For today’s small business, technology is the great equalizer. In the past, small organizations didn’t have the resources to invest in large scale technology solutions. In the modern world, these solutions are available to all at the click of a button.
This is a tremendous advantage for a small enterprise, allowing even the most resource-limited company the ability to compete with the largest of competitors.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
The most audacious level of technology solutions are the Enterprise Resource Planning software platforms. ERP software at its most fundamental level, is the integration of all business processes into a single platform. Essentially, everything you do would have a module in your software system from sales to inventory management to accounting to payroll.
Often, ERPs will include other tools such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Intelligence (BI) and eCommerce integration. Common ERPs include platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP and NetSuite.
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
WMS technology has become the standard for any business with product distribution needs. These systems generally do not include the basic operational or accounting functions. They are specifically designed for your “back of the house” inventory management.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Sales and Marketing organizations especially love CRMs. These applications allow them to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the customer life-cycle. They are very effective at keeping you in touch with your customers. CRMs keep all of your most important customer information at your fingertips.
Accounting software is something that every serious business needs. Many businesses simply are not ready for a full ERP. However, there’s no reason in this day and age to NOT have accounting software.
Business Intelligence (known to most as “dashboards”) provide attractive, high level insights into your business operations. Many have the ability to easily integrate with your existing accounting software or ERP.
Technology Is Your Friend
While not the solution to every problem, technology is your friend. It can, at the very least, improve most functions and processes that you rely on to service your customers.
No matter your needs, the solutions are virtually limitless.
Gone are the days of spending incredible sums of money to have software custom-written for your enterprise needs. The advancement of the internet and cloud computing have opened the door for the availability of business applications that are no further away than a search on your preferred search engine.