Let’s generalise about the development of a small company:
1. Company is founded. 2. Company needs to send an invoice. 3. We all know that a tax return is going to be needed, sooner or later. 4. Ok lets get that low cost bookkeeping system. – Problem solved?
Well up to a point.
Small bookkeeping systems are designed for, well, doing the books. Because they are designed for the mass market they focus on the lowest common denominators of business. Simple transactions related to bank accounts and maybe buying and selling. Not line of business.
Very quickly, the small company will find that using a simple bookkeeping system to run business processes runs out of steam. So the knee-jerk reaction is to reach for Excel and start doing some spreadsheets to compliment the existing program.
This works so long as: 1. there is only one person doing the spreadsheet. 2. She or he is an Excel expert.
The problem strikes when the company starts to grow. At some point between having one buyer and a purchasing department the spreadsheet system is going to collapse. An ERP system is needed.
So do you want to implement that ERP system when growth is hard on you and the data quantity is multiplying? No of course not.
We have seen this situation so many times over the years. Small companies delay the inevitable ERP project because of the cost, and also the fear of choosing the wrong, expensive, paid-up-front system.
Low cost, online ERP systems have (and will) change everything. That it costs next to nothing to get an ERP system, and there is no long term risk in of commitment, it makes sense to do that ERP project while the company is still small, before things get out of hand.