Cloud Accounting Practice Management Small Business

Mom, Am I Big Enough for ERP?

Written by Eran Rozenfeld

Many smaller accountants automatically answer the question, “Am I big enough for ERP?” in the negative. If that’s true of your practice, it’s time to think again — and bring yourself up to date on the flexibility and relative affordability of today’s ERP systems.

I have been submerged in the ERP world for over 12 years. That’s well over a decade and then some. Like so many of us, I started my promising career as an ERP customer, dealing with the trials and tribulations of ERP onboarding, implementation, pain points and working tirelessly to… get it right. Sound familiar?

If you’re an ERP user or work in an organization that uses an ERP system, then you can relate. Life on the customer side, despite its many challenges, was a great learning experience. So great, that I quickly joined forces with the “opposing team.” I became an ERP software vendor. And here’s what I learned.

‘But We Don’t Need to Change’

Over the years, the most common scenario is the way in which small organizations (5-30 users) underestimate their information system needs. The repeated conversations I had with company CEOs, CFOs and business owners were always the same, “Why change? We’re happy with our accounting software.”

This is what they would say and in fact, what they actually believed. But every so often, they’d call me back with, “We just need a little feature that our software doesn’t have. You know, just something small…” And after some 50 or more similar requests from a long line of prospects, I wanted to tell them all, “Yes, you are big enough!”

ERP? Bring it On!

When I demo a slightly more advanced system — yes, an ERP system — to a prospective customer, there are some ground rules. I need to demo a system that is a perfect fit for small organizations with say, 5 users, a system that users can implement quickly and efficiently within days or even weeks (depending on customer size, of course).

And when I “show them” that this can be done, they are shocked – and here’s why. From the get-go, they realize that they can actually move to a much more advanced system that will not only enable them to scale up in the next 10 years, but also that transitioning to a new system will not be as painful as they perceived — not in budget and not in effort and resources.

Big Enough for ERP

The SMB Challenge

Here are just a few of the key challenges faced by small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) and how an ERP system can help:

  • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Today, the vast majority of SMBs handle customer relations via email and phone calls, while sales and customer service reps do not maintain records of this critical relationship data. An advanced ERP system with an integrated (built-in) CRM module, manages and controls your customer data, including email correspondence, call summaries, price quotes and more – all in one location, all accessible at any time.
  • Workflow & Business Rules – I often tell customers, “You really don’t need to tell your sales reps ‘face-to-face’ not to sale under 20% profit. Let your system do it for you!” With built-in workflow and business rules, you define your sales processes with easy-to-use tools for any sales scenario. But it doesn’t end there. You can easily define business rules to send alerts via email/text for a wide range of operational and sales events, giving you the power to manage and control your workflow and business processes – in real-time.
  • Mobile Apps – You drive to work with a GPS, check the weather forecast, and even order lunch at the local café – all using standard mobile apps. Then why not build an ERP system app to record and view your company data right from your mobile device? ERP is no longer just desktop computing. Today, with a mobile application generator, you can build a mobile app without the need for programming skills, IT support, or any additional costs.

Big Enough for ERP

The Bottom Line

From my experience, once I’ve shown a prospective customer the flexibility of today’s ERP systems — its real user-friendliness with powerful, easy-to-use tools — I have a foot in the door. What’s more, showing them just how ERP will allow their organization to migrate from its (often) outdated accounting system to an advanced and innovative system, gets their decision-makers to better understand the long term value of making the move.

Still think you should call your customer to tell them you shipped their purchase without recording all the details of the sale? Think you need more responsible employees who won’t forget to enter critical data into your software system? Think again. It’s out there and it’s available. Easy migration, minimal effort, and a relatively unintimidating budget.

Yes, you ARE big enough. Move forward.


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About the author

Eran Rozenfeld

Eran Rozenfeld is VP Sales & Operations, Priority Software U.S. Eran has been living and breathing ERP software for longer than he’d care to remember. A seasoned ERP specialist with a ton of hands-on experience, Eran’s a savvy ERP sales professional, with expertise in project management, process analysis and system implementation. He holds an MBA in Marketing from the UK’s Darby University and an undergrad degree in Economics from Bar Ilan University, Israel. Earlier in his career, Eran was Founder & CEO of Infobase Information Technology, a successful Priority ERP consultancy and implementation company. When time permits, Eran enjoys playing jazz guitar, sailing when he can and hiking. At home in Reston, VA, he’s an enthusiastic chef and baker, a budding karaoke star and he’ll never pass up a pillow fight with his two young boys.

8 Comments

  • What about cost? I’ve heard that NetSuite can be $50,000 per year and up. That might be a lot for a company used to paying at most a few thousand dollars a year for small business accounting software.

    • Hi Blake,

      Well there are many ERP softwares out there which you can compare. Priority, for example is way under those prices and fit small organizations that are getting bigger. I will be happy to get you more realistic prices that will probebly fit your budget. Thanks, Eran

  • I second that comment. There is no discussion of a minimum cash investment in year 1 or subsequent years, and for a small business there’s got to at least be a range of potential out-of-pocket before it’s worth having a conversation.

    • Hi Cassie, Priority (full ERP) for small businesses start at around $50 per user/month. Want to hear more? Contact me. Thanks, Eran

  • Like the song says “You don’t know what you’ve lost, until its gone!” – This is a great coffee conversation for business owners needing help on running lean and mean. Yes, Mr. Client, let’s also converse about the long-term losses attributable to poor resource planning vs. the short-term cost of implementation…

  • The approximate cost of mid tier MRP Software is $2000.00 per user per year with a 3 to 4 year contract. If you were to purchase 30 yearly licenses, your yearly licensing costs would run $60,000.00 per year plus support fees. If your firm is averaging 10% profit, you will have to have an extra $600,000.00 in sales each year to support your $60,000.00 in yearly licensing costs.

    With pc/MRP there are no ongoing yearly licensing costs because we sell lifetime licenses. No one can shut your software off because you will own your own software. We sell lifetime licenses for $140.00 each after you purchase the first 5 lifetime licenses for approximately $3,800.00 which would include several optional modules such as the QuickBooks/pc/MRP Interface Module, pc/MRP’s Infinite Bucket MRP Module and a 1 Year / 6 hour Cap Technical Support Contract.

    pc/MRP Interfaces with all Desktop Versions of QuickBooks from Pro to Enterprise. It includes advanced MRP, ISO 9000, Serial and Lot Tracking, Routing, Inspection and CRM features. And best of all, Accounting can continue to use QuickBooks with no double entry.

    Sincerely

    Doug Spencer

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