Small businesses face many of the same challenges as large organisations, albeit on a smaller scale. These include customer management, inventory and logistics, cash flow and visibility over key financial metrics.
However, ERP typically has been viewed as a system to be used for much larger organisations, potentially with hundreds or even thousands of employees or users. This has occurred because traditionally the cost to purchase, deploy and support ERP systems was expensive and therefore exclusive to an elite few. Furthermore, ERP systems were not only complex and expensive, but contained many features and functions that were not of any value to many smaller companies. Many vendors attempted to address this by scaling down their systems to meet the needs of the SME but this resulted in a solution that was compromised.
There are now a number of systems developed purely for the SME and SMB customers, and priced accordingly. Many small and mid-sized businesses are now realising the benefits of dedicated ERP systems for the SME market, such as improved control over the business, increased efficiency and profitability.