How long have you been using QuickBooks for your business? This accounting software suite is built specifically for small and medium businesses (SMBs), and we sometimes think of it as the financial “training wheels” that get your business started. 

But as your business grows, there comes a time when it’s time to adopt new tools. Those spreadsheets, whiteboard schedules, and Post-It notes just don’t cut it anymore. The same often goes for QuickBooks–it’s just not quite robust enough to help you deal with the increasing production-scheduling demands of your company. 

So what’s next? 

It’s time to adopt enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. ERP solutions maximize resources and engagement throughout an entire company, so you have the real-time transparency to make better business decisions, faster. ERP systems help your business to grow without having to acquire IT staff.

What Is an ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is a beneficial tool used to manage virtually every aspect of daily business operations, from accounting and procurement, to risk management and supply chain operations. In other words, an ERP does what QuickBook does–plus much more. 

Your ERP acts as a central point for all company data, so that it can be easily accessed or shared across multiple departments at a time. ERPs are tailored to your specific business processes to form a more efficient, proactive, and strongly automatic business process.

It might sound daunting to implement such a massive system. While adopting an ERP takes time and resources, it also offers multiple benefits. 

#1. One Single, Automated Platform

Quickbooks uses scattered information across various platforms and departments, with no centralized location for analysis. It offers little to no planning or operational visibility for the business, and it’s hardly a “one-stop shop.” If you’re using QuickBooks, you probably also have separate software programs for your CRM (SalesForce, for instance) and for production planning and inventory management. That’s a lot of technology to juggle. 

But technology should make your life easier. If you’re using an ERP, you can ditch the spreadsheets, whiteboards, and other tools that you use for running your business. There’s no more need for paper forms or multiple software applications, because all your data is in one place. Your ERP integrates CRM, production, and financial data all in one convenient place. 

ERPs use automated tools to boost productivity and streamline workflows. You won’t have to wait on other departments to bring you batches of information to upload manually. ERP software can automatically update inventory, analyze sales orders, conduct capacity planning, publish production reports, and more. Also, ERP software integrates various managements like supply chain management, inventory management, and financial management all into one place. Visibility across departments is clear, helping you improve efficiency and make more informed business decisions. 

#2. Monitoring

Companies that use QuickBooks often spend a lot of time and money gathering the necessary information to form business plans and reports. This can be attributed to the lack of control and visibility QuickBooks provides.

ERP systems allow leads or managers to regularly monitor business activities and automate notifications if inventory of an item is low or production lines fail. It can also integrate business intelligence aspects to the day-to-day operations of your business by using different organizational forecasting tools, SPC analysis, and personalized dashboards designed to fit your specific business needs.

ERP software gives users (especially department managers) the tools necessary to monitor the business and create more detailed, accurate business plans. By maximizing organization, software users and the business as a whole, are benefited. These tools can properly plan everything needed, from inventory to sales to financials to customer service. 

Monitoring all aspects of the business creates a more unified organization and happier, more efficient, and proactive employees–not to mention more satisfied customers. ERPs operate in real-time and can make realistic estimates to help form the most efficient and effective forecast.

#3. Scalability

QuickBooks is notorious for developing functionality issues as more and more users sign into the system. The software just can’t support several user licenses for one business. QuickBooks offers little processes to benefit inventory or sales management too. It is challenging to optimize new opportunities and organize integrations with other software your company uses daily. Simply put, there are just not enough resources available to meet the demands that come with rapid growth or expansion. 

ERP solutions are incredibly scalable and are intended to grow with your business and never limit the number of users or data volume.  ERPs include various global management tools to help scale your business and even support international expansion if that is a long-term goal of your business. With everything being in one central location, there is no need for it to be done in the same place or even in the same time zone. Cloud-hosted ERP systems allow users to access all data, on any device, from any location. Today’s workforce is incredibly mobile, and there is no reason why an ERP system couldn’t be too. This mobility makes generating revenue even easier.

#4. Improve Shop Floor Resources

ERP solutions are tailored to keep your shop floor running as smoothly as possible. ERP software can automatically load manufacturing/production schedules, analyze inventory or material constraints, account for other processes or conflicts and prioritize orders, all while simultaneously evaluating the resources required to meet the growing demand and account for unplanned events that may occur. It is important to make sure that your ERP integrates with any specialized production scheduling or tracking software. For example, Impelos software offers compatibility with most major ERP systems.

The advanced software can perfect large quantities through minimum and maximum batch sizes, multiples of designations, and account for time to avoid teardowns and resets that can cause setbacks in production runs. ERP operates in real-time, which means that production monitoring is always automatically happening. Data is constantly being collected and updated to catch and respond to issues before they happen and cost your business tons of money.

#5. Quality and Compliance Management

Some manufacturing industries are more regulated than others, and some require businesses to meet specific standards. Utilizing an ERP system can be incredibly useful in this regard. Well-designed ERP solutions are designed to actively analyze and make a note of regulations within a specific industry and make sure your business complies with them. ERPs exemplify lot and serial traceability, various audit tools, electronic signatures, and document control. This allows users and their businesses to be on top of their game, knowledgeable about possible changes with laws and regulations or new guidelines or specifications related to operational processes for your business.

QuickBooks is a valuable tool for many small businesses, and choosing an ERP can seem very daunting. It is a long-term investment from costs to team member training and business practices. However, ERPs are so valuable when it comes to growing your business. They grow with you and don’t stall out. When moving forward with your growing business, investing in an ERP system provides much more confidence than QuickBooks ever could. Your data is all stored in one convenient place. 

It’s time to take the QuickBooks “training wheels” off and use one, a central platform to make accurate, concise business decisions promptly, all while meeting the demands of your growing business and your customers. A great ERP vendor will leave you satisfied and wondering as to why you didn’t ditch QuickBooks sooner.

How Can Impelos Help Me Choose an ERP?

Industry experts will help you choose the right ERP system by taking production steps, delivery, and growth analytics into account. Our experts know exactly how to optimize your processes and boost profitability. Impelos software works with most ERP systems today which helps streamline productivity by automating specific tasks. Impelos offers multiple data management solutions as well. Solutions include on-site, cloud-based, or hybrid data storage, and development and performance optimization. Impelos strives to reduce inefficiency, and increase profits and happiness across all segments of make-to-order (MTO) manufacturing processes. 

Need help choosing an ERP? Contact us and we’d be happy to share our expertise and help you identify the right ERP vendor for your company.