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Subscription-based ERP software becoming more relevant during SA’s economic toils

In light of South Africa’s recent economic upheaval, local enterprises are under more financial pressure than ever before, with many sacrificing critical business management tools so as to protect their all-important cash flow.

Enterprise Resource Planning software, or ERP as it’s commonly known, is one of many key business tools entrepreneurs have historically steered clear of, deterred by the financial implications such an investment might have on business.

Traditionally thought of as a big business tool, ERP software enables business owners to enjoy a 360 degree view of their operation, improving transparency and collaboration, and in many cases, significantly reducing operational expenses. For SMMEs looking to improve efficiency with limited resources to hand, it’s a solution that simply makes sense.

Mindful of the financial challenges facing SMME owners in South Africa, many software providers have recently begun launching subscription-based models, which essentially enable business owners to pay a monthly usage fee instead of a hefty lump sum.

This is great news for fledgling operations, who are now able to upgrade their business operations without leaving a large dent in their bottom lines. A system already successfully rolled out by the likes of Microsoft Office and Adobe, this pay-as-you-go model is now being applied to ERP offerings, and is likely to level the playing fields for up-and-coming enterprises, enabling them to make decisions based on business sense rather than budget constraints.

Mindful of the financial challenges facing SMME owners in South Africa, many software providers have recently begun launching subscription-based models

Since launching our subscription-based model in 2015, uptake has already grown by 20%, with businesses now able to realistically weigh up the business benefits and returns on investment, many of which are significant for smaller operations in particular.

Given the increasingly mobile nature of business in the digital era, an ERP system can prove enormously useful for teams operating in different offices, and in some cases, different countries entirely. Cloud-based ERP systems enable both business owners and employees to collaborate more effectively and access necessary data no matter where they might be, something that can have an enormous impact on efficiency for start-ups.

Implementing an ERP system during a business’s infancy is far more effective than trying to change established processes, as a small operation is much better able to adapt and evolve than a larger, more substantial entity.

In short, the time has come for smaller enterprises to start making decisions based on long-term gains rather than short-term preservation, and to take advantage of the financial flexibility now afforded to them by subscription-based software.

Because if you harbour hopes of becoming a big business, it’s time you started acting like one.

Author | Maricelle Boshoff

Maricelle Boshoff
Maricelle Boshoff is Operations Manager at HansaWorld South Africa. A champion of ERP systems, she believes in future-proofing a business with mobilized consumerized ERP. This means providing solutions that are mobile, user friendly and extremely easy to use by digital natives. And delivering these will likely see a huge... More

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