10 key features SMEs should look for in a modern ERP software

Are you struggling to manage your company’s finances, operations, customers, and employees? It is time to upgrade from your traditional ERP system to a modern ERP solution.

Cloud-ERP software is the need of the hour

Adoption of cloud technologies across industries is accelerating like never before. According to an IDC report, nine out of ten companies will have some part of their applications or infrastructure in the cloud by 2019, and the rest are expected to follow by 2021.

The chances are high that your peers are already updating their ERP systems. Hence, to stay relevant in this competitive landscape you must opt for a future-ready ERP software.

What is a modern ERP software?

Sample this: You are on a fitness spree and want to achieve your desired result by the year-end. Running on a treadmill will help you lose weight, but for a healthy body and mind, you have to strengthen your muscles, increase your stamina, and have a balanced diet. This discipline is possible only with the help of a good trainer.

A modern ERP is that ‘good trainer’ who helps you achieve your goals of enhancing of business productivity, increasing profitability and becoming globally competitive. Designed to meet the growing business needs of SMEs, the software takes care of the health of your entire business. It makes your business fit and strong from within and allows you to focus on things that matter to you most.

Therefore, a modern ERP is a solution which is functional on a cloud platform and can smoothly manage and integrate a company’s financials, supply chain, operations, customers, as well as employees.

Below are some of the advantages of a new-age ERP solution over the traditional one:

Features Modern ERP Software Traditional ERP Software
Cost Cost effective with minimal expenditure on deployment and maintenance. Easily affordable by anyone Deployment and maintenance require a hefty sum. Unaffordable by small companies.
Flexibility With the ability to integrate unique solutions as needed, the software can be changed and upgraded quickly It is a rigid solution and ill-equipped to deal with constantly-changing business models. Upgrades are a mammoth task
Location Being a cloud-based ERP system there is no location restriction. Easily accessible from any geography Restricted to the office premise
Implementation Implementation is a simplified process that can be completed within hours Implementation is complicated and time ranges from days to months.
Management Does not require a specialised IT team to manage the software An in-house team of IT professionals required
Scalability Highly scalable solution to cope-up with the fluctuating needs of an organization Limited scalability

Looking for more reasons on why you should opt for a cloud ERP solution? Read our latest article here.

Once we have understood the importance of moving to a Cloud-ERP solution, the other challenging task is choosing the right ERP software.

With new ERP features and applications reaching the market every day, it’s essential to choose your options wisely.  Here is a list of core functionalities that an SME should never compromise while selecting a modern ERP solution:

  1. Cloud-based: Always select an ERP solution hosted on a cloud-based platform. This feature avoids costly and time-consuming software updates. Deployment flexibility, scalability, and affordability help you achieve the best ROI.
  2. Automation and optimization of business operations: A modern ERP software must provide a simple and efficient way to manage your business processes and automate your day-to-day activities. Breaking down data silos is crucial.
  3. Provide real-time information: The software should have a centralized database enabling real-time reporting so that each department can stay updated, anticipate potential issues, quickly respond to changing needs, and identify future opportunities. Data can be accessed anywhere from any internet-enabled mobile device.
  4. Help maintain compliance: Stay up to speed with regulations has been difficult for you, the new-age ERP is your solution. It takes the hassle out of compliance by automatically updating your system whenever the regulations change. By ensuring smooth tax filing, you can stay up-to-date on your compliance obligations.
  5. Connects to the entire ecosystem: A cloud-based modern ERP software should be able to flow all the relevant information smoothly to external platforms such as Government agencies, banks, e-Commerce platforms, payment gateways, customer support systems, and so on. Additionally, a modern ERP system must seamlessly connect your business, people and processes as well as with your on-premise ERP systems.
  6. Strengthens customer relationships: The Cloud ERP must enable you to offer excellent customer service. Sharing credible information with the customers and on-time delivery of goods increases their trust.
  7. Enhances business productivity: An ERP with automation feature reduces the chances of human error and multiple data entry. Employees can focus on productive work while the solution takes care of the mundane tasks. By cutting down on operational costs and improving efficiency, modern ERP software helps increase business productivity.
  8. Multi-currency Support: The ERP must support different currencies, exchange rates, and fees for currency exchange. It should also track payment dates and help reconcile issues related to changing exchange rates and shifting values of currencies and inventory.
  9. Role-based Security: It must provide secure, role-based access to functionality and data regarding individual lines of business and international operations on a country-by-country basis.
  10. International Reporting Requirements: As countries have different tax laws, regulations and standards, country-specific documentation is crucial for international commerce – a modern ERP should streamline these critical reporting requirements.

In addition to the features mentioned above, your ERP software should be future-ready to support a growing organization. For instance, if your business transforms from 5-membered to 50-membered set-up, your ERP should easily support it.

Today, there are thousands of ERP vendors in the market and choosing the right one for your business is the key to long-term success. Thus, we recommend organisations to evaluate multiple vendors and never compromise on any of the features before investing in the solution.

Curious to find the best ERP software for your business? Read about the top 10 ERP systems here.

Want to learn more? Watch this video to understand how an integrated modern business solution can solve your critical business challenges and help your business grow.