SMB erp survey of buyers – what really matters

January 20th, 2015 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Software Advice (http://www.softwareadvice.com/ERP/), a review firm that specializes in ERP software, recently wrote to advise us of the key findings of a random sample of 250 SMB inquiries.

Since purchasing and implementing ERP software can be an intensive process that can take up to a year for companies to complete, its important to work with a company that takes the time to understand how software matches your current and future needs and alleviates the most important pain points in 2015.

For SMBs used to owner management, the time comes when a more formal command control structure to delegate work and to get feedback becomes essential to continued growth.

The owner manger who is used to having all the key knowledge and decision making authority needs to spend more time looking outward and evaluating different scenarios and less time micro managing systems, e.g. by using: budget controls, kpi dashboards, alerts, workflows and exception reports.

Knowledge has to be codified and stored so that the business can transition to the next generation of managers. Investors and auditors want to see formal controls, robust scalable platforms, with automation that allows the business to grow and manage acquisitions, or expand into new territories, or lines of business while reducing the relative % administrative overheads and better utilize the management skills

The UAE has a lot of owner managed companies, and also small sales offices of international companies that have outgrown their initial start up days. New technologies offer different competitive advantages – cloud, mobility, any time anywhere decisions- more powerful BI. Different licensing modules now put powerful enterprise solutions within their affordability range.

The key factor to consider is not the cost but what is the right rate of adoption for the available cash flow.
- What are the real business priorities and ROI, and will this be an investment in my balance sheet that adds value to my business?
- Will customers rate more highly if I deliver more consistent service and can demonstrate improved operational controls?
– If I cut down my estimation time can I get out more proposals?
- If I am already breaking even and making a profit and increase my business just 10% how significant is that to my total annual profit% if all my fixed costs are already paid?
- Will my business be more saleable, or more attractive to investors, or for an ipo, and at a higher price when it comes with a proven enterprise system for managing operations, IFRS compliance and statutory reporting, ?

Implementation cycles these days need to be shorter than buying cycles. Agile user friendly systems with a familiar interface that works in the same was other office tools points towards Microsoft-office 365, Dynamics CRM ,Dynamics Ax, Share Point. Learning curves are reduced and user acceptance and productivity increased. The modern architecture of these solutions allows rapid adaptation to the changing business needs that leverage an integrated technology stack all from a single vendor.

Some Key Findings:
1.Two-thirds of buyers do not currently use an ERP system, and 44 percent rely on a combination of disparate systems to execute ERP processes.
2.Fifty-nine percent of buyers cite the need to improve the integration of data between different business processes as a top reason for seeking an ERP system.
3.Forty-seven percent of all buyers cite the need to improve their customer relationship management (CRM) database as a reason for wanting to purchase an ERP system.
4.Among buyers currently using ERP systems, 24 percent cite lack of support and 19 percent cite cost as their primary reasons for wanting to switch to a new system.
5.Twenty-seven percent of buyers who do not currently use an ERP system cite company growth as their reason for wanting to implement one.

http://www.softwareadvice.com/erp/buyerview/report-2015/

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