Free ERP system – is it worth the risk or is it better to choose paid software right from the start?

Paid software is a relatively expensive affair, so many companies are looking for a more cost-effective solution. At first glance, a free ERP system seems like a suitable alternative. The range of both paid and unpaid ERP systems is really wide, but if you are just getting acquainted with these software, you may find the large selection confusing.

You need a quality and reliable ERP software for your business and this article will give you a hint on how to choose one. You’ll learn what ERP is and what its main pros and cons are, and which ones specifically are among the best. We will also add other important information that will help you to see the whole issue in a clearer context.

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An ERP system will make your job easier and streamline all your essential internal processes. Thanks to this, you can better communicate and strengthen relationships with existing clients and also more easily acquire new customers. Try a free demo of our system and see for yourself!

Free ERP systems - what they are for and how you can use their potential

If you want to grow your business and keep up with your competitors, you need to adopt effective technology tools that allow you to have a perfect overview of all activities within your company. You will work faster and more efficiently.

ERP (Enterprise Resource-Planning) is an information system that is used as a practical tool for managing business resources.

How can you use ERP systems?

  • They help automate and integrate different areas of the business, for example: warehousing, accounting, production, marketing or human resource management, inventory management, streamlining communication, storing all essential data, scheduling meetings, etc.
  • Thanks to an ERP system, you can improve your internal processes and react better to possible changes.

How does free ERP work?

ERP consists of integrated modules or enterprise applications. They communicate with each other and share a database. The individual modules are focused on specific activities within the business, but draw on common data to meet the needs of the business.
You can customize the number of modules and continuously add more. The systems can be specifically tailored to your industry within the core functions or through extended applications.
ERP development and implementation is handled by a number of domestic and foreign companies. The most well-known brands often offer free demos. However, their use is limited in time.

Try out the top ERP system that will grow with your business. Decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

5 main advantages of a free ERP system

  1. Facilitates the decision-making process – choosing the right ERP system is one of the most crucial decisions with a long-term impact on the business. The selection is often a team effort with several people communicating with each other and comparing different options. Such work can take several dozen hours. Thanks to the demo version, you can test the ERP system in live operation directly in the specific conditions of your business.
  2. You will test all the features – quality demo versions (limited in time) usually contain everything that the future paid system will offer. This gives you the opportunity to evaluate its features in the context of your business.
  3. You will test the type of controls – besides that, you can also focus on speed.
  4. Quick start-up – you can start using the software almost immediately after gaining access. Just start it up, you don’t need to install anything (ERP runs in the cloud). You can connect from any computer and immediately start trying out what the system can do.
  5. Support – during the testing phase, you can pick up the kinks, learn how to use the program and ask anything you want to know about the system.
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Types of free ERP systems

In the recent past, ERP systems tended to dominate large companies. This was due not only to the financial complexity, but also to the need for in-depth internal analysis. Today’s ERP is an essential tool for medium and small companies as well.
However, the specific type of ERP must be chosen with discretion, so that ultimately the good servant does not become the bad master. You can choose an ERP with respect to the type of your business. You can choose a system:

  • Accounting and warehouse systems,
  • for trading companies (e.g. interfacing to multiple e-commerce solutions, Microsoft Outlook, modules for service companies, etc.),
  • for start-up companies – mini ERP in the cloud,
  • with more advanced features ( e.g. e-learning, website editor, customer complaint forms, etc.). They can also be installed on your own server.

What are the main disadvantages of free ERP systems?

Free systems are a great way to check the functionality and compatibility of a given ERP with your specific requirements and type of business. However, demo versions, which have exactly the same features as paid systems, always have a limited trial period (2 weeks to 1 month). ERPs that can be used for free for an unlimited period of time have these common shortcomings:

  • the range of features is limited,
  • they have limited support,
  • they often cannot be linked to other systems,
  • they are not suitable for medium and large companies.

Free ERP is the optimal tool for choosing a paid system. A high-quality demo version, including professional support, will greatly simplify the whole complex decision-making process, as you can try out all the features in live operation.

Examples of reliable free ERP systems for businesses:

  • AutoCRM
  • Odoo
  • Zoho One
  • Insightly

All of the above ERP systems offer a free demo including support.

Basic rules on how to choose the best free ERP

  1. Analyse all your internal processes and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Clarify exactly what you need and set a goal. Where do you want to take your business? Do you have ambitions to expand abroad or expand production? All of this needs to be taken into account before choosing an ERP.
  3. Evaluate your free ERP experience (features and functions).

Choosing an ERP is a process that cannot be underestimated. Free systems will help you choose the optimal alternative, making the implementation process easier and reducing your overall costs because you can tailor the ERP to your business right from the start.

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