Your brand is growing. There are moving pieces to manage — figuratively and literally — from inventory to business processes. You’re trying to figure out how to streamline your operations, keep track of everything and continue to deliver for your customers while you scale.
In today’s world, the natural next step is to bring in software that can help you do your job and fasttrack the day-to-day, routine tasks of managing the company. That’s where the classic solution comes in: an enterprise resource planning system, or ERP. ERP is a broad term that for systems that can cover an enormous range of functions, particularly inventory and supply chain management.
But not all ERPs are created equal: cloud ERP solutions blow classic ERP systems out of the water with their powerful capabilities and interconnectedness. Here are a few key reasons why:
Traditional ERPs have a bad reputation for a reason — they’re often clunky and require more time to operate than they save. Cloud ERP systems break that mold. Since they were designed specifically for the cloud, they’re a modern solution that can keep up with the fast-paced needs of growing businesses.
That means you get all the benefits of an ERP solution with none of the downsides, including:
– Better insight into your business’s data
– Optimization of your inventory management
– Centralized management of your core business systems
And unlike traditional models, those benefits come with additional enhancements like automation of mundane, routine tasks to streamline your operations.
Unlike classic ERP solutions, cloud-based options are built for speed and a streamlined user experience. The implementation process of a gargantuan traditional ERP system can be incredibly costly, requiring specialized experts and months of time, riddled by delays or hidden fees.
Cloud software is different because it doesn’t require hardware or technical expertise to set up. Deployment is fast, often just a couple of days, so that you can enjoy the benefits as swiftly as possible — it’s like installing a very powerful app that will become the beating heart of your business.
That also means that your team will actually use the platform, so you’ll get your money’s worth. Cloud ERPs are typically far more user-friendly than outdated systems and easier to connect. You can deploy the cloud system on any internet-linked device, including tablets that connect your fulfillment workers to your order management system.
As the svelte contrast to bloated traditional ERP solutions, cloud-based ERPs can be tailored to fit into any system and any business. They’re highly modular — adding a feature simply requires purchasing an extension to your core system — so they adapt to do exactly what you need.
This is a huge step up from older systems, where you might use 10% of a tangled, oversized solution. Instead, the power is in your hands. Don’t have a warehouse? Don’t get the warehouse management feature. Expand your inventory into a warehouse? Add on a WMS feature. Simple as that.
That customizability goes hand-in-hand with increased price transparency. You won’t be caught unawares by hidden fees for implementation or licensing for particular features. Instead, you’ll know what you’re purchasing and be confident in the value it adds to your business.
This benefit is essential for growing businesses, as the cost to transfer everything over to a rigid ERP system may be prohibitive. That’s not the case on the cloud: cloud ERP solutions are by nature built to integrate with other software to link up the features you already use.
Whether your tech stack includes a CRM, sales software like Salesforce or accounting software like Xero, high-end cloud ERP software will make it easy to integrate via APIs. You’ll be able to consolidate your company’s data and save time across platforms by linking them all to a cloud ERP solution.
As a Software as a Service solution, cloud ERPs come with strong benefits: rolling updates, lightning-fast bug fixes and strong customer support. That means they’re easy to maintain — because most of the maintenance is done by the software provider and can be updated automatically.
Truly high-end software providers will also roll out updates consistently, whether driven by development initiatives or simply by customer feedback. If you’re missing a feature, you can contact your provider: that feature might be already on its way and deploying to your stack soon.
The other side of that coin is that cloud ERP solutions also offer great support for developers. Most will have documentation to enable developers to keep operations running smoothly or add new integrations and personalization.
The most comprehensive cloud ERPs offer a suite of tools that enable advanced workflows and detailed analysis for manufacturing. After all, manufacturing is one of the key areas that legacy ERP solutions aimed to solve, so to compete, cloud ERPs must provide equal functionality.
The best cloud ERP solutions ensure that you’re not compromising in any one category, but bringing all business processes under one roof and enabling efficient, comprehensive manufacturing management.
For instance, complex manufacturing needs a tool for material requirements planning (MRP) so that your process can be streamlined and planned in detail from start to finish.
All the above benefits combine into one key benefit: cloud ERP software is a true equalizer for growing businesses. Traditional ERPs are highly restrictive, only cost-effective for enterprise-level companies. Cloud-based ERPs are different. They’re cheaper to run, easier to deploy, more user-friendly, customizable and constantly upgrading. They also work with, rather than against, your existing methods.
As a result, they’re an ideal solution for small or medium businesses that are looking to expand and improve operational efficiency along the way.
Looking for more info? Learn more on our related article: 5 Ways Cloud Inventory Management Software Helps Your Business Grow.
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