Top ERP systems for small businesses
Small business ERP can be a minefield. Lots of ERP providers seem to focus on large-scale companies offering hundreds of features that smaller businesses don’t yet need, but are required to pay for to use the system.
Finding ERP software for a small business that is within budget, and has the same level of resources management as larger businesses should be easy, but often which providers cater adequately to smaller companies isn’t clear. Further, not all small businesses can operate with an out-of-the-box ERP, and require some tailoring of the system, or industry-specific solutions, to meet specific needs.
Good ERP that doesn't cost an arm and a leg can be found and these systems have the tools a small business needs from their ERP. After more than two years, this subject is ready for an update. Here are a few more that are definitely worth a look.
The best ERP systems for small businesses listed include:
- ERP Next
- DEAR Systems
There are many more ERP systems out there that can suit the needs for small businesses which can be found using our ERP comparison.
Small business ERP #1:Odoo
Odoo is a suite of open-source business applications that cover eCommerce, accounting, CRM, inventory point of sale, and many other offerings that provide what your company needs. This is software a small business can use right now and it is software used already by millions of medium and large businesses so you can continue using Odoo as your business grows. Odoo has been around for a long time and there are more than 27,000 Odoo apps ready to download as you need them. Odoo has an easy and intuitive user interface and it is GDPR compliant.
There is a free version of Odoo which you can download and start to use right away. There are also tiers of support packages available and many Odoo consultants whom you can choose to support your business needs.
If you choose Odoo, you can implement it on premises with your server and network. Or, you can implement it in the cloud as SaaS. Either way, this software can be a good choice for your small business.
Small business ERP #2: ERPAG
This cloud-based ERP is designed specifically for small manufacturers. It promises to connect and streamline all your processes in a single ERP. You can sell, purchase, manufacture, and fulfill orders to meet your customer requirements. ERPAG automates workflows using a simple and effective Blockly script engine that can be customized without coding knowledge.
It already has integration with eCommerce systems like Amazon and Magento. Payment processors like Stripe are ready to use to capture your customers’ payments automatically.
You get multi-level bills of material and detailed inventory tracking. Track time, labor,and materials using work orders.
The price is easy on the wallet too. Per month per user will cost only $25. If your small business is manufacturing, this could be the ERP you want.
Small business ERP #3: Striven
Striven claims you get a plan with everything included for $20 per month per user. That is a price point most small businesses can afford. You can try it for free for 30 days to prove it will work for you. Whether Striven meets your needs is the more important question.
Basic modules include accounting, CRM and sales, human resources, projects, inventory, and productivity tools. Striven says their software meets the needs of many businesses such as retail, logistics, consulting, education, non-profit, construction, legal, property management, and manufacturing.
You get some well-documented guides to help set up your overall business as well as specific guides for each module. Check out Striven, it could be just the ERP your small business needs.
Small business ERP #4: ERP Next
ERPNext is a free and open-source integrated Enterprise Resource Planning software built on MariaDB database. They modestly say they have almost everything you need to help run your business. Modules include accounting, HR and payroll, manufacturing, sales and purchase, CRM, help desk, asset management, and projects. ERPNext even includes a website you can use for content management, web pages, blogs, and forms. ERPNext has a host of built-in integrations that help your business take off faster.
The user interface is clean and modern and is easy to adapt to the specific needs of your business. Setup of the system and modules uses simple wizards to guide you through the process. You can customize any part of the ERP system according to your business requirements.
If you host the system yourself, the initial cost is $0 and the ongoing cost is also $0. You might want to choose managed hosting or a variety of extended support plans and, if one makes sense for your business, these plans do have costs.
ERPNext has more than 5,000 users around the world. Should you make this your ERP? You need to perform your own evaluation and this one could be a valuable consideration.
Small business ERP #5: DEAR Systems
DEAR Systems is ERP for manufacturers, retailers, and multi-channel sellers. Included are usual ERP modules like accounting, inventory management, purchasing, manufacturing, warehouse, and point of sale. On top of that, you get eCommerce, B2B payments, and a B2B portal so this one is right up to date on some of the needs of small businesses.
The B2B portal allows your customers to manage their own orders subject to your rules while you add value by delivering the products and services your customers want.
You can work faster and better by automating many of your inventory management processes and taking care of small tasks while you look forward to a better future.
At the core of any business is its ability to track inventory accurately. DEAR Systems includes batch tracking of products for traceability and can assign serial numbers for warranty purposes. Not every business needs these features but if yours is one, you know how difficult such tracking is to set up and run and how important it is to enable the quality controls when they are required.
Two of these are open-source ERP systems. Open source is rapidly becoming popular because of low price and easy customization. The source code is open to all. Because you have access to the ERP source code, you can modify and customize the code to meet the specific needs of your small business. Moreover, you won’t need any license or possibly no ongoing software maintenance costs.
Our previous edition's top small business ERP list
Small business ERP #1: NetSuite
Originally designed to be a pure accounting system, over time, and after being acquired by Oracle, Netsuite has grown to become a sophisticated ERP system. The product is delivered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) value, and entirely capable of handing from 50 to 100 employees. Major functional values include;
- Financial management
- GAAP accounting
- Integrated analytics
- Payment management
- Order and billing management
- Supply chain management
- Inventory management
The system is also entirely compliant with Oracle’s ERP backend including its sophisticated RDBMS framework. The platform will operate with a range of browsers including; Microsoft IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and others As a SaaS system data security is ensured through NetSuite’s data center and built-in security controls.
Small business ERP #2: BizAutomation Cloud
BizAutomation Cloud ERP is designed to support the needs of smaller firms in the 10 or fewer employee range. As the brand name suggests this application it SaaS (Software as a Service) offering, and consequently harbors a low price-to-entry value. Major functions include:
- GAAP accounting
- Order management
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Sales commission
- e-commerce (including a business portal)
- Materials purchase planning
- Project management
The product is focused on small wholesale/distributors, retail sales and organizations with single-product manufacturing needs. The software is priced on a per-user, per-month basis.
Small business ERP #3: CGS: Blue Cherry
This provider offers a host of ERP values for mid-sized companies operating in the textiles design and production market. The product is suitable for midsize apparel manufacturers, harboring from 50 to 100 employees, offering on-premise and cloud-based deployment. Major functional values include:
- Product development
- Materials source management
- Integrated logistics
- Sales processing
- Dynamic workflow management
- Order-to-cash management
- Financial management
- Purchasing and receiving
- Production management
- Predictive and actual costing
- Tailored reporting
- Business intelligence
Acquired data can be displayed in charts, graphs and in summary form that can be delivered via web browser, email or via text message. Pricing is per module, plus user license fees. Email and phone support are available.
Small business ERP #4: xTuple Software
This open source ERP system is tailored to support small enterprises at the 20 or less employee threshold. The company offers both on-premise and cloud operation. Major functional values include;
- GAAP accounting
- Sales management
- Supplier-chain management
- Inventory management
- Production distribution
The system accepts various modes of manufacturing ranging from discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, and engineer-to-order manufacturing to made-to-order products.
xTuple offers online support to all its customers during business hours.
ERP vendors that focus on small to medium sized businesses
Vendors who offer ERP software for SMB also include:
- BizAutomation Cloud
- CGS Blue Cherry
- xTuple Software
- abas ERP
- Genius ERP
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