There are a lot of moving parts with any business, but Software as a Service (SaaS) companies can pose particular challenges because of their unique, cloud-based structure. By implementing a quality Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, SaaS companies can effectively make their businesses run more efficiently, and, ultimately, more profitably. Here is what SaaS companies should look for when choosing the best ERP solution to meet their needs.
Challenges for SaaS Companies
One of the challenges for SaaS companies is finding the right business model to maximize profits. What type of subscription plan works best? Should you charge per account or per user? And, how do you track that? How many features should you offer?
SaaS businesses are technology- and data-heavy operations. If you are managing all of this in-house with a series of disjointed systems, you may not get the savings, answers, and profits you need to effectively run your business.
What to Look for in an ERP Solution
An ERP is an ideal solution for SaaS companies. With most of these solutions, you get a streamlined interface that covers key business functions like accounting, orders, IT help desk, HR, and customer records management. Additionally, your ERP solution should include the ability to manage your contracts and/or subscriptions. Many SaaS companies fail to do this, effectively leaving money on the table through inaccurate tracking and missed billing opportunities.
There is no need to invest in additional servers because the ERP runs entirely on the cloud. If you invest in an ERP solution, it should also have a user-friendly interface, automated upgrades, and the option for customizable functions.
The Best ERP for SaaS Companies
If your SaaS company is going to invest in an ERP solution, it should be the one that best fulfills its needs. Here are some of the top ERP options for SaaS companies and their core features:
1. Oracle NetSuite
Oracle NetSuite is the world’s #1 cloud ERP solution. The system is currently in use by over 24,000 customers in 200+ countries and territories. It features a wide range of functionality, including foreign currency translation and real-time consolidation. The web-based application helps organizations operate and scale through its functions for accounting, finance, HR, eCommerce, and more. Once implemented (link to implementation page), it is also very user friendly and has built-in security controls.
Where other ERP companies take their on-premise software code and port it over to servers, NetSuite is the only ERP solution built entirely in the cloud, streamlining future updates and added features.
Established in 1978, SYSPRO has created a strong name for itself in the ERP industry, particularly in the area of distribution and manufacturing. This integrated system helps businesses control costs, streamline processes, and improve productivity. However, pulling some data can require customization, and the system doesn’t come with thorough documentation.
3. SAP Business ByDesign
SAP Business ByDesign is an ERP solution that centralizes various workflows such as finance, CRM, and supply chain management. It is intended for small to mid-sized businesses and can be accessed from the cloud. However, its user interface can be challenging to use, and customization of this solution can be complex.
4. Microsoft Dynamics 365
Software giant Microsoft has created an ERP solution called “Microsoft Dynamics 365.” This is simply a group of business applications that helps your SaaS business improve its results through artificial intelligence-driven data. The system will work for any size business but is limited in some respects because it isn’t very user-friendly, and some users find that it is “slow.”
5. Sage Business Cloud X3
Sage Business Cloud X3 provides businesses with valuable insights based on data collected from a variety of workflows. You can also implement various types of automation for things like payroll and eCommerce platforms. Sage X3 works on the cloud, but it has a few limitations. There aren’t many features in the HR functions, and navigation in the system can be challenging.
NetSuite: The Best ERP Solution for SaaS Companies
As you can see, SaaS companies face a variety of challenges, but an ERP solution can address many of them and help streamline business for desired profitability. There are plenty of ERP options applicable to SaaS companies, but we recommend NetSuite due to its versatility, ease of use, and comprehensive list of features that will help your organization achieve its goals.