If we go by tradition, we see that organizations the world over are divided into the following:
- Small Enterprises
- Medium Enterprises
- Large Scale or
Implementing an ERP for SME would be done either for all the departments or for only very specific departments. Thus, we can say that these organizations would implement an ERP depending on its size and the number of departments that are there in the organization. A large organization can afford to implement an ERP in its entirety only because it would have the money power to do so. However, this would be a dicey situation if we consider any small or medium-sized enterprise. Implementing an ERP for SME would have to be based on a number of factors:
- The number of departments in the organization
- The cost-effectiveness of the implementation
- Whether the investment
in ERP would yield a profitable return
The last factor mentioned above is of paramount importance as far as any small or medium scale organization is concerned. A lot of small scale enterprises play the waiting game. What they do is that instead of implementing the ERP in its entirety in the beginning itself, they would implement it for departments where it is felt that the implementation of an ERP is felt to be an absolute necessity.
Once the enterprise makes a profit and starts to grow, then the ERP can be gradually extended to other departments as well, finally reaching the climactic point where the ERP has been installed in the entire enterprise. Thus, we can say that implementing an ERP for SME is done in stages.
The moot point to be considered here is,"Would an ERP for SME be beneficial in the long run?" The answer here would have to be a "Yes". This is based on a simple and logical assumption that any entrepreneur who sets up an enterprise does it with only one thing in mind, that the enterprise starts growing, makes a decent amount in the initial stages and yields a return on his investment, and finally when the enterprise has really taken off, starts yielding a surplus. i.e. starts yielding a profit for the initial amount invested.
Now, investing in an ERP for SME would only serve to augment this fact, as an ERP would not only save a lot time by integrating all the departments together, but the departments would be able to function effectively and smoothly if they function together in a co-ordinated manner, rather than in an individual fashion, Also, a sense of purpose becomes apparent when there is a collective responsibility shared between various departments, which is exactly what an ERP strives to do.
Thus, we can say that an ERP for SME could only prove to be beneficial for any Small or Medium level enterprise in the long run.