my rather silly example here that this would not be a good business practice.

Can you really afford to have 3 sales reps twiddling their thumbs? What’s the cost to you in lost
business? Are you in the business of paying people to do nothing? And do you doubt that my analogy holds water? Let’s look at software now. Once upon a time, you were a one-person shop. You bought QuickBooks. Maybe it was even recommended to you by your accountant. It was really, really cheap and easy to use, too. A good deal.

Now you’re a 10 person company. There’s you (the owner), your son or daughter who just joined
the business, 4 sales reps, a marketing manager, office manager, bookkeeper, and a customer
service rep. Your accounting needs have grown beyond the basics that QuickBooks provides.
Your business is more complex. Maybe you should look at QuickBooks Enterprise. But (and hey,
you had to know there would be a “but”) you’re also continuing to grow. You’re moving into new
markets. Your transaction volume has tripled in the last 5 years. How much longer will an edition
of QuickBooks meet your needs?

So do you spend money moving to QuickBooks Enterprise now only to find out in a year or two
that you’ve outgrown that, too?

It’s time to move up to the next level altogether. Do you actually know what a one or two user
Microsoft Dynamics GP system costs, or have you just heard rumors? And a better question might
be, do you know how much you GET when you purchase Dynamics GP? That’s an easy question.

Here’s a list of all the modules that some with Dynamics GP right out of the box:

Top 5 Reasons to Use SMB Suite for Your Business

SMB Suite is the industry’s first fully integrated cloud subscription-solution for accounting, productivity, collaboration, and Ecommerce designed with your business in mind.  Here are the top five reasons why you to use SMB Suite to exceed your business needs.

Dynamics GP And Advanced Reporting

Many insurance businesses, government contractors and other organizations with complex reporting needs find their cloud ERP home with SMB Suite because of our flexible integration options and the superior customizaton of Dynamics...

Read More

SMB Suite vs. Netsuite

Which one offers the best value to my business? There is no question that the number of cloud-based enterprise application solutions is growing. The two emerging leaders in this space...

Read More

Where QuickBooks Falls Short Part II

According to PartnerCompete, Quickbooks online has had a surge of growth in Q4 of FY10 in
spite of multiple outages in the service. This doesn’t surprise me for the most part. In a recession,
people are forced to start over and try for their dreams of owning a business. But with this, also
comes growth of businesses and outgrowing Quickbooks online is fairly easy to do.

I’m sure you have run across a few comparisons of QuickBooks vs. Microsoft Dynamics® GP, so
the first thing you should know is that QuickBooks Online currently does not provide purchase
orders or inventory tracking. Reports and graphs are available, but not as many as in QuickBooks
desktop-based. Report customization also is somewhat limited in QuickBooks Online. So if you’ve
already determined you’ve outgrown QuickBooks, you have definitely outgrown QuickBooks
Online.

Where QuickBooks Falls Short Part I

QuickBooks is one of the most popular small business accounting systems on the market. There is no denying the success of the product with over 3.5 million users. For the...

Read More

What the CFO Wants From Cloud ERP

SMB Suite is unique not only for it’s 24/7 helpdesk and total-integration cloud solution. It’s also a company that was founded by CPAs and others with strong public accounting backgrounds. I recently asked our CFO about his perspective on what matters most in financial accounting software:

His unabridged reply:
10. Ability to track customer credit lines and insure we are not increasing our exposure
9. Ability to know what inventory shortages exist and be aware of them as they happen
8. Ability to assemble the financial reporting package for the Board
7. Ability to identify slow moving inventory items
6. Ease in which to export data to Excel spreadsheets for analysis
5. Ability to interface with Microsoft Office
4. Ability to track customers’ purchasing behavior on a product by product basis
3. Ability to break out information by segment
2. Ability to generate relevant information from raw data
1. And the number one reason is: The ability to access the information I need, when I need it and
how I need to see it without requiring significant effort from the IT department or the Accounting
Department staff to generate it.

In my role, I speak with literally dozens of prospects every week. And I would concur that our
CFO’s number 1 point above is the most common complaint I hear from finance professionals
about the shortcomings of their current system, be it QuickBooks (compare QuickBooks and
Dynamics GP), Peachtree, Sage MAS90/200/500 (compare MAS90/200 and Dynamics GP), or
whatever. Access to information (not just data) is a key reason for evaluating Microsoft Dynamics
GP. It’s what keeps the C-level executives up at night. Hopefully with the right system in place,
these executives have peace of mind.

There’s a lot more information comparing Quickbooks to Our Cloud ERP Offering in our resource centers!

LinkedIn + Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales = Coming Soon!

Announcing the Microsoft Relationship Sales solution coming SOON—bringing LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365 for Sales together to build and manage customer relationships.  

Sales Navigator by LinkedIn provides an integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) solution.  The sales tool for prospecting and Insights will be available through LinkedIn Sales Navigator combining two leading Sales solutions at one low price.

Three reasons to check out Sales Navigator:

1. Targeting the ideal buyers and organizations

Find the right people quickly with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Easily save leads and create a sales lead list to focus on buyers that matter. This sales tool also features a sophisticated algorithm to give you lead recommendations that are tailored to you.  Find key decision makers from over 500 million LinkedIn members and determine the best path to reach them, including introductions from colleagues.

 2. Managing relationships at scale

Increase your sales pipeline, keep data in sync, and engage buyers with relevant content throughout the account lifecycle. Understand buyer intent and follow up effectively. 

3. Engaging buyers with personalized outreach

Sales is all about building relationships. Designed for sales professionals, this sales tool helps you build trust even before the initial conversation. LinkedIn Sales Navigator has the tools to help you stay informed and up-to-date on contacts and accounts. Be in the know with timely and accurate information to turn cold calling into warm conversations.