Using a cloud platform allows businesses to access the system outside of the workplace, anytime, from anywhere in the world.
The pandemic has pushed digital technology to the forefront of business concerns. Yet despite this, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still reluctant to take the next step in digitizing their operations. Some are unaware that there are better alternatives to manually using the spreadsheets and siled systems they probably run their business on now. Others are hesitant to get rid of their old systems already in place.
However, the past year has shown that the lack of use of modern business tools can come at a cost. Many SMEs in Singapore have had to scale back or even cease operations due to a difficult environment. How many of them could have avoided this if they had a single platform that provided them with valuable business data and the information needed to deal with unexpected demands?
According to the October 2020 McKinsey survey, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital technologies by several years. The report adds that companies accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply chain interactions as well as their internal operations by three to four years. Additionally, the share of digital or digital-enabled products in business portfolios has accelerated by seven years.
Supporting a business through challenges and striving for growth means recognizing the importance of technology in this changing business and economic environment. Businesses also need to focus on tools that can deliver financial resilience through innovation and automation. Those who are able to adapt and make the necessary changes are more successful than reputable brands that continue to operate on outdated and rigid infrastructures.
“All companies should regularly review their current technology infrastructure and ask themselves: is our technology helping or holding us back?” said Michelle Alphonso, CEO of Star Point Board, a cloud computing solutions consulting company. “When outdated or inadequate systems are inefficient, cloud data, or can’t support the changes the business wants to make, it’s time to look for a new solution. Other signs that it’s time to change include inaccurate data, a lack of integration between systems, high error rates, and an overreliance on email and spreadsheets. “
How Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Helps SMBs
In his heart, a cloud ERP The system is an application that automates business processes. It also provides internal insights and controls, backed by a central database that collects data from all departments, including accounting, manufacturing, supply chain, sales and marketing.
A cloud ERP system, such as Oracle NetSuite, collects and organizes key business information and helps organizations run simple and efficient operations, even as they grow.
Using a cloud platform allows businesses to access the system outside of the workplace, anytime, from anywhere in the world. This has never been more relevant than it is today, with businesses forced to shift to remote working to adapt to the new normal.
“Thanks to cloud-based productivity and cloud ERP solutions like NetSuite, online marketplace Carousell was able to transition to remote working without any changes to our daily workflow throughout the pandemic,” said Victor Neo, director of engineering at Carousell.
“A cloud ERP system brings together the disparate entities of a business, providing unprecedented visibility into their processes in real time,” added Michelle Alphonso of PointStar Consulting. In a very disruptive trading market, having your finger on the pulse is of utmost importance. Clear visibility enables SMBs to make critical business decisions faster, operate more efficiently, and maintain a competitive advantage.
This was the case for fashion and wellness brand Craftmark. Prior to moving to a cloud ERP platform, their sales, inventory, and accounting data was manually updated, making it a tedious and time-consuming process that was also prone to human error. With contrasting systems and no real-time visibility due to the use of spreadsheets, Craftmark engaged PointStar Consulting who recommended NetSuite which could give them a 360 degree view of their operation to improve efficiency and help scale the business as it grows.
“One of the things that NetSuite is attracting is the inventory management module,” said Adele Tan, Group Director of Craftmark. “After using it, we’ve seen the benefit of having real-time visibility into inventory status and that our inventory data is up-to-date. And because we have so many outlets, it’s is useful because we could follow everything in real time.”
Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG): Supporting SMEs and their digitization efforts
SMBs that are on the path to digital transformation and looking to move to cloud ERP can benefit from the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) offered by the Government of Singapore.
The Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) program is a joint initiative of the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Enterprise Singapore. With an initial allocation of S$110 million over three years, the Government of Singapore’s PSG is supporting the purchase of pre-approved productivity and technology solutions for SMEs in specific sectors. It also finances a selection of solutions used in most industries.
With the help of the PSG, SMEs can receive up to 80% financial assistance when adopting approved software and equipment.
Oracle NetSuite ERP is the pre-approved solution under the PSG program that covers specific industries including retail, manufacturing, wholesale, logistics, food, precision engineering, construction, and landscaping.
PointStar Consulting’s strong consulting team has successfully implemented Oracle NetSuite projects across various verticals with a focus on Omnichannel Retailearning them the Oracle NetSuite Partner 5-Star Award three years in a row.
Their client list in the ASEAN region includes Carousell, Craftmark and Union Book in Singapore, FashionValet and Carsome in Malaysia, Sefas Group and Kartika Sari in Indonesia.
PSG also supports broader solutions that impact a wide range of industries, such as customer relationship management, data analytics, financial management, inventory tracking, e-commerce and online collaboration for better teamwork. Other grants such as the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) are also available for custom solutions.