Five of the best ERP software solutions for SMEs | NetSuite, Epicor, Sage, Acumatica or SAP?
ERP (enterprise resource planning) is a suitably nebulous name for the wide variety of business tools the software encompasses.
The software integrates applications across all aspects of the business into one powerful platform across a shared database with multiple functions. It can combine invoicing, sales, supply chains, inventory control, development and customer relationship management (CRM) into a single database and application.
ERP systems are typically targeted at large organisations. However, it can be a powerful solution for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) with the potential to transform the business if deployed correctly. Here’s our rundown of the best ERPs for SMEs.
1. Best ERP software for SMEs: NetSuite ERP
More than 30,000 organisations use NetSuite ERP, and the company offers a host of other business tools that all integrate seamlessly with its software.
The cloud computing company’s product bundles a myriad of business areas into one integrated system. They include managing IT costs, optimising accounting efficiency, improving staff productivity and streamlining orders reporting.
It covers the whole spectrum of tools to fulfil every resource planning requirement, but might not be an ideal choice for businesses with more basic needs seeking simple solutions.
2. Best ERP software for SMEs: Sage
British contender Sage has established a market niche as a leading supplier of ERP solutions to small businesses. The company offers three different products that each combines finances, sales, customer service and inventory management.
Sage 200 Extra and Sage 200 Extra Online provide simple solutions to complex problems. The latter adds online access, while the former is read-only but includes integrated CRM, business intelligence and manufacturing functions.
Sage X3 fulfils more advanced needs. It includes all the features of its sister products, but adds multiple languages and legislations and integration through web services to support any company with global ambitions.
3. Best ERP software for SMEs: Oracle
Oracle is renowned for its E-Business Suite, a collection of management solutions for large organisations. But the company now also provides a simpler service for midsize companies that its old on-premises model failed to serve.
Oracle’s known as ERP Cloud includes financial, supply chain and procurement applications. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution known as ERP Cloud combines a simple interface and personalised user experience with enterprise-grade security.
The company claims it can automate transaction processing at speeds its competitors can’t compete with, and promises standardised applications, digital capabilities and support for future growth.
4. Best ERP software for SMEs: Acumatica
Acumatica’s web-based ERP applications all run in the cloud, ensuring access to its wide range of applications at a reasonable price. It was designed to be scalable and adaptable in order to support any change that occurs in the business.
The cost depends on the number of applications implemented, a useful offer as the selection is extensive. They cover project accounting and management of financial, manufacturing, field service and customer services.
The company’s flexible pricing model allows unlimited users of the software, a rare feature in the ERP ecosystem.
5. Best ERP software for SMEs: SAP Business One
German enterprise software giant SAP has been designing ERP software since the 1970s and offers an appropriately wide range of products.
For medium-sized businesses there's the cloud-based SAP Business ByDesign, which streamlines end-to-end processes on almost any device, while upper-midsize companies may prefer the enhanced ERP solution of SAP S/4HANA for SAP Business All-in-One.
SMEs may be best served by SAP Business One. It covers financial, sales and customer management, purchasing and inventory control, production planning, business intelligence and analytics and reporting, and is available for both cloud and on-premises deployment.
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