The Philippine business situation will be volatile until a  vaccine is available to truly end the COVID-19  pandemic.  Businesses have practically shut down during the lock down and will need time to recover.   As of this writing, there is not enough data to determine if the curve is flattening.  There are talks of quarantine waves to fight the pandemic.

Philippine SMEs have, most likely, been caught flat-flooted  with the extent of pandemic effects.   A number may have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) in place.  Still, a few SMEs have never heard of the term.  How well-prepared is a business to weather the pandemic storm?

SMEs need to protect their current businesses and find ways to navigate through the storm.  The way to conduct one’s business will forever be changed by the pandemic.  Online stores/selling.  Pandemic Committees. Work from Home.

The value of an online presence has increased two-fold since the pandemic.  For most retail companies,  the only way to reach/sell to their customers is via the web.   However, online marketing and selling should only be part of a company’s digital presence.

An online back-bone/infrastructure set-up must also be considered as part of a company’s digital road map.  Work From Home schemes will be a norm with business operations.  With the state of current technology, it is possible for SMEs to not only communicate with each other thru online meetings but to have the ability to share reliable business information among team members regardless of their location.   This technology is no longer limited to the big, commercial and multinational companies.  Open source ERP has democratized the availability of this critical software to all SMEs.   They can have  access to accurate and timely information and maintain data integrity at the fraction of the cost of a typical ERP.

iDempiere is a cost-effective ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software that will allow Philippine SMEs to shift from on-premise solutions and/or shift from an over-reliance on online/offline spreadsheets to a fully integrated Tier 2 ERP system.  It can be run from the cloud and is web-based.  It works with other applications and can provide information  through graphical dashboards.  Additionally, it can import and export typical business data to and from Excel, CSV and PDF formats.   It comes with major business modules such as  a Sales Module, a Financial Module,  an Inventory module among others.  Implementation depends on the requirements.  However, an SME with the typical business process and with minimal customization can have the basic modules running within a span of two or four months.

COVID-19 has forced SMEs to be creative in finding means to reduce costs, improve sales, improve cash positions and maintain operations in the midst of social distancing.  iDempiere ERP is one creative solution to address these needs.