ERP Effectiveness in Small Business Project Management

Project managers understand how critical the need to streamline all their project’s activities really is. The only way to reach milestones on time and ensure key deliverables are achieved is to build efficiency into every step of the system. So why do so many project managers, especially those in small and mid-sized businesses, rely on outdated technology that isn’t interoperable?

The pain of different technologies

Disparate systems that can’t communicate with each other quickly become bottlenecks in any system, slowing the entire process. These systems cause undue hardship on the project’s contributors, increasing the effort needed just to make simple things work. Fighting to make dissimilar technologies talk to each other takes time and money. It can cause delays that may contribute to missed deadlines, faulty deliverables and possibly even lead to the downfall of the entire project. There has to be a better way.

The ERP solution

Large companies already know about ERP. ERP stands for “Enterprise Resource Planning.” A properly-executed ERP solution unifies all business functions, creating efficient, streamlined processes. It promotes effective implementation of business technology, including project-related applications, by unifying a company’s platforms. Applications in an effective ERP system share a similar interface and a common database. This benefits project shareholders and all employees by giving them a common, familiar interface to use during their project-related activities. This cosmetic change is only the beginning, though.

A common data set

Where ERP shines is on the database side of things, where all levels of the business and all project participants share a common set of data. To fully appreciate this, consider the following example. The project manager reorganizes deliverables, affecting the need for raw materials. The ordering department is automatically updated and can order these assets right away since their data set was altered by the project manager’s actions. As soon as the stock department inventories the new materials, manufacturing becomes aware of their presence and can get to work fabricating the product. This type of information sharing greatly increases the efficiency of any project and will help all businesses, not just the enterprise-sized companies.

ERP and small businesses

Many who know about ERP assume it doesn’t scale, is expensive and can only be applied to the largest companies. This just isn’t true. A growing number of small and mid-sized businesses are relying on ERP products and firms like Syntax’s JD Edwards consulting to implement scalable, efficient ERP solutions to help them get the most out of projects and all business activities. There is no need to surrender efficiency and let your projects suffer just because you’re not one of “the big guys.” ERP consultants can help implement an a la carte solution to cover the needs of businesses of any size and on any budget. These ERP applications can be purpose-built to suite the exact needs of the organization and its specific, project-related needs. With a familiar feel, methodology for bridging departments and shared database solution, a scalable Enterprise Resource Planning solution is exactly what any small business needs to implement effective project management better than ever before.