Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools help manufacturers and distributors address supply chain and operational issues, keeping track of products as they move from the warehouse floor, to the truck, and eventually to the shop or direct to consumer. Most of the legacy solutions that are available however, fall far from the budget of the small to medium-sized business. While there are affordable ERP alternatives for the little guys, these are often feature light and fail to meet the unique needs of a small business.
Targeting clients with revenues less than $100 million, BizSlate provides a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP system that’s specifically designed for small businesses. It helps clients improve their supply chain, get a handle on their inventory, and provides greater visibility for faster decision making. Its platform delivers affordable enterprise capabilities with a core of features “written around what small distribution companies need to succeed, let alone survive,” explained Marc Kalman, Founder and CEO of BizSlate. “We are breaking the mold of outdated, inefficient legacy financial-based systems to bring small businesses an ERP that is designed to work the way they operate their business. We believe that BizSlate is the first ERP for the SMB market that offers true enterprise capabilities at an affordable price, and designed in a way small businesses can use it.” Mr. Kalman continued, “BizSlate combines enterprise strength with mobility, including the ability to access real-time up-to-date information from anywhere in the world, whether on the floor of a trade show, traveling on a plane, or relaxing poolside.”
Still in beta, the company is serving an undisclosed number of clients in apparel, footwear, housewares, electronics and other verticals. The beta clients form a steering committee that offers guidance on the product as the company tweaks its features. “The feedback we’ve received is phenomenal,” Mr. Kalman said. “We are delivering features that have never been available at this level of the market.” One example enabled a footwear vendor to add products to BizSlate ERP in one afternoon; a process that previously took over one week in their old legacy ERP.
Mr. Kalman estimates the company faces an $8 billion dollar market in the U.S. alone, not to mention the global opportunity. Though BizSlate has so far only offered its platform domestically, it is designed to handle multiple currencies and languages.
Founded in November of 2011, BizSlate sprang from Kalman’s experiences co-founding eZCom Software, a B2B platform that provides affordable ecommerce solutions to small to mid-sized manufacturers and distributors. That company serves a similar customer demographic as BizSlate, and received a number of requests from small businesses to expand its capabilities and offer a full featured ERP that helps small businesses improve their supply chain management. Mr. Kalman researched the issue and discovered the market lacked any viable, affordable solution for small businesses. He launched BizSlate as a hybrid between the expensive yet feature rich systems and the affordable but very limited offerings aimed at SMBs.
Mr. Kalman invested $750,000 of his own money into the company, and raised an additional $282,000 from angel investors. The company is currently raising an additional seed round in the form of convertible note that will be used to complete version 1, bring the product to market, and general working capital.
“I am very excited about BizSlate’s future,” Mr. Kalman said. “We are addressing an under-served segment of the market that needs a tremendous amount of help. We have the passion and expertise to make a difference and dominate the industry.”