If you’re still managing your small manufacturing business using separate software platforms for every back-office task, (or worse, no software platforms at all) it’s time for an upgrade. In fact, it’s well past time, and the scability and affordability of streamlined single-platform solutions make the size of your organization a non-issue.
Years ago, enterprise resource management systems (ERP) and MRP implementations only made sense for large companies with budgets that could accommodate high risk. But during the last two decades, software developers have started simplifying and scaling their offerings to meet the needs of smaller companies. And in the meantime, additional options have appeared on the scene, including offsite data storage and application subscriptions available on a short term or monthly basis. Here are some of the myths that may be keeping you from stepping into the 21st century.
1. There are no systems tailored to meet the needs of my specific business.
This excuse made sense in 2003, but if you haven’t researched the marketplace in a while, take another look. Developers have responded to the needs of smaller and specialized manufacturing operations, and it’s now possible to find single platforms specifically tailored to the requirements of your facility. No matter what you produce (garments, chemicals, small electronics, food and beverage, etc, etc), available systems can manage everything from your warehouse to your accounting needs to your CRM.
2. Software implementations are expensive.
Sophisticated ERP capabilities no longer require expensive hardware purchases and servers that you’ll need to own and maintain on site. Many available systems can now be run via offsite data management facilities, and can be scaled to meet the needs of a business as it grows over time. Start small and choose a system that can be upgraded as you decide to add additional services.
3. New technology is a hassle.
If you’d rather avoid a complex technology implementation altogether, that’s also an option in today’s marketplace. Instead of purchasing an ERP or MRP system, you can sign a short term contract with a service provider (SaaS) who can maintain your data and offer the use of a wide range of applications on a yearly or monthly basis. Cancel or change the terms of the agreement whenever you like.
For more on how to upgrade your back office management system, streamline your operations, and keep your company in motion, contact the small business management professionals at CSS.