ERP – What it is and Cost Saving Alternatives

ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is the software used to manage day-to-day business activities and processes. These activities and processes are core functions needed to run a business and include every process you could think of, supply chain, finance, procurement, service, HR, manufacturing, and others. The systems tie together many business processes and enable the ease of data flow between them.

Traditionally, each department in a business uses its own individual systems, which are optimized for its specific tasks, and communication between the departments is highly dependent. With ERP software, this situation changes completely. Now, each department still has its own unique systems, but all of these can be accessed through one application with one single interface.

Benefits of ERP

Though ERP offerings have evolved over the years, the major applications do remain the same. A few notable advantages of the ERP system include,

  1. Enhanced Business Reporting
    With an ERP, as all business system information is unified, real-time reporting can be achieved. Although it does depend on the type of architectural design you employ, you still are able to achieve a single source of truth. Many businesses are able to translate this enhanced reporting mechanism to achieve faster response times, improve order accuracy and customer service.
  2. Better Inventory Management
    ERP enables businesses to avoid surplus inventory and only carry as much of it is needed. This function saves businesses a major hassle of either carrying too much inventory or too less of it. Organizations are able to achieve lower overhead costs, shorten fulfillment periods and also improve on-time delivery to customers.
  3. Cost Savings
    ERP offers better invoicing and collection tools, enabling businesses to bring cash in faster. It not only saves time and cost associated with the collection but in turn, also boosts cash flow for the business. The improved inventory planning also results in better procurement management and customer service. This makes it possible for businesses to save on overhead costs and gain efficiency in routine tasks.
  4. Better Data Security
    An ERP comes with dedicated security resources and a centralized data repository. Because of this everyone in the organization can be confident that data is correct, up-to-date, and complete. As data is distributed across multiple departments, without relying on error-prone spreadsheets, data integrity is assured for every task performed throughout the organization.
  5. Business Process Improvement
    Departments are better able to share knowledge and collaborate effectively. This results in a newly synergized workforce that improves productivity and employee satisfaction ratings.

Businesses employ enterprise resource planning software for a variety of reasons. And though there’s no one-size fits all methodology here. An ERP can be employed across an enterprise, mid-sized, or small-sized business, including various customizations for any industry.

Alternatives to ERP

ERP software is used on a cloud subscription model (SaaS or software-as-a-service) or a licensing model (on-premise). And even though the advantages are many for using an ERP, not every business is ready to employ it head-on. That’s why here are a few alternatives to ERP system that suits well for mid-size and small-size businesses,

1. Triggre

Triggre is a no-code platform that allows you to make applications without making things too tech-heavy. Their software workflow is pretty simple and you can avail a lot of ERP functionalities for as low as $49 per month.

Some of its key features include,

  1. Easy user experience allows you to build a fully functioning business application, customized to your processes, in hours!
  2. A cost-effective solution as you are able to avoid the hefty license fees, otherwise payable for SaaS tools.
  3. Choose from hundreds of ready-to-use templates from partner onboarding, progress reporting, invoice management, compliance automation, etc.

2. Kintone

It is a visual application builder platform that lets its users to convert static spreadsheets into dynamic, custom databases in a snap. The tool is no-code and really easy to use.

Some of its key features are,

  1. Create custom reports with one click by using live databases.
  2. Easily manage your team’s data, workflow, tasks, and communication in one central place.
  3. Automated reminders, approvals, and task handoffs save time and let you focus on what really matters.

3. Zoho Creator

Zoho Creator is a mobile application development platform that lets its users build custom, mobile-ready business applications. The best part about this tool is that all your build get access to features like native device access, offline data synchronization, built-in integrations, and a lot more.

Some of its key features are,

  1. Drag and drop dashboard lets you to create apps with little to no-code experience.
  2. You get access to 550+ built-in integration that you can simply replicate.
  3. A visual cue to help automate new processes and manage existing ones.
  4. Ability to use AI in business apps without employing complex coding algorithms.

Key Takeaway

Choosing the right Enterprise Resource Planning system for your business can be a complicated and expensive task. There is a lot at stake and it might not be the best option for everyone, especially for small and mid-size companies. While ERP systems do promote the free flow of communication and sharing of knowledge across an organization, their implementation processes are not for the faint of heart. A business must carefully consider a lot of factors before shifting to an ERP or choosing one of the less expensive low code or no code options and make the best possible choice. The good news for you is, that if you decide that a low code or no code option is the way to go, we here are Low Code Road are here ready to help you design and implement the solution you need, to take away any stress you have, answer your questions and walk you through the whole process from design, implementation, training, and ongoing support.

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