Written by: Maine Dela Cruz
As of 2020, there were 106,175 small businesses in the Philippines, the second-highest in terms of enterprise population, next to microenterprises. This means this sector plays a vital role in shaping our economy.
However, many small businesses still rely on manual processes when running the company. Companies managed with manual processes, spreadsheets, and off-the-shelf software. However, in today’s digital economy, running your business without a well-rounded ERP solution is synonymous with a warrior going to battle without a proper weapon.
When you’re up against large corporations, you’re constantly fighting an uphill struggle. Major budgets and sophisticated business tools enable large firms to simplify their processes and provide high-quality goods at a price point that is extremely competitive. However, all of this has changed as a result of innovation, development, and the advent of the game-changing high-speed internet.
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ERPs are excellent multipurpose tools that may help you enhance your whole organization by allowing you to manage all departments from a single system, increasing efficiency, increasing throughput, and lowering expenses. From the top floor to the shop floor, ERPs provide more insight and visibility, allowing your organization to function more smoothly and productively.
Before we look into the best ERP for small businesses, let’s get to know what an ERP is.
What Does Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems Mean?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is software that companies use to organize daily operations. It’s a cost-effective solution that enables the flow of transactional data from multiple sources and the management of ongoing business processes like accounting, human resources, sales, marketing, and data security. Both small and midsized businesses can benefit from using one ERP software solution to cover a variety of business operations.
ERP software for small businesses was developed in 1992 by IBM engineers looking to refine and automate workflows. Since then, the ERP industry has proved an intensely competitive market with a variety of platforms to choose from.
When it comes to small business management, cloud computing is changing the game. ERPs provide data integrity with a single source of truth and combine business operations into one manageable dashboard.
A Brief History of ERP Systems
According to QAD.Inc, a vendor of enterprise resource planning software, the word ERP was created in the 1990s by the Gartner Group to differentiate ERP systems from MRP systems. According to QAD.Inc, ERP systems began to evolve during this time period to include business intelligence “while also managing additional operations, such as sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation, and e-commerce.”
Due to the difficulties associated with on-premise ERP solution, suppliers began creating cloud ERP in order to offer a SaaS ERP solution (ERP provided as a software service by vendors). Among the disadvantages of on-premise ERP are the high cost of setup, license, and lengthy deployment period.
In comparison, SaaS is simple to adopt and less expensive, since it is often paid on a monthly basis. The program may be customized to meet the unique requirements of each sector. As a result, the approach is applicable to small firms as well.
Features of A Small Business ERP System
An ERP software usually contains customizable features that you may pick and choose from. Smaller businesses and startups should only pick the features they really need to save money. They may easily add more as the business expands.
1. Human Resources Management
This feature automates payroll processing, tracks time and attendance, and manages employee records like performance reviews, payroll benefits, and scheduling. Self-service HR functionalities allow employees to request time off or view their attendance records.
2. Financial Management
It tracks income and expenses through recorded transactions and account structures in order to forecast profit and loss.
3. Inventory Management
This feature allows businesses to record information on items they build, store, buy or sell. Keep up-to-date stock records to avoid running out of items or buying items unnecessarily.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
It manages customer contact info, order histories, invoices, and quotes.
5. Supply Chain Management
This manages the flow of goods and services from raw material acquisition to delivery of the finished product to the customer.
6. Analytics and Reporting
These features measure key performance indicators (KPIs) like income (Accounts Receivable) and expenses (Accounts Payable), top-performing products, or open orders over a set period of time.
Benefits of ERP Systems for Small Businesses
Apart from providing complete visibility into business operations, ERP for small businesses can improve your business operations in many ways. They let you expand your business without adding IT or staffing costs, provide a competitive advantage to your business, increase productivity and reduce costs.
ERP for small businesses can prove beneficial in the following ways:
In an ever-changing business environment, it’s wise to respond to change as soon as possible. It’s imperative to invest in ERP that’s flexible, modular, and scalable enough to embrace changing market dynamics and evolving customer needs. They also give businesses the flexibility to implement specific modules and add on others as they grow.
They also serve as excellent business intelligence tools. With the plethora of information available in a central database, you can create reports and dashboards that include everything from income and expense statements to custom KPIs that offer useful business insights. ERP for small businesses helps make data-driven decisions to minimize risks and increase profits.
3. Improve business productivity
ERP for small businesses automates tedious tasks such as manual data entry, timesheet tracking, order processing, monitoring inventory levels, and generating reports. It also performs advanced calculations within minutes, freeing up staff members’ time to perform more useful and thoughtful tasks.
10 Best ERP for Small Business
While there are other things to consider when picking an ERP software, the following are the top ERP solutions that small businesses may choose from:
1. Best free ERP system – Dolibarr ERP CRM
The first in our list of small business ERP systems is Dolibarr, an open-source platform that combines ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) software into a single solution for small businesses, foundations, and freelance professionals.
The software is simple to install and use. You can start with the core ERP system, then add industry-specific modules as required. Dolibarr is highly rated and represents excellent value for money.
Looking for a cheap ERP system? Look no further for an affordable solution because Dolibarr comes with a free version.
2. Best for inventory management – DEAR Systems
DEAR Systems is ERP for manufacturers, retailers, and multi-channel sellers. Included are usual ERP modules like accounting, inventory management, purchasing, manufacturing, warehouse, and point of sale. On top of that, you get eCommerce, B2B payments, and a B2B portal so this one is right up to date on some of the needs of small businesses.
The B2B portal allows your customers to manage their own orders subject to your rules while you add value by delivering the products and services your customers want.
You can work faster and better by automating many of your inventory management processes and taking care of small tasks while you look forward to a better future.
3. Best for scalability – DELMIAWorks
Designed specifically for manufacturers, the DELMIAWorks ERP system is a natural fit for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and startups. The core system features manufacturing and inventory control, sales, and financial management.
The system is designed to scale as your business grows. Additional shop floor and enterprise functions can be added without the need to use third-party add-ons.
4. Best for flexibility and ease of use – SYSPRO ERP
With a history that goes back to 1978, SYSPRO is a mature platform that has grown into a fully-fledged solution.
SYSPRO is an ERP solution focused on helping small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) engaged in manufacturing and distribution. The modular nature of the system makes it easy to customize. Additional options such as warehouse management and inventory control can be added as needed.
5. Best ERP software for inventory-heavy businesses – Versa Cloud ERP
Versa Cloud ERP is aimed at small businesses that need advanced resource planning features. The software helps them monitor, manage, report, and consolidate data across their inventories, revenue, and reports.
As a cloud-based solution, this ERP can be accessed from anywhere via desktop or mobile devices. It provides real-time financial and operational insights so that managers can make more informed decisions.
6. Best for businesses with a global presence – NetSuite ERP
NetSuite ERP also runs in the cloud and helps thousands of businesses gain greater visibility into their operations. The suite is an integrated solution that helps you automate e-commerce, inventory management, supply chain management, financials, and CRM.
The system has built-in dashboards and offers real-time reporting. It provides a real-time view into the performance, from a consolidated level down to individual transactions.
7. Best for end-to-end project management – HoneyBook
HoneyBook targets the small business and professional services market. It helps companies and freelancers to organize on-premise work activities, connect with clients, manage invoices, and get payments. The system includes features such as electronic signatures, expense tracking, and organized calendars.
Branded templates help showcase accomplishments, and payments can be collected by credit card, debit card, or bank transfer. HoneyBook offers mobile apps and integrates with third-party applications such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Sage, and Zapier.
8. Best for organizations with sophisticated supply-chain requirements – Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP
Similarly, Oracle Fusion Cloud ERP is an end-to-end business process management solution. The suite of applications also includes material planning, financial accounting software, and business intelligence.
Indeed, you can integrate the system with your current SaaS software solutions and leverage a range of Oracle technologies to gain a single view of business workflow.
9. Best for manufacturing companies – GeniusERP
Genius ERP is a complete enterprise resource planning system built with manufacturers and distributors in mind. It’s ideal for companies handling make-to-order, engineer-to-order, custom-to-order, and assemble-to-order operations.
Notable features include accurate estimating, inventory control, order management, procurement planning, and accounts management. With additional options such as product engineering and field service, Genius ERP simplifies complex manufacturing management.
10. Best for Microsoft-savvy workplaces – Microsoft Dynamics 365
Business Central is for SMBs, whereas F&O (finance and operations) is for corporations. The useful, adaptable, and familiar Microsoft interface might appeal to small enterprises. Its ERP software also has strong integration, comparable to QuickBooks, Salesforce, Odoo, and other systems that use best-of-breed ERP to solve small company difficulties.
Flexibility, a key feature of Business Central, may also be a flaw. The range of setup choices might also be confusing for small enterprises. The implementation ecology of D365 is a mess, with too many weak resellers and partners. Business Central is still a fantastic match for many smaller businesses.
Back Your ERP System with Reliable Business Internet by Streamtech!
When looking for the best ERP system for small business, you need a reliable business internet provider in the Philippines.
Power your business’ connectivity needs with Streamtech’s high-speed internet for enterprises. Streamtech Internet may be a new internet provider in the Philippines but don’t let this fool you. Our completely redundant fiber-optic cable backbone provides services tailored to your business’s rising needs.
Certainly, technology advances at a rapid pace, becoming more sophisticated. Thus, in its unwavering commitment to providing high-quality services within your reach, Streamtech also rises to the needs of modern times. As a supplier of high-speed internet, we understand the small business sector’s constant need for connectivity. As a result, we customize our service offerings to meet your unique online needs.
We price our internet plans and cable TV services similarly to residential rates to ensure that small businesses do not incur additional costs. In terms of client service, we likewise adhere to the same service level agreements.