SAP ERP has been adopted by several large organizations worldwide, and only off late i.e. past couple of years, it has started to focus upon small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Much focus is on market developments, technology developments, as well as ERP developments and these, have proved very valuable in the functioning of an organization.
What are market characteristics focused upon?
- SMEs by ERP vendors include:
- Most of the LEs have adopted ERP.
- Electronic commerce does benefit from close integration between LE as well as SME systems.
- SMEs do grow up to be LEs.
- The vast majority of businesses are SMEs rather than LEs.
- Integrated packages originally developed for the SME market are indeed becoming increasingly upwardly scalable.
- It is interesting to note that various technological developments are encouraging the increased uptake of ERP by SMEs:
- The advent of powerful, relatively inexpensive microprocessor-based servers.
- The advent of new, scalable, full-function PC and network operating systems (specifically Windows NT)
- The availability of a low-cost database management system for the Windows NT platform, in SQL Server Major recent SAP initiatives that have made R/3 more accessible to SMEs, include:
- Introduction to the ASAP implementation methodology.
- The Certified Business Solutions Program.
- Shrink wrapped, ‘Ready-to-run R/3’.
- Industry-focused solutions.
What there is to know about small and medium enterprises?
It is important to know how SMEs differ from larger organizations and how these differences may influence the ERP implementation.
The SME is typically characterized as follows: a simple and highly centralized structure. SMEs do have less influence over computer vendors or for that matter consultants and thus they may receive a relatively lower level of service SMEs can also be indeed be located in more remote areas, where service delays are longer and external computing resources scarcer.
SMEs do play a dominant role in the terms of strategy, decision making as well as the psychological climate within their organization. They are indeed less prone to sharing of information and delegating decision-making to justify the implementation of ERP.
It is also suggested that the decision-making processes rather of small business managers is more intuitive as well as judgemental.
The role of SME is of much significance in the existing business market scenario and SAP R/3 implementation has made a mark in the operations of these SMEs.