Common SME ERP Myths

Common SME ERP Myths

We hear a number of untruths about SME ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) deployments on a regular basis and we thought it was about time we set the record straight. Here are the top 10 myths about SME ERP initiatives and the reality behind the perception…


Myth #1: It will take months, even a year, to properly implement an SME ERP solution in my organisation


Don’t put off what can be accomplished today, or you may run out of time before you know it!


Reality: It can sometimes take months for larger organisations with numerous locations to have a fully integrated low-cost SME ERP solution like SAP Business One, but this is not commonplace, especially for SMEs.

The pre-implementation work Blue Ocean Systems carries out with clients ensures that business processes are mapped out and workflows agreed upon so that the implementation team can hit the ground running.

For smaller companies with fewer than five users, it’s often only a matter of a couple of weeks to get them up and running. The key is to prioritise the main business processes and focus on getting the core elements up and running first, then the others can follow easily.

Time to value:

SME ERP with SAP Business One (B1): 2-12 weeks

Business Intelligence with SAP B1: 1 day – 8 weeks


Myth #2: Only larger companies benefit from investing in SME ERP Solutions


You don’t have to feel intimidated because of your size.
(Also, here’s a kitten to get you hyped for Caturday. TGIF!)


Reality: Small and midsize organisation benefit just as much as larger organisations (maybe even more!)


200,000 SME customers globally

80% of SAP customers are SMEs (fewer than 50 users)


This has to be the top myth we regularly hear about ERP deployments for small and medium sized companies and we cannot emphasise enough the benefits ERP systems can bring to smaller organisations.

Growing a business on an industry-leading platform sets SMEs up for future growth and success and puts best practises into place early. We watch with pride our SME customers grow their business from strength to strength knowing that they have given themselves the best start possible.

They are able to grow in new markets, make accurate and quick business decisions and use their enterprise data to make continuous efficiency improvements.


Myth #3: It will take my employees months to become comfortable with an ERP solution and we will lose a lot of time.

Improvements in productivity more than make up for time spent on learning.

Will your competitors think the same way?
Don’t make it harder for yourself to catch up!


Reality: Maybe surprisingly, users quickly become familiar with the new system and improvements in productivity are often reported sooner than expected. On our end, full training is provided to all SAP B1 users and the online training modules and resources provide further support. An intuitive system at its core, SAP B1 is easy to use and essentially makes life a lot easier for users – we find that this is often motivation enough for new users to quickly learn the ropes.


Myths #4: An ERP System is not worth the financial investment, especially during tough economic times.

Saving is good, but don't forget to invest or you cannot grow.

You could be losing more money than you think you’re saving.


Reality: We hear this a lot and we completely understand the financial commitment it takes to invest in a new software system. However, SMEs are always surprised to learn that a low-cost ERP system like SAP Business One is much more accessible than they previously thought; they can start small with just a handful of users and add more as their company grows – thus reducing the initial risk.

They can also immediately leverage SAP B1 to grow their business, and see quicker than expected returns on their investment – data and analytics play a huge part here and often open an SMEs eyes to money they were previously leaving on the table.

On top of all this, Singapore-based SMEs have an even bigger advantage due to the financial support available through various government grants and schemes. Read more here.


Myth #5: I will have to change how my entire company operates to accommodate an ERP system

You can't afford to go extinct, can you? Evolve before you do!

Change is inevitable – do you really want to risk turning into a corporate dinosaur?


Reality: This myth has a certain element of truth to it – but the change in business processes is usually only a good thing. Adopting an ERP solution’s best practises means that certain changes will be inevitable for some organisations – after all, managing your company on Excel spreadsheets is not sustainable in the long run.

But the tried and tested ways of doing things means that your company’s processes will see almost immediate improvements, across areas such as warehouse management and inventory control, accounts, data mining and sales forecasting.


So, yes change will occur, but this can also be embraced as a good thing.


Myth #6: We need a big team dedicated to implementing an ERP solution and we don’t have the resources


No, you really don’t need a whole football team to get your ERP solution up and running!

Reality: A project team is useful to your ERP consultant but they don’t need to be a fully dedicated team at all. The ‘champions’ for an SME focused ERP system within your organisation can also fulfil an important change management and internal marketing function to make the transition to a new system even easier.

Asking for those who want to be involved in the exciting change is a much better strategy than landing more responsibility on an already overworked team, so use this as an opportunity for employees to stand up and be part of the positive change within your organisation.


Myth #7: Our organisation would require so much customisation that it’s not worth the time or money to switch to an advanced ERP solution


Everyone wants a tailored fit – luckily, most of the time only a few alterations are needed.


Reality: It constantly surprises customers when we meet with them to go over their processes and they discover that they in fact are not the only ones doing things a certain way – whether it’s their ordering process or the way they manage their credit.

Similarities such as these mean that they can leverage SAP Business One’s leading (and trusted) business processes and forget having to customise every single workflow.


While we can customise where necessary, we find that it’s much less required than initially assumed.


Myth #8: Our processes don’t need simplifying. Our old style way of working has set us up well in the past.


For better or worse, business doesn’t work this way nowadays (if ever)…


Reality: This is a tough one, because it’s probably true for some companies. Their old way of working has clearly been effective enough for the company to still be operational. But – we challenge any company not working towards further simplifying their processes. In today’s digitally disruptive world, nothing can stand still for long.


In a recent Knowledge@Wharton study sponsored by SAP:


74% of respondents believe that business complexity has hurt their efforts to meet business process and decision making goals, while 40% of executives worry that their company won’t keep up with the pace of technology.


Myth #9: We are hoping our company will be acquired in the next couple of years so it’s not worth changing everything now


Does this look saleable to you?


Reality: Companies who already have well-oiled systems and processes in place with the industry-leading ERP are often more attractive to prospective buyers.

Leaving legacy software systems, outdated hardware and inefficient processes in place is painful in the short term and does not set your company up for future success – whether taken over by another company or not.


Myth #10: The data and analytics that can be drawn from an advanced ERP solution are not necessary for my small company


Even the small guys need analytics to grow big these days.


Reality: This is where we have to bring it back to digital disruption – it’s inevitable (read our post on it here), and your SME is no different to any other when it comes to being prepared for the unexpected. SAP Business One version for SAP HANA gives you valuable information about your company that you might otherwise overlook.

Data and analytics might seem scary to you if you’ve never worked like this, but look at it in a different way – you will be able to instantly see the facts behind your company, make quick decisions based on what is actually happening and forecast properly. Any sized company would be able to benefit from those kinds of insights.



We hope you now feel better informed against the misguided myths about SMEs and ERP systems! Get our free download for the week by clicking below:



Contact the Blue Ocean Systems team of ERP experts to discuss these, and any other concerns.

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