Consistency and Software: What the SMB Needs

SYSPRO recently demonstrated its integrated business process management and ERP solution to analysts. Bringing BPM and ERP to the SMB market could be a very good thing on a couple of levels.

SYSPRO Quantum Architecture

I caught one other briefing the other day in Boston: SYSPRO.

Change is one constant that is an equal opportunity business challenge. It impacts small and large firms.

SYSPRO has a tool that:

  • Is a repository with all of a firm's organizational, strategy, risk/compliance, technology, etc. knowledge in one place
  • Permits business people to collaboratively model their business processes, controls, etc. via a visual modeling software app
  • Comes pre-supplied with standard process models, setup options, best practices, etc.
  • Allows KPIs, menu options, process steps, etc.  to be set by role, function, etc.
  • Permits role-based security, sign-offs, etc.
  • Ties everything together via workflow software

I've seen a number of business process management software products over the last decade. This toolset appears to compare well with the better products. The fact that it is already pre-defined and integrated with the SYSPRO ERP solution is a clear advantage.

In my opinion, too few SMB (small-medium businesses) spring for a BPM tool. ERP products are often a necessary but very expensive technology cost for these companies. A separate BPM tool can be perceived as a luxury in some of these companies. That doesn't mean these firms wouldn't get value from a product that could better integrate controls, processes, software and more.

Small businesses, especially those that are growing, often fall victim to embezzlement, fraud and other control and process problems. It's hard to implement quality programs in a firm with no systems to control processes, get appropriate sign-offs, etc.  Great controls trigger great feedback and process improvements. I've seen smaller firms suffer repeated quality control problems, make the same manufacturing mistakes again and again, and, get taken advantage of by unscrupulous employees, suppliers or customers. Better process designs and controls would have prevented most of these events from occurring.

Change is the other reason that even SMB firms need both an ERP and BPM product. The ever-changing business world requires firms to move fast and with flexibility. Companies that can re-configure their firm, its processes, controls, systems, etc. to match the speed of competition and innovation become winners in the marketplace.

I like the idea of combining ERP and BPM tools - I especially like these combined in an easy to use, fast to implement solution.