In a world dominated by multi-national organisations, a lack of resources and personnel means it can be difficult for start-ups and SMEs to compete. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.
There’s a whole host of tools and technologies SMEs can employ to close the gap with established players. This can enable them to capitalise on the advantages of lean organisational structure.
Here are three simple and effective ways small businesses can compete with large enterprises:
Switch to the cloud
The scalability and flexibility offered by cloud-based applications means it’s perfectly suited to the needs of smaller businesses.
The ability to configure packages makes it simple to scale resources up or down based on changing business needs. Businesses are able to pick and choose functionalities, such as accounting or attendance tracking, as needed. This is particularly valuable for smaller businesses, for whom personalisation and scalability is a must.
Moving away from on-premise solutions also allows start-ups and SMEs to reduce IT budgets and sidestep the complexities of managing hardware. The cloud enables start-ups to compete with large enterprises by providing advanced functionalities without breaking the bank.
The cloud is often held aloft as a simple route to greater efficiency, flexibility and security. Whilst it’s not quite a cure-all solution, it certainly reduces costs, encourages innovation and delivers value to businesses.
Leave spreadsheets behind
The thought of trading in spreadsheets for a fully-fledged ERP system can be daunting for SMEs. The most common concerns include the cost of transformation and risk of service disruption. However, if conducted with the right partner, the transition can be a smooth and orderly process.
One of the greatest challenges for small businesses is that the technologies underpinning their data processes were not designed for today’s multichannel digital world. Spreadsheets are simply not equipped to house or interpret the vast quantities of data produced today.
In order to best organise and utilise their data, SMEs should upgrade to the latest cloud-based ERP solutions. Modern systems improve efficiency by centralising a number of processes, including CRM, accounting, stock levels and sales. The automatic coordination of these processes allows businesses to make informed decisions based on all available data.
With the introduction of GDPR, it has also become more important than ever that data is secure and well organised. Businesses must ensure they are able to preserve data security and uphold the fundamental right to be forgotten, as defined by the new regulation. However, this becomes very difficult when data is stored across multiple disparate spreadsheets.
The considerable penalties attached to breaching the terms of GDPR could pose an existential threat to organisations of all sizes. For that reason, it’s important SMEs join large enterprises in taking advantage of the security and transparency afforded by the latest ERP technologies.
Arm employees with the ability to work remotely
In a large business, roles are well-defined and tasks clearly delegated. In a smaller business, though, staff are likely to fulfil various roles spanning multiple departments. For this reason, having access to all systems at all times is especially important for SMEs. To make this a possibility, small businesses need to arm employees with the tools to work remotely.
Many businesses—both small and large—are lagging behind when it comes to mobility. This is often due to the lack of technology capable of supporting the need to work on the go.
The latest cloud-based ERP gives users the freedom to access data from any location. This means employees can have visibility of the business whenever it’s needed, allowing them to stay on top of modern business challenges as and when they arise.
Some vendors also offer Mobile Application Generators, which allow employees to build apps to access the information required to carry out their jobs from remote environments. These apps can be created in moments, and don’t require a high level of IT expertise.
As technology continues to advance, small businesses will have to embrace mobility if they want to keep pace with larger competitors.
Transformation is no longer a choice
Digital transformation is no longer a choice, but rather a process all firms must go through to stay competitive. The reliance on outdated legacy systems or, in some cases, no business management systems at all, is holding back SMEs hoping to compete with larger counterparts.
By not updating their technological arsenal with the latest cloud-based, mobile enabled ERP solutions, small businesses are missing out on key functionalities capable of levelling the playing field.
Priority Software empowers businesses of all sizes by providing the most comprehensive, flexible and affordable ERP solution on the market. Founded in 1986 with the mission of making ERP easier, today, Priority‘s business software solutions and robust technology platforms deliver flexible, scaleable and highly intuitive ERP solutions. Our customer roster boasts over 8,700 companies across a wide range of industries in 40 countries who rely on Priority to manage and grow their business.