We have once again arrived at the end of a year, which brings about the beginning of a new year. For most small-medium enterprises (SMEs) this period of time will be a golden opportunity for management to commence planning the company’s roadmap for the new year. Companies are also encouraged to look into and explore new ways and possibilities to improve their company’s efficiency and productivity levels.
In 2018, we saw many emerging trends in enterprise resource planning (ERP) such as the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in ERP tools and the increasing interest in bringing blockchain technology into ERP systems. Evidently, there are reasons to look forward to the innovative technology in the near future and to make a well-timed decision on an ERP software investment.
What is an ERP system?
ERP is the management of business processes which is often automated with software and technology to better monitor and improve operational performance. A fully-integrated ERP management information system can facilitate different parts of a business including manufacturing, marketing, accounting, finance, customer management and human resources and so on. An ERP system is not a simple software programme, but is a massive software architecture which can integrate all departments to provide better information transparency and more efficient communication within an organisation (Investopedia).
Why SMEs are recommended to implement ERP?
Understanding ERP software as a complex and innovative technology to optimise business functions, how they outweigh other tried-and-true solutions still remains unexplained. Knowing these 3 points is valuable for you in the consideration of acquiring an ERP system.
1. Governmental funding and initiatives for SMEs
Since the announcement of the 2016 budget, the government’s stance on digitalisation has been targeted at SMEs with increasing supportive schemes. In 2017, the government implemented the SMEs Go Digital Programme by IMDA with roughly $80 million. The programme’s main objective is to help SMEs build digital capabilities by getting professional step-by-step advice as well as financial support.
Following that, in 2018, the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) and Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) was released. Accordingly, SMEs are able to receive up to 70% funding support when adopting off-the-shelf technological solutions for qualified projects (Budget 2019).
More recently, at the beginning of 2019, the government dropped another $30 million investment in the Start Digital Initiative, which aimed at facilitating SME’s digitalisation to drive economic transformation. Through this initiative, SMEs can stand to receive up to 6 months of complimentary implementation of digital solutions.
On this note, if you are a Singaporean SME, there is no opportune time rather than the presence to take a step towards digitalising and revitalising your business with an ERP system.
2. Increased usage of ERP system
With the continued development of AI, blockchain, big data and the IoT (internet of things), it comes as no surprise that the ERP market has been steadily growing over the past few years. According to a market research conducted in 2015 by Allied, the global ERP market at that time had been forecasted to burgeon to $41.69 billion by 2020. Additionally, another report revealed that the ERP market is expected to generate a revenue of 47 billion during the forecast period of 2017-2022. (Market Watch).
Such robust growth of the ERP market reveals a trend among businesses to replace the old system or traditional silo methods with an ERP system. Thus, it is the high time for SMEs to evaluate and consider making room in their budget to invest in an ERP technology this 2019.
3. Better flexibility and less complexity for a business management system
An ERP system can provide significant flexibility to your company owing to the scalable capacity and ability to handle large amounts of data. For instance, ERP users can set up various languages and pick up different currencies to operate in the system; price-lists or accounting standards can be easily modified in the system to apply for the entire organisation; users can be able to access the database anywhere, on any devices on browsers or with a mobile application.
Though ERP system is a complicating programme to develop, operating such advanced technology is certainly not as complex as other legacy systems. As a matter of fact, at least 16% of companies that implemented ERP systems was due to replacing old legacy systems which were not user-friendly (Panorma’s Report on ERP Systems and Enterprise Software). On the partnership with ERP providers, users will often be provided with dedicated in-person training and prompt helpdesk support for any enquiries or outstanding concerns.
Investing in an ERP technological solution is highly recommended for SMEs especially in 2019. Firstly, while the funding and support offered by the Singapore government are still available, make sure you grab the opportunity to apply for the grants. Secondly, in terms of technology, it is better early than late as the burgeoning ERP market suggests that the shift towards ERP system is unavoidable for SMEs. Finally, it is impossible to ignore the productivity/ efficiency benefits, convenience and automatic features that you can derive from implementing a functional ERP system. You can read more in our article on how an ERP system helps SMEs overcome challenges.
Synergix Technologies is a Singapore’s largest local and principal developer in ERP software. Having more than 28 years of experience in the ERP industry, our team is committed to providing effective business solutions with innovation and care – Your Requirement, We Deliver.