ERP Software, How To Buy The Right Enterprise Systems Accounting Software For Smaller Companies
For virtually every company, an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution will pay big dividends to the organization with respect to productivity, increased revenues, and profitability. ERP solutions connect and optimize the relationship between varying systems such as accounting and finance, operations management, CRM (customer relationship management) and logistics that allow managers and executives to make better decisions about company operations and strategy. In the current market environment, ERP software is getting a lot of demand from smaller sized companies who like the Fortune 1000 companies want to increase their performance and competitive advantage with the help of ERP systems. It is estimated that the ERP market for medium to small sized companies will grow at around 20 percent a year over the next few years, and to service this demand, there are a lot of mid market ERP solutions out there right now to choose from. Vendors are working hard to get these customers and are delivering solutions that are priced for this market’s budget and customized for specific industries too. The question is, which solution and vendor is the right one for your company? ERP software vendors are focusing on solutions that enable companies to react quickly to the changing marketplace while companies rank features and functionality at the top of their list for selecting ERP solutions. Most all of the ERP software solutions catering to small to mid sized businesses have the same modules; BI, business intelligence, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Finance and Accounting, Human Resources, Manufacturing, and Logistics, but the features within each of these modules vary greatly. As with all enterprise systems software, its important to know what your company’s businesses processes and goals are in detail in order to find the key functionality requirements that are critical to have in your ERP solution. Currently the two largest vendors in the ERP space are ERP giants Oracle and SAP, but there is tough competition from a list of other vendors focusing on the middle market such as Epicor, QAD, Sage, Infor, Lawson, Exact and Microsoft. Here is a summary description of these vendors. Epicor was founded 25 years ago and has always focused on providing enterprise solutions for small and medium sized companies. It has a customer base of 25 thousand across the globe. Its top products are its Enterprise (a CRM solution), and iScala (and full service ERP solution). Exact was founded in the early eighties as well and has almost 200 thousand customers across the globe. Its top 3 products for the mid market are Macola (a BPM solution), e-Synergy (a hosted solution), MAX (a full ERP solution). Infor has the largest selection of products of the vendors focused on the mid market companies and are tailored to specific industries. It has 75 thousand customers across the globe. Lawson, founded in the mid seventies has 5,000 customers and its solution is targeting for companies that manufacture and ship products. Microsoft Dynamics offers 4 main mid market products, Dynamics AX (industry specific solution), Dynamics SL (project focused companies), Dynamics NAV (general mid maret ERP solution), and Dynamics GP (for high growth companies). Oracle offers there Peoplesoft solution (for growth companies and government entities), JD Edwards (for growth and government entities, specializing in accounting and finance). Oracle has almost 20 thousand mid market customers. QAD was founded in the late 70’s and focuses on global manufacturers. It has 6 thousand customers worldwide. Sage software focuses on accounting and business management solutions and has 60 thousand customers worldwide. SAP the other big ERP vendor is also getting into the mid market with its mid market focused full enterprise software solution. SAP has over 25 thousand mid market customers. Cost for an ERP solution is usually based on a per module per user basis ranging from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars per user based on vendor and module. After doing the due diligence and comparing the many ERP solution available for the mid market (many more that the list of companies discussed in this article) take note that in a recent survey, on average, only half of the available features and functionality were being used by companies and productivity and performance could be dramatically improved if ERP systems were utilized to their fullest capabilities. As the market becomes more and more competitive, the right ERP solution can make all the difference in the world to performance and longevity for most companies today.