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Approximately 6.3 crore small and medium enterprises contribute to about 29% of the nation’s GDP through national and international trade. Moreover, the share of SME-related products in total exports from India is a whopping 49%.

Apart from their economic contribution, small and medium enterprises have another crucial role to play. They contribute significantly in the social development of the country by fostering entrepreneurship and generating employment opportunities.

SMEs are broadening their presence across sectors, producing a diverse range of products and services to meet demands of domestic as well as global markets. However, they have long relied on traditional methods of working. Many believe that they may not be able to deploy advanced technologies due to several constraints like capital expenditure, implementation complexity, lack of knowledge and expertise and operational liabilities. However, a lot of these constraints arise out of a resistance to change and a BIG MYTH: “Digital Transformation is only for huge businesses"

If SMEs can go beyond this myth, they can accelerate business growth and rise to the next level.

What can small and medium sized businesses achieve by deploying Cloud ERP?

The Bigger Picture: Unravel insights by looking at consolidated views from different functions, departments and geographies.

Uncaptured, siloed data loses its meaning over time and a large number of enterprises fail to leverage this data leading to unrealized value and missed opportunities.

By integrating data solutions like ERPs, SMEs can flexibly capture and manage information as they grow. Data from multiple functions and geographies can be consolidated into a single version of truth facilitating birds’ eye view for business owners and leaders. With integrated data systems, leaders can identify, gather, and analyse context-relevant data across their enterprise and accelerate their business outcomes.

Large enterprises often struggle with moving data out of silos and into systems. For SMEs, the data does not just have to move from silos but from the minds of the owners and core team members. An integrated ERP solution that incorporates process documentation, templates, and ad hoc reporting capability can help make that knowledge available throughout the business.

Improved Processes: Work smarter, improve efficiency and boost productivity

SMEs looking to scale should shift from error-prone manual processes to automation. Repetitive processes can be standardized and automated for smoother operations across finance, HR, supply chain and marketing. Growing enterprises should be on a look out for solutions that can weave smart practices into their processes.

According to an HBR report, forward-thinking organizations in Asia Pacific have harnessed the potential of cloud technology to build integrated systems that provide visibility and faster access to data, allowing for better-informed decision making. In turn, data-led decisions can build agile, responsive organizations that can adjust to changing market dynamics and customer needs. These organizations have also benefited from the flexibility that cloud provides to tailor the technology to their requirements and scale for growth.

Stay Change-Ready: Adapt to fast changing requirements by staying prepared for the future

To manage the ever-evolving needs of customers and market conditions, growing businesses need solutions that are agile and technology-led.

AI & ML, advanced analytics, forecasting, real-time alerts, and end-to-end visibility can no more be alien lingo for these businesses. In order to ensure that they can sail through the next wave of change, SMEs will have to learn to embrace the latest technologies which can not only help them stay relevant but can also help expand to new markets and territories.

According to IDC Market Spotlight asking organizations to rate their top business goals, 49% of respondents indicate the need to future proof their business, while 38% want to accelerate the pace of digital transformation. With real-time insights for decision making, organizations can aim for better business outcomes even in the face of uncertainty. Cloud ERP solutions empower small and medium businesses to invest in their future by making them digitally resilient.

Better Employee and Customer Experience: Streamlined processes, more transparency, better accuracy leading to better experience

Businesses now have a plethora of cloud-enabled tools available, to better understand the evolving needs of employees and customers. They can record customer interactions and derive insights to understand customer preferences better. With unified data management, they can also service customer requests faster and more accurately.

For employees, customized employee life cycles can be created to include the entire journey (recruitment, onboarding, training, performance evaluation and succession planning). HR teams can shift their focus from transactional processes to delivering employee-centric experiences, so that the workforce feels connected, supported and empowered.

Yash technologies, an IT firm catering to global clients was looking to digitalize and centralize talent management across its 44 campuses, and create coherent and rewarding employee life cycles. Stand-alone applications along with manual and spreadsheet-based processes were major challenges for the company, and they were looking for a unified HR platform to:

- Standardize their processes

- Reduce their time to recruit and time to onboard

- Become ultra-responsive to employee needs

- Make talent decisions aligned with business goals.

Cloud ERP offers a new business paradigm for small and medium enterprises. It enables organizations to create and use technology and resources optimally while creating a transparent and contextualized view for all stakeholders. For businesses looking at rapid business growth, moving to the cloud is a hygiene step. Not only does it offer economic benefits but also helps build credible processes that can also swiftly transform as the business grows and flourishes.

Understanding that the initial steps towards a transformative journey could be challenging, RISE with SAP brings together some of the most sought-after solutions to enable a seamless shift on-your-terms and on-your-timelines.

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