I recently attended SAP’s annual SME event at their offices in New York City. This event was bolstered by the announcement that SAP now has 50,000 small and medium sized business customers on its Business One ERP application. This announcement flies in the face of the perception that SAP is only for large companies. At the event, SAP highlighted specific SMEs that have found success with its applications in a customer panel, including:
I was also able to sit down one-on-one with Davi Pontes, Manager of Operations at Tribe Medical Group and Rick Castro, CIO at Par Petroleum. Pontes shared with me how his company’s Business One deployment has helped them to differentiate themselves from customers in the medical supply space in Canada. Specifically, the solution has made it much easier to communicate with medical facilities enabling Tribe Medical Group to better manage inventory and customer service. Additionally, I had a lively conversation with Castro about how their SAP solution has enabled them to quickly consolidate and support a rapidly growing business that has integrated multiple operating units in a complicated industry.
These stories did nothing but give me confidence in the research I’ve been doing here at Aberdeen related to the benefits of ERP and analytics in the small business. Particularly, Pontes shared with me some of the benefits of utilizing the HANA platform for their business. This information aligned nicely with my finding from “Simplify Decision-Making to Grow Your Business with Analytics and ERP“. For example, due to the ability to utilize data more effectively, growing organizations with ERP and analytics perform better than organizations without across a variety of metrics (Table 1). For example, growing organizations with ERP and analytics saw a 17% improvement in profitability over the past two years. This is because they can make quicker decisions and perform more efficiently. Truly, organizations with ERP and analytics saw a 23% improvement in time-to-decision and a 17% improvement in the cycle time of key business processes over the past year. These findings illustrate how pairing ERP with analytics enables a growing organization to get more value out of the data contained within ERP.
Table 1: The Benefits
|Performance||ERP and Analytics||No ERP and Analytics|
|Improvement in profitability over the past two years||17%||9%|
|Improvement in time-to-decision over the past year||23%||16%|
|Internal schedule compliance||93%||87%|
|Improvement in cycle time of key business processes over the past year||17%||11%|
Source: Aberdeen Group, November 2014
This event only reinforced my opinion that ERP is the answer for small and medium-sized business success. With 18 new customers on Business One per day, SAP is doing its part to support this essential part of the economy.