There are very few businesses that start off as industry giants. With the exception of the occasional very well-funded venture that often include already-experienced leaders from a particular market segment, most companies have to start from the bottom and work their way up. For manufacturing and warehousing organizations, the need for expensive equipment, storage space, industry knowledge and other concerns often means starting small is an effective approach. However, these smaller companies that want to take advantage of enterprise resource planning software to streamline operations and become more productive may be stymied by the apparent costs of such platforms.

Businesses that aren't yet market leaders but are potentially growing into such roles shouldn't be discouraged, however. There are plenty of options available that provide the benefits of a traditional ERP system at a more manageable cost. As Manufacturing Business Technology pointed out, small producers have a more varied marketplace available to them now than they did in the past, with more cost-effective and generally useful ERP systems to choose from. One particularly attractive option for organizations of this size is modular ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which lets users select the individual pieces that make the most sense for their specific operations.

A focus on individual priorities
Manufacturing businesses make a wide variety of goods, and the needs and expectations that a specific organization has in relation to ERP software changes significantly in each instance. Aberdeen Group's research into the state of manufacturing ERP found that there's no single unifying requirement for ERP among businesses, but rather a plethora of different demands that are often based on market segment and other concerns. Considering the initial cost of an all-in-one ERP system and the additional money that's needed to engage in any sort of significant customization, it's not a surprise that more flexible software is a better bet for smaller businesses.

By choosing individual pieces to build on the strong basic framework of a system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, companies can address their unique needs without having to pay for features they won't use. By focusing financial resources on the necessities and building out, small businesses can have a truly useful ERP system.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.