ERP Software Need of ERP software for small companies – FAQ
It’s a fact that more organizations are getting interested in automating their business operations to optimize business expenses, it eventually ends up in implementing ERP software.
Stimes, nearing a decade in operation in Qatar has listed a list of frequently asked questions in finalizing and implementation of an ERP software in Qatar. We are more than happier to share the details as a blog article here:
ERP Software Qatar – FAQ
What is ERP software?
Enterprise Resources Planning or ERP software evolved from the term Material Resource Planning (MRP) and later on became Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) in the 80s. The initial stage of MRP implementation was mostly into manufacturing & supply chain industries. In the early 90s, different vendors have extended MRP to accounting, Human Resources and other functions that evolved to the term ERP which is an enterprise-wide solution in automating a business.
Some of the modules Stimes ERP Qatar provides:
- Human Resources (HR software Qatar)
- Payroll management
- Procurement (Purchase software)
- Fixed asset
- Accounting/ Finance
- Fleet management
- Garage business
- Real estate business
- Rent a car business
- Crusher management
- Production business
- Manufacturing industry
- Project management (Work Order Process).
Though some of ERP software providers in Qatar has front end solutions like POS, visitor management, it doesn’t exactly belong to an ERP software category but does the purpose.
Who are the Enterprise ERP software providers?
There are some big players in the ERP sector such as SAP, Oracle ERP Suite, and Microsoft Dynamics. But in recent years, the monopoly of big shots have reduced and emerged good local providers who offer both traditional licensing and Software-As-A-Service (SAAS). There are also low-cost accounting software available like Tally, Quickbooks if the organization is very small and transactions are less.
The market for big shots are enterprise companies and low-cost accounting software is more for startups who do not concern strong control features in their business process. On an effective way of optimizing the business operations for small and mid-sized companies, dedicated ERP software like Stimes ERP is recommended, which is a robust and 100% customizable product for SMEs.
What are the benefits of an ERP System?
The output derived from an ERP system can far outweigh the costs of the system initially paid, provided that the system is chosen carefully and is appropriate for your company operations from features, reporting and technology standpoint. Some of the benefits realized are:
- A single integrated system
- Streamlining business processes and workflows within the organization.
- Reduce manual redundant data entry and processes.
- Establish uniform processes that are based on recognized best business practices.
- Information sharing across departments & different levels of approvals.
- Improved access to information by authorized personnel.
- Improved workflow and business efficiency
- Improved customer satisfaction based on improved on-time delivery, increased quality, easy turn-ups.
- Reduced inventory costs resulting from better planning, tracking, and forecasting of requirements
- Collect payments faster based on better visibility into accounts and fewer billing and/or delivery errors
- Decrease in vendor pricing by taking better advantage of quantity breaks and tracking vendor performance over a period.
- Track actual costs of activities and perform activity-based costing
- Provide a consolidated picture of sales, inventory, and receivables
An ERP system provides the solid operational backbone manufacturers and distributors need to improve the volume of production and fulfillment of orders while reducing costs. By optimizing your with ERP, you’ll also be able to focus on new business opportunities.
What is the timeframe in implementing an ERP?
As a general fact, the timeframe for an ERP implementation depends upon the features, modules customization included in the initial scope of the requirement. In our experience, we can implement our full-fledged ERP software within 2-3 months assuming the basic customization and data upload. There are cases when it takes more than 1 year when the data is not ready and has growing requirements or unstructured department flows.
We strongly believe the success of easy ERP implementation is directly proportional to the collaboration between the internal stakeholders/ departments and the solution provider.
What is the difference between On-Premise and Cloud-based ERP?
On-premise is the traditional licensing model where the organization gets the ERP software based on the user license or per company installed in the user’s office site or premises. After a certain period depending on the arrangement with the solutions provider, the user undergoes support agreement that ensures upgrades and support for questions or issues that will arise when the user is using it live. Both client-server and web-based platform products offer the on-premise model.
Cloud-based ERP is a subscription based model where the user pays the service annually, quarterly or even monthly per user. The recurring payment should include the support or maintenance agreement. Only web-based platform ERP product can offer SAAS based model.
Both models have pros and cons. This will all depend on the flexibility that the user requires from the software. Stimes ERP software has both options where mostly on-premise implementations due to customer demands.
Can I migrate our old or historical data?
Data migration and historical data transfer are typically agreed upon with the service provider during the pre-selling stage. In Stimes ERP case, we commit to migrating master list of data such as users, chart of accounts, inventory items, beginning balances, etc to export from the existing data and ready within our system. Technically it’s doable.
Can I purchase individual modules?
Yes, of course. Having said that, some modules work effectively combined.
How much does ERP software cost?
As above mentioned, the cost and timeframe cannot be blindly predicted. While ERP software is expensive compared to other retail software, cost shouldn’t be your main concern when deciding whether to initiate an ERP implementation. You likely will recoup your costs within three years due to the business benefits you achieved.
Can we integrate with our front-end software or any third party software?
Stimes ERP has integrated with solutions available in the market, provided their own APIs. The success of the integration all depends on the commitment of the software company and the participation of the third party software in providing necessary information or documentation during the course of the integration development. An API development of third-party solutions are tricky and need to confirm prior to the implementation stage.
What kind of training do you offer?
Stimes provides unlimited customization for a 1-year period and support on-demand. Training is done on-site and in the same environment that will be used once the ERP system goes live. This helps to re-enforce the knowledge transfer and practical use after “Go Live”.
What are some of the risks associated with ERP software?
While ERP has the potential to provide numerous business benefits, it can also be a risky proposition. If not managed properly, ERP projects can cost more and take longer than expected. They can also cause operational disruption and employee resistance.
Organizations assume the most risk when they approach their ERP project from a technical perspective instead of a business perspective. If you don’t align new technology with your people and processes, you may not realize expected business benefits. You can’t improve data visibility if your ERP system can’t support optimized processes. You also can’t improve the customer experience if your employees don’t know how to perform optimized processes. Other than ERP failure, the biggest risk of ERP implementation is a low ROI.
How do we choose an ERP product or provider that best suits us?
Since the organization’s feature requirements are more or less concrete after establishing the business process flow and documentation, the company should already be equipped in preparing the requirements in detail. Some call this as an RFQ document or request for quotation. These are given to the vendors where they give feedback if the feature is available in their product, not available or for customization.
Recommend to have a couple of face to face discussions to finalize the scope to get the best-suited proposal, the company now should have an apple-to-apple comparison based on the management’s criteria such as provider’s maturity, customer base, and stability.
Stimes always detail the feature list and customization notes when submitting the proposals to make sure no conflicts at a later stage. We depict a detailed walkthrough of the product, customer testimonials and even ocular visits to our existing users. Reach us for more detailed demo of ERP software, all services are free till you finalize and sign the agreement. So, why should wait?
A Business Case for ERP Software
Once you’ve recognized your need for new ERP software, you should define what kind of technology you need based on your digital strategy. This will help you develop a business case convincing executives to make the investment. Be sure to highlight not only the benefits of ERP software but also the costs and risks.
Hope this FAQ helps. Let us know if you have any other questions or we missed any. All the best!