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How to choose cloud based ERP for small business?

It is very important for the small business to adopt the business software for the optimization and increase their productivity. ERP application or system is a nothing but a software application that helps you to manage your all the business process through single software. There are two ways you could implement the application – on-premise and the second is cloud-based ERP application.

Of late, cloud based ERP for small business is considered as cheaper and alternative to on-premise ERP solutions. Your data and privacy secured on the cloud and another best aspect is that you can access the application from anywhere in the world.

The best thing about the ERP application is that it comes with modules, you don’t need to implement all the modules rather you could choose few modules like HR, Accounting, Manufacturing, Sales,  etc. By choosing few modules you can have your own application within the budget. And, it will fit into your business model and if required you can modify or customize it as per your requirement.  

Advantages of Cloud based ERP solutions:

  • Cost Effective: the cost of the application is cheaper and you can plan your budget. The on-premise ERP system could cost to more as you need to have your own IT infrastructure to host and maintain the ERP system.
  • Security: Your data and privacy are secure in the cloud. Certainly, there could be security challenges for your on-premise ERP system. However, if you are much concerned with security features, you can discuss with your vendor who could suggest best ways to protect your data and privacy.
  • Customization:  Both the application cloud-based and on-premise can be customized as per your business process and requirement.
  • Implementation & Support: The implementation of the cloud-based ERP solutions will typically take less time. You can get the round-the-clock support from the vendor.  

Let's have a look at some of the major modules:

  1. Sales Module
  2. HR Module
  3. Manufacturing Module
  4. Inventory Module
  5. Accounting Module

1) Sales Module:

You can manage and optimize your sales department by using the sales module in the  ERP systems. The sale module for small business is vital since most of the units might have an unorganized process for sales. The application will be useful in managing and covered quotes into sale orders. You can integrate the sales module with the CRM for effective management of leads and sales pipelines.

sales module odoo

Invoice on ordered or delivered quantities, based on time and materials. Manage payment terms by the customer or by invoice. Easily track and follow up on invoice aging. By moving to the cloud, your sale team can update their activities from the field by accessing the application or using integrated mobile application. You will get the instant updates from the application.

You can do following tasks with the Sales Module:

  • Manage Customers
  • Manage Leads
  • Manage Opportunities
  • Manage Quotations
  • Manage Sale Orders
  • Manage Products
  • Payment Follow-up

2) HR Module:

Human resource management is the important task for all the organizations. In the case of the small businesses, they need to be very organized in HR and employee management.

Employee management becomes much easier with this application. The module has many features to help you manage all your HR operations effectively from employee muster roll registration to processing pay slips. You can manage employee activities like Fix standard reporting time, Schedule working hours, Create a list of employees, Manage attendance, Create Payroll and leaves.

hr module odoo

You can manage the payroll process effectively; it will have the features like Salary rule, salary structure, contribution registers, employee and contract, salary processing as per the number of leaves taken and generating reports.

You can do following tasks:

  • Manage Employees: Manage employees and their details. You can communicate with each and every employee.
  • Manage Contracts: Manage the contracts of employees with the application effectively.
  • Manage Timesheet: Manage the timesheet of the employees – the number of days they worked, leaves taken and also in and out time.
  • Handle Attendance: Easily handle attendance of the employees through the application.
  • Manage Leaves: Mange leaves allocate and generate leave summery.

3) Manufacturing Module:

Manufacturing companies must need an application to optimize their process. The module in the ERP software will help you organize, forecast and achieve operational excellence. Get a seamless and effective manufacturing process by automatically scheduling orders based on procurement rules, quantity forecasts & dependent demand.

manufacturing module odoo

Quickly identify resource requirements and bottlenecks to ensure production meets delivery schedule dates. Manually edit all operations at any stage in the process. You can design specific templates for each operation and use the set of tools to find solutions for any issue.  

You can do these things with the application –

  • Manufacturing orders,
  • Work orders,
  • Unbilled orders
  • Repair Orders
  • Plan manufacturing
  • Manage Bill of Materials
  • Organize work orders
  • Create multi-level Bills of Materials
  • Optional routing
  • Document Management
  • Quality Checks
  • Record production and Misc Operations.

4) Inventory Module:

You might miss some because of not having the right information regarding the inventory. An application can give you the right information and help business decisions. You can manage inventory located in various offices by using this application. This application will be effective for managing inventory and know the status of the products. By looking at the inventory management section, you will get a complete idea about the products and your requirements.

inventory module
This will allow you to add a number of offices of your choice and manage the products in each and every office. You can track the status and trace the stock. Know the value of the inventory, adjustment, stock move, check products by categories and add products.

 5) Accounting Module:

The ERP suite will help you to keep a control over your global finances. The module is used for maintaining all the accounting records using the double-entry bookkeeping standards of the accounting. The module is designed for the needs of the industries, companies, and enterprises considering the standard accounting charters. You can synchronize all your transactions without much hassles and reconciliation process is also easy to handle.

The accounting module is easy to understand and fit into your business process from the day one. Creating an invoice, maintaining records and ledgers, customer invoice, as well as supplier invoice generation, are easy and the module is connected with other important department activities like sales, inventory, and subscriptions.

accounting module odoo

You can manage core activities like sales – customer invoice, sales receipts, payments, customers, and products. And, in the Purchases – manage vendor bills, purchase receipts and payments. The accounting application will help you to find the status of the customers and vendor payment details.  And, you can generate all kinds of reports like Profit and Loss, Income, Expenses, Balance Sheet, and Assets.

We have elaborated the modules to give you a clear idea on how these will help you in managing your process. There are many other modules those will be useful in managing and attaining operational excellence.

How to choose right cloud-based ERP software:

You need to cross check all the aspects before finalizing a cloud-based ERP application. The following things need to be finalized before taking any decision.

  1. Company Goals & Objective: The first thing you need to consider is your company’s goals and objectives. You need to analyze how the ERP application will fit into your business process and help you in achieving your goals and objectives. Many small business owners fail while implementing the ERP application without taking their goals into consideration. In due course of time, the objective and goals will change and you need to have a system that is scalable.
  2. Budget: The second thing you need to consider is the budget allocation for the application and ROI. In order to automate your process, you need to set a budget for the ERP system which is feasible and would not disturb the allocation for other processes.   
  3. Cloud Plans: You need to select a plan for the cloud usage as the application depends on the number of users. Typically,  in a small business environment, there could be three-four users of ERP application and this may differ from organization to organization depending on the number of employees. If you are selecting a plan that is fit for three-four users, then you need to pay fewer charges, which is economical.  You can choose cloud service vendors like Digital Ocean, AWS, etc.
  4. Training: It is a very important factor while deciding the ERP system for your business. The ERP vendor will charge the amount for the training to be given to your employees. So, you can consider the training for a minimum number of employees in the organization or few important employees having important job operations.
  5. Support: You need the support of the vendor to operate the ERP application. There could be changes of bug or system issues, so make sure that you discuss with you the vendor on terms and conditions for the services and support. An application without decent support might be a nightmare for your operations. However, the issues with cloud-based ERP system is less compared to on-premise ERP systems.
  6. Customization & Integration: You need to consider the customization and integration of other applications with the ERP application. At the initial stage, you can discuss with the vendor and specify your requirements in regard to customization and integration.

You can consider all the aforementioned points for implementing the ERP application for your business. By implementing and moving to the cloud you can optimize and grow your business. Odoo ERP application will be useful for your business operations, as we have developed many applications and we have many success stories to share.

For any questions related to odoo erp please reach us at info@learntechx.com. Please follow us on FacebookTwitter & LinkedIn.