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The difference of ERP for SME and Startups

If your business processes are not transparent, there is a pool of inefficient paperwork, your departments are disparate, and it’s hard to find needed information quickly – it’s time to consider using an ERP solution.

But finding an effective ERP solution is only half a plan. Finding software that fits your specific business model and needs perfectly is something you should focus on when looking for an ERP. What is the difference between platforms for large enterprises, SMEs, and startups? 

If your business is at an early stage or you only plan to build a one, you should prevent such an issue. A scalable ERP system can become a great option for you.

Such ERPs are designed to grow and scale as your company grows. Let’s find out how to choose a perfect ERP for startups and SMEs along with looking at some examples.

ERP for SMEs

So what is ERP and why it plays such an essential role in the operational performance of each company? If you’re a business owner you’re no stranger to optimizing and maintaining processes that often require additional time resources. With an ERP system, you can avoid manual work and reach cost efficiency, as well as data accuracy and availability.

The key features of ERP systems that fit small and medium-sized businesses:

  • Integration
  • Automation
  • Data Analysis
  • Reporting
  • CRM
  • Accounting
  • Tracking and Visibility

Whether you have a small company in the manufacturing of a digital startup, you’ll need some core set of features for each business process. As your business is developing, you require more information to be collected and managed. So the ERP system should be scalable and adaptive to your changing needs.

With an ERP platform, you can improve the efficiency of everyday workflow. It’s a tool for managing resources, tracking, tracing business, and manufacturing processes from A to Z. All in one system.

Let’s look at the key modules that you may need:

  • Invoicing
  • Supply chain
  • Sales
  • Inventory control
  • Development

Best ERP system with a set of core features for small businesses

IQMS Manufacturing ERP

IQMS fits SMEs perfectly. What is good about it is a clear interface, centralized data that is easy to use and manage. IQMS has one cloud-based app covering all modules and functionality, so you can access it at any time. Why is IQMS so good for small businesses, let’s take a look at its features.

  • Inventory management allows you to get full control over the cash flow, see the number of assets, bills of materials, and work orders. You can also get alerts in real-time and see the sticking level. This functionality is useful for optimizing business processes by managing and forecasting reorders for the future. It also helps you manage the production workflow and prevent any troubles that could lead to the cost loss.
  • Real-time data. Each piece of information is accurately displayed in real-time. Track the performance and efficiency of all the teams on helpful dashboards, monitor the production time, prevent any unexpected downtimes, the number of parts missing, and so on.
  • Quality Management Software helps meeting all the requirements from government and regulatory organizations and provides accurate information on current product quality.
  • Electronic Data Interchange is used for processing orders and invoicing. You can easily automate lots of processes, have a shorter supply chain cycle with auto-filling of requests, production time reduction, and so on.
  • A built-in warehouse management system that also works in real-time. Manage the inventory and production amount with access to required accurate information anytime.

Custom ERP

Most businesses consider building a custom solution when looking for a perfect match. Unlike out-of-the-box-solutions, custom ERP will have the right number of features or modules that you can choose yourself. You can build a solution for your specific industry vertical – no matter if it’s manufacturing or banking, retail, or supply chain business. It’s also flexible and scalable to your team’s requests. And of course, you won’t need to pay a monthly/yearly subscription or worry about security issues.

ERP for medium-sized businesses

When choosing an ERP for your SME, mind such factors as budget, timelines, processes, and resources. Think about all functional requirements to find an ERP that meets 100%.

Also, check some more factors will be useful:

  • Warehouses with a bar-code scanning module
  • Bills of materials
  • Planning module
  • Repairs and services
  • Inventory management module
  • Simple return process

It’s a good practice to compare the ready-to-use ERP systems using this list of features. If you choose to build your solution discuss each module and requirements with a software vendor, consider using business analysis from their side to ensure platform efficiency.

Try not to overdo with the ERP system. It doesn’t need to be super complicated or difficult and requires much time for staff training. This solution aims at simplifying and automating the processes. 

Also, you should choose if use a cloud or on-premise-based solution. Most modern systems are cloud-based and this trend is growing. Is it the best solution? Let’s consider the issues that may arise here:

  • Internet connection quality
  • Remote access
  • Scalability

Standard or Custom Solution

Are your requirements standard and common in such ERP systems? How to choose an up-to-date solution that will meet all the modern needs and processes? 

Here are the features that every modern ERP platform for small businesses should provide:

Cloud solution with no need to maintain the hardware or software yourself.

Mobile interaction with your customers and employees is not a competitive advantage but a must-have in today’s market. 

E-commerce should be easy and accessible 24/7.

Cross-platform solution – the more channels for interacting with the customers you find, the more profit you may gain.

What is the best cloud ERP for SME?


Being an open-source project, it can be used as an ERP platform for SMEs. Odoo offers a package of modules and features covering CRM, sales, inventory, manufacturing, project management, etc. You can choose those modules that you need for every team in your company.

The reduction of manual work is one of the most powerful advantages Odoo has.

All modules are compatible with each other and they act as parts of one big application, not as disparate apps. Automate processes, keep all the functions in one place, and access accurate data when you need it with one user-friendly platform.

Odoo provides free and paid apps. ERP system cost can vary and depends on the package. A comprehensive set of apps may make you lost – you’ll spend much time until you choose all you need. Here are the top categories for the Odoo modules:

  • eCommerce
  • Human Resources
  • Localization
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing
  • Productivity
  • Point of sale
  • Accounting
  • Document Management
  • Сustom

Here you can think about making a custom solution if you’re not a tech-savvy person and have a lack of time to deep dive into all the features and models. In such cases hiring software, a vendor may be a good option to consider. A vendor will become your partner and will take care of the whole process from start to finish. All you need to do is describe your requirements and expectations.

The second reason for choosing a custom solution is the lack of features or modules that you need. Each business is unique and out-of-the-box software solutions can’t always meet the needs of each company.

ERP for Startups

Managing a startup requires much time not only on searching for investors or polishing the ideas but on operational tasks as well. Once you face the number of tasks that you should handle, there comes a time when you have to choose a solution that will help you get over it. A right ERP solution will save you time and resources.

What kind of software will work for a startup? An aim of using ERP platforms is assisting businesses with their everyday activities. Evaluate how much time and other resources you spend on the processes that can be automated. Scaling and growing may be hard when handling hundreds of tasks, if you feel like it’s too much – consider using an ERP.


Maximum efficiency is vital for each startup company. You should ensure access to accurate information to track and improve the way your every-day processes go – both with your customers and employees. You can access this information from any device, even from your phone. You can even have a mobile ERP system.

Your team members can have the same access to the information or you can limit this access for some specific parts of the data. You won’t need to spend time collecting information, analyzing it, and generating reports based on it. Automate this process, eliminate the chance of making a mistake and give yourself a boost on growth and scale.

No spreadsheets or notebooks are required. or If you have a custom app, you can have any visual elements that you want to see. You can decide how the future software solution will display information for you and your team players.


ERP software growth and scales as your business do. It’s better to avoid using free apps as most of them are not supposed to be scaled in the future.

What are the best small business ERP cloud solutions?

Apprise for Discrete Manufacturing

This ERP platform provides such modules as financials, manufacturing, logistics, importing, retailer compliance, demand planning, forecasting, transportation, mobile sales, and so on. Any information is accessible at any time. You can manage all the manufacturing processes from the point of delivery to finishing operations and cost reduction. Apprise is available both on Android and iOS devices.

Batch Master for Process Manufacturing

Having a pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, or chemical and food business? Consider using a Bath Master ERP. You can use it as an add-on to Sage 100, QuickBooks, SAP Business One, or Microsoft Dynamics GP. It has modules for managing inventory, entering and updating formulas, reporting, auditing, and managing documents.

Epicor for Wholesale Distribution

This ERP system fits good for HVAC, electrical, fastener, petroleum, medical, plumbing, and fluid power industries. Manage orders, make purchases, accounting, manage the supply chain, and inventory with Epicor modules. You can also use the built-in Business Analyser to optimize the processes. This software is compatible with Windows OS.

TradeGecko for eCommerce

A cloud-based platform that acts out as a B2B e-commerce portal. You can add users so they could sell wholesale to retailers with the help of custom storefronts. There are complex CRM, accounting, demand forecasting, sales reporting, and demand forecasting modules. You can easily integrate it with Shopify, Amazon, Magento, WooCommerce, or Bigcommerce.

How Does ERP for SME and Startups Differ?

The reason for implementing ERP software in any type of business is meeting needs and requirements. Startups and small businesses often have different processes and needs of course. 

A startup provides a new product or service, uses new technology and innovation to bring this product or service to life. There’s no structured approach in most of the cases. It uses its own experience to grow.

An SME uses the so-called old approaches to analyzing the market niche, planning and organizing the production processes, and so on. They use someone else’s experience to grow.

Each business has its list of tasks to be solved and goals to be reached – focus on them when selecting the best software solution in your case.

Why you should pick up a scalable ERP solution

There’s one thing that unites all the companies no matter what industry you are in. It’s scalability. Why do you need it? You get an opportunity to grow. You get an opportunity to reach all business goals that you think of. It’s good to keep this idea in mind all the time when you are viewing information about ERP solutions.

How can you scale off-the-shelf products? Get in touch with the software developers and ask them about any updates or solve any problems. If they don’t have actively-responding support or don’t provide system updates, flexible features – try to avoid such a solution. You better to build a custom solution that will be as scalable as you need this.

How can you pick up a scalable custom ERP solution? You need to hire a reliable software vendor with a strong experience in building such applications. Check the Bilsoft portfolio to see the cases we worked on. If you decide to have a custom ERP app for your company or have any questions, we’ll be happy to assist you.

Blog posts

ERP for Startups: When It’s Time to Consider It for Your Business

Having a startup with multiple directions to develop, isn’t an easy task to handle. From investors pitching to crunching numbers and orders fulfillment – the processes require focus, creativity, and plenty of time.

When you feel like there’s something that needs to change it’s time to consider using an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The right ERP will save your time and money along with consolidating all your startup’s high priority business processes and data in one place. Despite the “enterprise” word in ERP, such a solution is an essential tool for businesses of all types and sizes. You’ll just need to find the best-fitting option for your needs. You should also consider cloud-based solutions as they are more affordable, easy-to-use, and reliable than ever.

Still have doubts about implementing an ERP in your business? Find out 5 reasons to consider it right away.

  1. You use multiple systems and duplicate data

  2. You use multiple systems and duplicate data

    Managing the same data in different unconnected spreadsheets or even systems can cause data loss, incorrectness, and inefficiency. If you rely on this inefficient data, how would you make the right decisions in managing your startup? An ERP will integrate your finance, sales, and customer info in one place so that you can access the latest and right data whenever it’s needed and on any device with an Internet connection.

  3. Your systems are disparate

  4. Your systems are disparate

    Working with data takes too much time on copying, pasting, or importing data from one spreadsheet to another – it’s getting harder to keep everything updated. These systems and spreadsheets are not connected to each other which causes the risk of losing vital data. With a properly set up ERP solution, you won’t need to worry about your sales, finance, fulfillment, and service processes linking. Just imagine you’ll have more time on developing your business – not troubleshooting it.

  5. Lack of business processes visibility

  6. Lack of business processes visibility

    In such a competitive ecosystem, startups need to be agile to succeed. To track key parameters,

    get ready to react to internal and external risks, and scale up when needed – it’s vital for a business owner to have at-a-glance insights into performance. An ERP solution is designed to provide real-time accurate performance reporting and brings transparency to each business department.

  7. Lacking an IT person on your team

  8. Lacking an IT person on your team

    If you manage an early-stage startup, you most likely handle multiple processes by yourself including IT. Let yourself focus on business growth and development by defining the highest priorities along with delegating and automating other tasks. With a cloud-based ERP, you won’t need to worry about IT issues, deployment, etc. Get a ready-to-use tool that can be customized to your business needs without a dedicated IT professional.

  9. Struggling to keep up with reporting

  10. Struggling to keep up with reporting

    Investors require accurate and frequent reporting delivered on time. It’s quite a challenge for most early-stage startups. Even trying to find accounting software for building reports might be hard and time-consuming as most basic systems are not designed for these demands. An ERP system will streamline the data flow and help with building custom detailed reports delivered on time.

If you’re running an early-stage startup and face the same challenges described above, it’s time to consider implementing an ERP solution. If you need any assistance with choosing, customizing the right one for your business, or consider building a custom solution – the Bilsoft team is here to help. Talk to our expert today and we’ll provide a comprehensive consultation for free.

Blog posts

Top 11 ERP Solutions to Implement for Startups and Small Businesses

ERP systems play a significant role in the performance of any distribution or manufacturing business. It’s also vital for companies in many other industries – from finance and accounting to risk management no matter which vertical, size, or target audience your business is in. Making an ERP your core tool is more than important not only for large enterprises but for small businesses and ambitious startups as well.

Keeping in mind the importance of an ERP system, it’s essential to find the one which meets your specific needs and goals. While established companies strive for micromanaging each small process, startups often look for affordable, scalable, and easy-to-use solutions. Most startups don’t have weeks to spend learning what makes their solution tick. They need a hands-on system that offers a wide range of opportunities to improve and scale when needed.

Here at Bilsoft, we work with any type of business and know exactly how to choose the best option for your growing business or startup. Our team has prepared a list of best-fitting ERPs for small businesses. We’ve listed the solutions in alphabetical order.

  1. Acumatica

  2. Acumatica

    Founded over 10 years ago, Acumatica provides cloud and browser-based business management software developed for small and mid-sized businesses. ERP solution is made up of fully-integrated apps powered by a flexible and scalable platform. In Acumatica’s modules suite, you’ll find financials, distribution, project accounting, and CRM. The solution also provides flexible workflows and adjusts to business processes – not the other way around.

  3. Aquilon Software

  4. Aquilon Software

    Founded in 2006, for over 14 years has been developing, implementing, and supporting ERP systems. Its ERP modules for manufacturing management are perfect for SMEs and growing manufacturers. These modules flawlessly integrate processes and departments from A to Z. Offering MRP, financial management, CRM, and many more, Aquilon’s manufacturing modules offer a comprehensive solution to support your business and make it more efficient, competitive, and responsive to your customers’ needs.

  5. Brahmin Solutions

  6. Brahmin Solutions

    A suite of modules components offering its users a solid operations management platform for both B2C and B2B manufacturers. The system is designed for growing businesses and startups that sell directly to consumers and businesses. The ERP is adaptable, simple to use, and offers a range of process automation opportunities. In Brahmin Solutions’ product line you’ll find inventory control, order management, multichannel inventory management, wholesale, warehouse management, batch expiry tracking, manufacturing, and sales reports. There is also a special Brahmin Growth Solutions package for startups which offers a discount on payment rate.

  7. Deltek’s ERP solution

  8. Deltek’s ERP solution

    Deltek provides a wide product line of ERP solutions to meet the specific clients’ needs. ERP solutions are available as cloud-based and on-premise systems with per employee per month pricing model. Deltek is often used by companies with over 20 employees in the system and over ten users who need access to the software. The solution fits many industries including aerospace and defense, healthcare, non-profits, and education.

  9. Epicor Software Corporation

  10. Epicor Software Corporation

    With industry-specific needs in mind, Epicor offers software covering retail, and services organizations business needs. ERP is available as a cloud or on-premises solution and is known by its unique features to meet individual business requirements. Epicor is a global ERP that provides flexibility and agility to empower growth and opportunity. The solution is IoT ready, available in the cloud or on-premise, and provides a scalable solution.

  11. ERP Gold

  12. ERP Gold

    A full-stack ERP solution that covers most business operations including marketing, lead generation, CRM, inventory, purchases, payroll, project management, and accounting. It’s a cloud-based system offering a secure SSL connection for simple, encrypted access from anywhere in the world. ERP Gold has a heavy focus on the marketing, sales, and client relationship side of the business. It also provides an opportunity to integrate third-party APIs so you can manage all your solutions in one location.

  13. Intact Software

  14. Intact Software

    Founded in 1992, Intact Software is known for providing its agile Intact iQ, ERP solution created for startups and SMEs. ERP is a tool to see and manage all business processes from one place. Intact iQ is accessible across multiple mobile devices and has a built-in email and SMS messaging functionality as well.

  15. Odoo

  16. Odoo

    An open-source ERP solution for businesses of all sizes across many industries. Odoo has an “On-premise” offer and it is the most installed business software in the world. Over 3.700.000 users worldwide ranging from startup companies (1 user) to large enterprises (300,000+ users) use the platform on a day-to-day basis. With its module structure, Odoo covers every business process from warehousing, manufacturing, and sales channels, to timesheets, websites, purchasing, and more. Deep app and pricing customization make Odoo perfect for startups that are looking for scalable and agile solutions.

  17. OnCloudERP

  18. OnCloudERP

    An easy-to-use and powerful ERP for distribution, wholesale, retail, and services. It’s a multiregional cloud platform that works across a variety of devices. The advantage of OnCloudERP is its simplicity in implementation without requiring any advanced technical knowledge. The functionality set covers accounting, sales, purchase, inventory, and production, there is also an option to integrate additional modules such as payroll and CRM. You may choose the best pricing option from a variety of ones.

  19. Sage

  20. Sage

    With over 30 years of market experience, Sage offers ERP designed for small and medium-sized companies. Sage’s ERP is available in three products; X3 for enterprises, 100 for SMEs, and 300 for small and mid-sized companies with multiple locations. Sage 100 includes modules for core accounting, distribution, manufacturing, business intelligence, customer relationship management, and human resources. X3 is cloud-based and browser agnostic and is responsive on mobile devices. It is also adaptable to company requirements, user roles, and preferences.

  21. ZapERP

  22. ZapERP

    A tool offers a multichannel inventory solution with efficient stock management and order fulfillment. ZapERP was created to help in product sales and distribution along with the management of the different branches of your business.

    It’s agile and simple in use solution which fits businesses of any sizes and types from wholesalers and retailers to the service industry and eCommerce. Due to its flexibility, ZapERP can be tailored for specific business needs and requirements. It also offers several pricing plans which can be customized according to the functionality set.

Final Word

With a vast variety of ready-made ERP solutions on the market, choosing a one for your specific business can be a hard task to do. A unique or customized business process may need a custom approach.

When choosing an ERP it’s important to define if such a solution may require further customization and scale. In most cases expanding the functionality of an out-of-the-box solution takes additional spendings apart from pricing packages. Thus, turning to a custom-developed solution designed after thorough business analysis and meeting all specific requirements may be a good idea.

At Bilsoft we focus on your business success and create tools that can take your ERP processes to a new level. With unrestricted opportunities for custom integrations, automation, and functionality your unique ERP will become an efficient partner in your business growth.

Ready to discuss your project idea or what to know more about custom ERP development? Feel free to fill in the contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.



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