Why choose Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for your stone business? Would the stone business really benefit from ERPs? What kind of software systems are needed by the stone & marble industry?

While it is true that big companies (because of diverse operations and large numbers of employees) need robust planning systems such as ERPs or of profit systems built for the internet, it is now being proven that small businesses are also seeing business growth and increases in revenue with a systematic and prudent investment in technology. This sensible investment in technology should be done after a careful analysis of the total business model and tailored to the specific nature of the operation.

For example, a company with a strong sales force might only need a Customer Relationship Manager module (CRM) and not an Inventory Module. A small manufacturing company may require a Manufacturing and Inventory module rather than a CRM module, etc. Because technology should be customized to the specific business operation, one should not look to a ‘one size fits’ all approach. (ie. SAP, Oracle) Specifically, the Stone, Marble and Granite industry needs a system which is robust and web based in which the functionalities are customized to the needs of the industry. The system should be flexible, customized, modular and should have built-in basic functionalities. These basic functions should be able to handle routine tasks like sales, purchasing, warehousing and inventory, handle accounts etc.

Would an ERP system also help manage walk-in purchasers? (These are not the ‘real’ customers, rather the homeowner who is sent by a fabricator who in turn is a real customer for the distributor) Yes, and the customizable solution for this particular situation can be one that:

  1. Tracks all the homeowners who have a relationship with the fabricator
  2. Puts the material or slabs selected by this particular homeowner on hold for a specified period of time
  3. Should be able to send emails to the homeowners as well as the fabricators about the hold and let them know when the hold is released
  4. Synchronizes with the distributor website so it can pick and upload slab photos and eventually send these photos to customers as well as to decrease any possible discrepancies in the final selection and shipping
  5. Integrate walk-ins with sales orders

Choosing the right ERP system is one of the most important decisions for any business. We look forward to developing the right ERP system so your stone business can progress and prosper.

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