We all know the value of time and how using it efficiently helps you excel in life. In business, the idea of saving time is critical. Since time is one resource that you and your competition have in the same measure, optimizing its use is the path to excellence. With all the technology at your disposal, automating your business processes is one of the most obvious options. But what technique should you use?

 The answer to this is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. A typical ERP system consists of automated modules for finance, customer relations, HR, supply chain, and manufacturing/service. But traditional ERP systems lean towards the expensive end of the cost spectrum. Statistics show that 70-80% of businesses worldwide are small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). How can an SME with a tight budget afford to buy an ERP system ranging between $150,000-$750,000? Another problem to keep in mind is the rigidity of traditional ERP systems when it comes to bespoke business needs.

 This is where a low-code development platform can help. These platforms are designed to let even non-programmers build apps. You can learn them quickly and easily and save on implementation cost by building the apps yourself. The added advantage here is that you can innovate and add modules for any requirement in your businessyour imagination is the only limit.

 This brings me to the case of Ryan from Mission Bicycle Company, a custom bicycle company in the Mission district of San Francisco, California. He’s the operations manager of the company, and has built an app that does almost everything that a traditional ERP does.

 What they have in place now is a system that manages the finances, materials requests, manufacturing, and customer relations. I stressed “now” in the last line, because I am pretty sure that Ryan, with his unbounded enthusiasm, is already thinking of developing the Human Resource management part of the app, the only missing piece, even as we read this. It’s that easy: You can add modules at your whim and test them, using the sandbox option, without affecting your existing system.

 You can learn more about the story of Mission Bicycle here.