All SME owners know that the way you do business can change rapidly as your company and brand grows, regardless of what services you provide. Having a larger customer base means having more data to sort, more products to sell, and more transactions to keep track of. SAP, which is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, allows you to oversee every part of your business through one system, and can be used regardless of how small or large your company is.

SMEs and startups can especially benefit from SAP to help them grow and develop over time, and it’s often better to implement the system sooner rather than later. Here are three main signs to look out for when growing your business, which could tell you it’s time to look into getting SAP for your business.

You’re managing too much information across too many forms of software

As your business grows, you’ll have to start dealing with more data and keeping track of larger volumes of product. This makes inputting data even more time-consuming, with more pressure to ensure information is accurate at every stage. You may even have to update systems, or install more software in order to keep track of the growing demands of your business. If you and your staff are using multiple systems to record, track, and process information, it may be time to start thinking about implementing SAP software.

Using more than one system can make the overall running of your business time-consuming, as you may need to input information multiple times for each programme in use. This doubles the amount of work for your business, as work is often duplicated across each unit of business. Having various systems means that your business doesn’t run as smoothly as it could, and can even lead to inaccuracies if information is inputted incorrectly at each stage.

Investing in SAP software, however, can take this struggle away, as it integrates all the systems you need in order to keep your business running smoothly. As Eursap explain, the latest update to the software is still “outstanding in real-time analytics, simulation, and being able to handle multiple dimensions at the same time”. As all information is stored on a single database, you’ll be able to see accurate data at each stage, which can free up time to allow you to work on other aspects of your business.

Your financial processes are extremely long or complex

Financial and accounting processes are often the first parts of a business that show signs of needing an SAP system. Startups and SMEs often rely on paper invoices and physical records of all sales and orders, so you may have to dedicate a large chunk of time inputting the information into various accounting softwares. Having multiple systems also increases the chances of your finances being mismanaged, which can wreak havoc on your business. A lack of financial control can lead to potential cash-flow problems and incomplete forecasting and projections, which can stop you from taking advantage of potential opportunities to grow.

Accounting software has been a core category for SAP since it was founded in 1972, and the latest update has kept it at its forefront. Eursap’s guide to new features in SAP S/4Hana 1709 explains the key innovations in the area of finance, including the SAP Financial Closing cockpit, which is a core part of the update. This provides transparency throughout the closing cycle of your finances, and improves productivity with automated closing tasks. The update also offers a simpler data model along with improved user experience, which improves productivity, giving you more time to focus on growing your business.

You don’t have easily accessible business intelligence

Entrepreneurs need to have business intelligence in order to analyse data and determine areas for development and growth. If relevant data is collected and analysed correctly, effective business intelligence can give small business owners an advantage over competition. However, gathering data can be difficult if you have a number of different software packages in use within your business. In the best case scenario, it can take hours in order to get the right data to analyse, while in the worst case it can take days.

As the pace of business is faster than ever before, business owners and managers need access to information as quickly as possible in order to make informed decisions about their company’s future. If you find yourself spending time going through all systems and analysing data, it could be time to implement an SAP system. This will ensure that all of your data is in one software package, making it much easier to collate and analyse, and keep you better informed about the current state of your business.

Regardless of the size of your business, you can implement SAP software in order to keep track of business processes, and in order to plan for the future. Effectively using an SAP system can also help you with projections for your business, which can help you grow and develop your business to deal with more customers.

Elliot Preece