The success of SaaS-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions such as Epicor Express among job shops and small to mid-sized manufacturers and distributors reflects a number of factors. Changes in the market itself are requiring more of smaller participants in supply chains. Communication requirements are more comprehensive; the need for greater efficiencies are more acute, stretching beyond the limits of the traditional point or homegrown solutions typically used by these smaller concerns.
According to a Gartner report, while many of these firms realize that an ERP system could streamline their business processes and improve operational efficiencies, the majority has traditionally operated without ERP. Why? High initial costs (software, hardware, and supporting infrastructure), lengthy and complex implementation projects, difficulties in getting users up to speed, and having the necessary staffing to implement and maintain ERP systems have been traditional barriers to entry.
SaaS ERP is knocking those barriers down, as seen in the SaaS benefits of Epicor Express:
- Simplified implementation enables faster time to “go live”
- No hardware costs, software to upgrade, or systems to maintain
- Performance and system availability are as good, if not better, than those of a typical on-premise software environment
- Easy to use, quick to master
- No large cash outlay needed; affordable subscription pricing offered instead
As a Gartner analyst notes, the benefits SaaS-based ERP provides are quite compelling, particularly when the unique challenges of many small and lower midmarket manufacturers are well understood.
These challenges are better addressed with the broad functionality and end-to-end solution that ERP provides. In the case of Epicor Express, this functionality includes customer relationship management, production management, product management, material management, financial management, and business intelligence.
Depending on the user’s business, the bundled functionality is focused specifically on manufacturing or distribution. Everything a company needs to manage opportunities, orders, and operations is provided in an integrated Web-based, on-demand ERP solution.