The enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform industry is set to top $50 billion by 2025. It’s certainly an expanding market.
There was a time when ERP platforms were quite uncool, hidden in the back of the office systems at large corporations.
Today, the systems have trickled downwards into small and medium-sized businesses and even individuals.
In a word, ERP platforms have become democratized.
As the industry accelerates, it is also improving, quickly becoming a core part of organizations around the world. Particularly for small and medium-sized businesses.
Yet one of the barriers to ERP platforms for many SMBs can be the price and ongoing costs of running them.
And while more modern cloud-based solutions are making the barriers of usage lower, costs can push those barriers back up.
So here are some ways that small and medium-sized businesses can chop down some of the ERP costs.
Lighten the load
A recent report found that just 26% of an organization’s workforce used the company’s ERP system and that, as that organization grows, even less of the workforce will end up using it.
To save costs, businesses would do well to follow a few guidelines that include: choosing a few key decision-makers to manage processes rather than allowing entire user groups; only allow must-haves to make it into specs – don’t turn it into a huge wish list for all potential users; emphasize the UX when choosing an ERP platform as users will be more accepting to use it.
Watch the support and maintenance costs
What tends to happen is for businesses to use ERP platform providers to take care of their support and maintenance contracts. This tends to turn out to be more costly.
One alternative option is to look towards third-party support and maintenance providers. According to one report, organizations that choose their own service and maintenance providers save an impressive 50% each year on average.
Not only are third-party providers cheaper but they are also more likely to offer a stronger bench of pros, who are continually addressing issues across a particular platform.
Warm to next-generation training
Integrations and upgrades of ERP software require a lot of user training. However, there are ways to cut down the costs of the learning process without affecting productivity.
It’s hard to believe now but, before the pandemic, much of the training was done in person. Now much of it is done remotely.
Better training models – and in turn cheaper models – include aspects such as: shorter lessons, given that our modern minds tend to absorb briefer bits of information; video lessons let users learn when and where they want and unlike Zoom, have no attendance limitations; self-driven training tools is more likely to boost engagement rates rather than scheduled training sessions.
Taking these suggestions into account, small and medium-sized businesses will find themselves in a better position to judge which ERP platforms they want to analyze and ultimately which one to implement.