How to choose ERP for SMEs?

Undoubtedly a complicated question to answer. First of all, there are multiple business sectors and for each of them it would be necessary to evaluate the specific needs and options. But the matter becomes more complicated when we see that within the same sector there is a casuistry for each company, for that reason the valuations to be made grow much more.

The simplest solution is to study case by case, this is the way Cronomia works and for this reason we contact all our clients so that they can explain us first hand what they need and we make every effort to cover those needs.

However, we are forced to answer this question: How to choose ERP for SMEs? Well... we will evaluate the subject from the perspective of the general concepts to select our next ERP.

Factors to take into account when choosing ERP for SMEs

Ease of use

The ERP that we implement in our SME will be used by a considerable number of workers. Each of them will be more or less technical or administrative or basic workers... in addition there will be easily visible and understandable age ranges. These are just some of the reasons why we have to make sure that the ERP is easy to use, very intuitive, with very clear screens, with very concrete options and accessible in the minimum number of clicks. Let's avoid cumbersome ERP with many buttons on the screen, with icons that we do not recognize or with endless menus.

Modular Capability

One of the aspects that most captivates us about ERP is its modular capacity. Its modular development allows companies to choose the most convenient modules to improve overall performance and better manage and organize all information. This is a major breakthrough in enterprise software.

But above all, it is its practical aspect that must be taken into account. Why would an administrative consultancy need a project management module or an engineering consultancy need a powerful multi-company administration module. The concept of I use what I need and pay for what I use is one of the advances of modular IT development.

Another advantage of modular software is that it can grow as the SME grows. If the SME grows from a small warehouse to a large warehouse the ERP will adapt from an inventory option to a warehouse management (WMS) option. This is great, because what is a real disaster is having to change ERP because our needs exceed our current ERP.

Avoid all-in-one packages and opt for packages that you can select.


Nowadays, it is important to consider mobility as an important feature in an IT system. Mobile devices are widely used for their convenience and connectivity. With these devices it is possible to access information in real time from any time and place. There are ERP systems that adapt to smartphones, tablets and computers. If what you are looking for is mobility due to the activities of your company, you need to consider this aspect. An ERP compatible with mobile devices will allow you to monitor the movements of the business without the need to go in person.

Regulatory compliance

Another aspect to highlight in ERP programs is their usefulness for regulatory compliance. It is necessary that an ERP is a tool that helps the company to keep up to date with the legal norms of its sector. The ERP system should make it easy to find the documents and records that auditors need to review. In addition, an ERP program can incorporate functionalities that enable companies to comply with regulations specific to their industry.


Configurability is an important feature if you are looking for ERP software for medium and small businesses. A configurable ERP program allows the user to easily enable or disable features. This aspect is important as it helps streamline processes, reduce confusion and save time. Configurability is necessary to eliminate aspects or functions that do not contribute to the development of tasks. ERPs with these options are very useful for SMEs as they do not require extensive or complex programming to configure the system.

Collaborative environment

You can take into account the collaborative environment offered by an ERP software. ERP software facilitates information visibility, document sharing and team collaboration. It is necessary to take into consideration all the communication functionalities provided by ERP systems, as they allow to increase the company's productivity. Working in a collaborative environment streamlines communication and project organization for better results.

Functionalities of an ERP

An ERP software can have functionalities targeted to a specific sector or to several fields. Generally, an ERP program will have functionalities for project management, inventory control, logistics management, production control, accounting, human resources, etc. It is necessary to identify the type of ERP you need for your company, since there are programs ranging from generic to specialized by sector.

ERP implementation in SMEs:

This point is sometimes overlooked. We think about what we need and how we will use it but we forget that first we have to install all the software.

There are several aspects of the implementation that we are going to have to deal with:
  • We will need to find out if the hardware we have has the necessary features to support the software we are going to implement. The two most important aspects that we must verify are the power of the processors and the amount of RAM that we have. Other interesting aspects would be the speed of the hard disks, the power of the graphic cards in case we need CAD (computer aided design) or audiovisual programs.
  • Make sure that there is a way to recover all our data and transfer it to the new ERP with the least possible losses.
  • Draw up an implementation plan, a roadmap. What modules will we install first, what tests will we perform, what data will we transfer first... We must take into account that our company cannot stop to perform the implementation, the day to day work must be covered.
  • How much the implementation will cost. In many ERP the implementation is not part of the price, so before deciding we must have a complete budget of all the expenses that the ERP is going to suppose us, even prevent delays, errors, etc... If the whole process is clear for all those involved in it, everything will be easier and solving problems will be more effective and faster. Let's try to avoid improvisations.
The process is very different if we acquire an ERP in the cloud, the aspects that stand out in this case are:
  • We must ensure that our Internet connection is powerful enough and does not suffer outages.
  • Implementation costs decrease radically.
  • The whole process is much shorter. The time and inconveniences are reduced.
  • We do not need powerful local servers, but we do need a powerful Internet connection.
  • And we must also remember that after all, our data is on someone else's computer and we have to assess the level of sensitivity of that data in order to deposit it on an external server.
Quality of support and training services

As we discover the qualities of the ERP that we believe we are interested in, we must also discover the quality of its support and technical service. In this aspect the opinions that we can see on the Internet can have a great added value. But we must look at these opinions objectively, without taking them for good in their entirety. We have to take them as a guide of aspects to raise with our software supplier and expect their answers to be clear, concise and illustrative. Any answer that alerts us should not be taken as a step backwards but as a leap backwards, because once the ERP is implemented we will have to work for years with that support and we must try to make it bearable.

We have to find out if the support is by phone, in person, by mail or via the web and then evaluate if it convinces us.

Another aspect that we cannot ignore is training. Ideally, the software should not have a learning curve, but it is a bit naive to expect this to be the case. The supplier must provide us with training for each of the positions we have hired: technician, administrative, warehouse, etc. So that the changeover is as atraumatic as possible. And we must keep in mind that workers will always be reluctant to change because it takes them out of their comfort zone and at first it seems that it will only complicate their lives.

Technologies, integration and customization

The best ERP for SMEs can be integrated with other IT systems. There are solutions that have evolved to fit the needs of your industry and offer benefits that include customization and integration with third parties. These qualities allow companies to save time and optimize specific processes. This is undoubtedly one of the best benefits that an ERP program can provide.

It is possible that we have some custom-designed or very specialized software, if our activity requires it. This software may be essential and if it is not reflected in the new ERP we will have to find a way to maintain it and be able to communicate it with the ERP, that is to say, to integrate or synchronize it with the new software. This aspect must be solved by our software supplier, either through a local or web service, the development of an API, etc.

In the same way, it is our software supplier who must solve the compatibility problems between the languages of the new ERP and our current software that we want to maintain. These compatibilities can be solved by developing APIs in an intermediate language that both systems understand.

Another aspect that the software supplier must solve before or during the implementation is the customization of all the templates, both in the graphic aspect and in the content.

In the graphic aspect all templates should have the corporate colors of our company, our logo and fiscal or geographical data as needed.

The reports should be customizable, by means of filters, in terms of the fields that we want to be shown. One of the main missions of all types of ERP is not only to organize the information but also to show it in a clear way and according to our needs.

It is also very interesting that the ERP incorporates a powerful dashboard from which to make modifications in lists and options without programming.

An ERP is not a cheap software, so before buying it we must make sure that it covers not only our current needs, but any future needs that we can foresee today.

The best way to amortize and take advantage of an ERP is through sustained use over time.

This article presents the main aspects to take into account when choosing an ERP for SMEs. However, if you find yourself looking for an ERP that works on Macs, it is important to choose software that fits your needs. ERP systems for Mac are not as common, but there are some excellent options to choose from. A great alternative is the ERP SIG SME, a program with an intuitive interface that you can easily manage. This software has features to control the entry and exit of employees, manage warehouses, automate processes, save resources, and so on. In addition, you can access your business information at any time via iPad. For Windows systems, one of the best options for SMEs is A3ERP, a program that unifies and integrates all areas of the company and allows total control efficiently and quickly, you can explore other options such as Dolibarr or Contasimple.

Cheap ERP

In terms of costs, ERP can charge a significant portion of the budget when they are aimed primarily at companies of larger volume or size. Usually, erp for SMEs, usually have more modest prices, are cheap ERP with the management capacity of an expensive ERP, the vital difference lies in the needs of the company that can meet, the tools and modules.