SMEs Are Reaping The Benefits Of Simplification

Ursula Ringham

There has never been more of a need for business simplification than now. In a demanding and international business environment, even small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) need to become more global. SMEs can do this by outsourcing parts of their operations, creating digital businesses that serve many channels, and 273136_l_srgb_s_glmeeting complex tax and compliance requirements.

As SMEs grow, they must fight the natural tendency to create complex business processes. In today’s fast-paced business environment, every competitive firm needs to meet demands for change. Once complicated workflows and business processes are in place, they are difficult and costly to unravel.

For example, to work more effectively with partners, gain transparency, and support continuing growth, many small and midsize customers are deploying integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. An ERP solution can enhance operations for SMEs in ways that improve the quality, consistency and on-time delivery of products and services. The right ERP solution can also provide greater visibility into purchase orders, resulting in better inventory management, data access, collaboration and customer service. As a result, these organizations stay ahead of competition.

Other SMEs are combining an ERP solution designed for growing companies with analytics in order to accelerate core processes, make faster, more informed decisions, stay ahead of customer demand, and maintain a competitive edge.

The most successful high-growth companies are forging a better path — one that will allow them to stay agile, scalable and responsive, regardless of how big they grow. As noted in an Economist Intelligence Unit paper “Scaling SMEs: Building a flexible platform for growth,” many are choosing to deploy business software that supports connected, automated processes and full business transparency. These SMEs are reaping the benefits of simpler, leaner, more efficient operations, even as they grow.

Legacy IT applications and continued reliance on spreadsheets make it hard to keep up as inventories and orders grow, which eventually leads to fulfillment bottlenecks. Small businesses are solving these issues by replacing their outdated software with solutions connecting e-commerce, manufacturing, marketing, and all areas of their business.

A comprehensive ERP system designed for growing small and midsize enterprises can provide a user-friendly interface, centralized database, simplified accounting, streamlined information sharing and reporting, and automated core processes to help employees do more in less time. Often, companies can scale significantly without the need for new hires and manage busy future seasons with confidence.

EvoShield, a leader in protective sporting apparel, deployed the SAP Business One solution powered by SAP HANA. The firm was able to realize 20 percent savings on shipping for events marketing, improve on-time shipping to clients by 67 percent, and reduce compliance chargebacks by about 15 percent.

These examples aren’t hypothetical. They are reality today for thousands of SMEs who are realizing huge returns on their investment in business management software like SAP Business One as a platform for growth. Customers have reported the following:

  • 67 percent faster monthly accounting and closing cycles (from six to two days)
  • 2–3 day reduction in days sales of inventory
  • 60 percent increase in operational efficiency
  • 10 percent reduction in operational costs
  • 67 percent improvement in on-time shipping to consumers
  • Automated data entry and credit card processing that saves 40–80 hours per week
  • Vastly shorter timeframes to train new employees

These kinds of improvements are a direct result of running simpler on business software that centralizes, automates and streamlines processes. To remain competitive, businesses need to minimize unnecessary redundancy, maximize efficiency, and automate reporting with software that keeps up with their growth.

SAP solutions SMEs make it easy for businesses to run simple. Easy to install and use, these solutions are tailored to your specific business needs, so they’ll work for you now and as you grow. Discover what SAP can do for you growing business or find out more about the benefits of business simplification by reading the Knowledge@Wharton paper.


About Ursula Ringham

Ursula Ringham isthe Director of Digital Marketing at SAP. She manages social media and digital marketing strategy for the small and midsize business community. She was recently recognized as one of 15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies. Prior to SAP, Ursula worked at Adobe and Apple in their Developer Relations organizations. She managed strategic accounts, developer programs, edited a technical journal, managed content for an entire website, and wrote and taught course curriculum. In her spare time, Ursula writes thriller novels about the insidious side of Silicon Valley.