We’ve spoken about software tailored to your industry as well as your functional needs, but what about software that is all-in-one? All-in-one software typically comes from the larger ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) providers like Oracle and SAP. Their products are Netsuite and Business by Design respectively. These are slightly pared down enterprise solutions for small business to handle Accounting, CRM, Purchasing, Marketing, Inventory Management & more. There are other smaller, less expensive players out there as well, so do your research.
There are efficiencies to all-in-one solutions – the PROS:
Simple for all employees to access one portal – avoids multiple pieces of software
Easily get cross-functional reporting
Potentially reduced overall IT costs
On the other side of the coin, there are CONS:
Generally, these solutions will cost thousands per year
Customizing to your process is possible, but can be expensive
- As with most things all-in-one, they will have functions they excel at, but others that leave a lot to be desired
There is a chance that an all-in-one will work for your business. You’ll want to evaluate how much of the software you can utilize as-is and conform to your process goals and requirements. If you think it will require heavy customization in certain modules, you will want to look at separate options that can communicate with one another. We’ll explore the communication between systems in the next post on Systems Integration.