ERP is a complex and multifaceted process, so it makes sense that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use multiple approaches for putting the puzzle pieces together.
Some businesses use a patchwork approach – piecing together multiple separate software tools in hope that the final product appears cohesive. The opposite approach is to find a single tool to cover all the needs of your business. With regard to ERP software, companies like NetSuite utilize a patchwork approach; Microsoft Dynamics is the all-inclusive alternative. In our whitepaper, we evaluated Microsoft Dynamics GP and NetSuite to determine which is a better fit for your business. In this two-part blog series, we give you a synopsis of the findings.
- What Makes All-In-One Better Than Piece-By-Piece?
Many SMBs choose the piecemeal approach to business management software out of necessity. If you're in this camp, it's likely that you started off with the ERP software essentials – perhaps just CRM. Then you added on, realizing that financials software would be a wise investment. Later, you wanted to give your sales team better support, so you found a good sales tool and added it to the mix.
All-inclusive business management software seems, at face-value, to be more expensive than the bit-by-bit strategy. Perhaps that's why you've been avoiding it. Of course, if you were do a simple calculation, you'd likely realize that you've spent far more on your patchwork suite of software tools than you would have on a single full-service solution. Unlike the all-in-one option, your end result is still disjointed, requiring supplementary tools to help stitch together a complete picture of business management.
Dynamics is the superior ERP software option, because it acts as a gateway into all of your business functions. Instead of accessing data from multiple sources and manually compiling it all into yet another tool for reporting, Dynamics integrates all your systems into one easy-to-use dashboard. You have the option to customize your own dashboard, compiling role-relevant insights into meaningful reports for specific users and departments.
Dynamics is a unique solution because of its ability to integrate with your favorite tools. The Microsoft Office suite, for example, features easy-to-use, popular tools like Excel for spreadsheets, PowerPoint for presentations and Outlook for interdepartmental communication and scheduling. Full integration is an important feature of any ERP software package, yet it's often overlooked.
- Why Does Full Integration Matter?
Integration is important because it saves valuable staff time. Report creation and sharing, monitoring metrics and insights, gathering KPIs and using them to implement new productivity-boosting strategies – these tasks all take lots of time and are left wide open to human error. Using software to automate these tasks is beneficial to your business's bottom line.
Even if all your separate tools are integrative (they work together or work with your favorite outside tools), they aren't fully integrated. Changes in one system affect the integrity of all the others, but fixing them requires more staff time devoted to tedious re-entry. Each information handoff between programs leaves your business vulnerable to data loss, redundancy and transcription error.
The benefit of full integration is obvious: All your information is in one place. Everyone – the decision-makers and the movers and shakers – is on the same page, looking at the same information in the same program. Changes in one system cascade immediately through all systems, so you're always looking at the most up-to-date, real-time information about your business.
As an added benefit, Dynamics is a Microsoft program. This means that your ERP software works with, and is built on, the same platform as your favorite Office365 tools, including Word, Excel and Outlook.
If you'd like to learn more about using one right tool for your business management instead of a handful of merely adequate ones, contact the experts at SMB Suite. With a full suite of Dynamics-integrated, cloud-based ERP software, SMB Suite provides the one software solution you need to keep your business going.