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Integrated vs. Siloed Small Business Software, Pt. 8: Benefits For Your Business

Posted by Matt Woodward

Jul 2, 2014

small business softwareIn Part 7 of our series, we explored how ERP implementation is more streamlined and more efficient than its siloed software precursors. But ultimately, your small business software is inadequate if it doesn’t provide tangible improvements to your enterprise.

Small business ERP is a comprehensive business management solution that adds tremendous value to your company. Since the goal of this blog series has been to compare fragmented siloed systems to integrative ERP solutions, we've pared down the immense benefits of ERP to just a few comparable points. (See Part 4 to refresh your memory on how silo-based business management solutions stack up.)

Productivity

In the highly competitive SMB marketplace, any business that successfully streamlines its processes and boosts its productivity has a marked advantage over its competition.

Small business ERP facilitates the automation of key processes to cut down on costs, eliminate errors and increase the speed with which they're completed. Think about the processes you encounter through the course of fulfilling an order: sales order management, customer service, order fulfillment, invoicing and payment, inventory tracking and shipping. If your applications are separate (as with siloed systems), you waste time bouncing around between your software to complete just one order; plus, you run the risk of errors occurring during the handoffs. But, if all of your tools are in one centralized ERP suite, you only need to look in that one easy-to-use, fully integrated system.

Insights And Visibility

In order to develop smart strategies for improvement, you need visibility, comprehensive business insights and access to accurate metrics in both high-level and drilled-down detail.

ERP for small business solves the need for updated, accurate insights by consolidating all relevant analytics into one centralized location. Since your entire business management system is comprised of fully integrated ERP modules housed within the same software, you don't need to question the relevance of any metrics you gain. Small business ERP software pulls information from an array of valuable sources to paint a truly comprehensive picture of all of your operations. The ERP system uses this dynamic view to provide KPIs, projections and objectives to help you make the best decisions for your business. The result: Your employees are better informed and are able to make smarter decisions, with further-reaching impacts, more quickly than before.

Innovation And Collaboration

Unlike some of the mundane automatable processes you encounter, innovation and collaboration are purely human pursuits. They're also major drivers of your growth and continued success, because small and mid-sized companies find greater success when their functions work in harmony.

Most small and mid-sized businesses today recognize the need to create a workplace that facilitates collaboration and fosters innovation, but few recognize how the structure of their small business software affects the environment. Siloed systems occupy too much of your employees' time to allow them to focus on innovation, and the disjointed structure stands in the way of effective collaboration. ERP for small business enables collaborative interaction within your organization because it's built on a united platform. Instead of your accounting department working within your standalone accounting software at the exclusion of your other employees, ERP software puts all of your employees in the same place.

Your small business software needs to nurture user-driven innovation. Each of your employees has his or her own expertise, passions and aptitudes. If your employees' proficiencies are hampered by a restrictive silo-based business management system, their potential is being wasted: They're never used to develop or support new initiatives that improve the performance of – and contribute real value to – your organization. Small business ERP software allows your employees to use their collective and individual expertise to tailor processes, implement changes and streamline operations.

Growth

Growth is a universal goal in the SMB market. No business aims to stay stagnant – you want to be dynamic: to grow and expand, to increase your profits and customer base while decreasing your bottom line. Growth is a sign of success, but it's also a volatile period that must be managed carefully and built on smart strategy.

In the small and mid-sized business market, growth is also explosive. To keep your company growing at dramatic rates, you need all of your business applications to be centered around a single code, database and platform. Your small business software forms the foundation of your growth strategy, so if your business management system is siloed, that foundation is fragmented and unstable. Growth (in the form of opening a new location or adding a new sales channel) only serves to overcomplicate your operations. Integrative small business software, however, makes expanding to new locations or channels simple, because all of your processes are united under your single ERP platform – a solid foundation for a well-planned strategy. Your new location doesn't require an entirely new software infrastructure; it fits seamlessly into the strong one you've already built.

The performance of your business hinges on the efficacy of your software infrastructure. Your enterprise strives to work as a cohesive, productive unit, and your business management system should, too. Small business ERP provides the strong, unified support system that holds your business together and propels you toward success, but it doesn't only affect your business – it impacts your customer base, as well. To learn how your customers benefit from your use of integrative small business software, stay tuned for the conclusion of our nine-part series.

Want to learn more about ERP software and SMB Suite's superior business management solutions? Our experts are standing by to answer your questions and show you how ERP helps your business run better. Contact us today or click the link below for a free demo!

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Topics: business software, business management solutions, erp software