Cambridge, Ontario (February 28, 2013) Canadian manufacturing organizations have embraced workflow and resource management software to eliminate bottlenecks and maximize productivity across their company structure. However, implementing, customizing, and upgrading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can be very resource intensive, both in terms of human and financial resources.
SME’s across Canada can attest to the necessity of an adequate ERP system for managing resources, tracking productivity, scheduling workflow, and reporting on all quantifiable data throughout the organization. Fortunately, grant funding for small business exists to help minimize the financial burden by covering a variety of costs, including internal labour, subcontractor fees, training, and documentation.
The Canadian government funding options available to SME’s are flexible in the terms of which ERP software one is looking to implement and includes popular platforms such as Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Microsoft Great Plains), Epicor, Infor, Oracle, and SAP. Four Canadian government grants have been highlighted specifically, each of which cover from 50 to 80% of the costs involved in an ERP upgrade project for SME’s.
The IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP): $50K Grant
This government funding for small business program is available for incorporated Canadian companies that conduct some form of research and development in-house. Under these conditions, this small business grants program will support 80% of direct labour costs and 50% of subcontractor fees, up to $50,000. This can be used for Business Process Mapping (BPM), Lean Manufacturing Projects, or other projects focused on solving a technical challenge. Companies often carry out these products to enhance data integrity and optimize workflow before implementing their new or existing ERP system. Projects related to the integration of an ERP system with another business system, such as a CRM or accounting software suite are also suitable project themes. IRAP funding is available across Canada and the program runs from April 1st to March 31st annually.
The IRAP Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP): $100K Grant
Grant funding for business provided through this program is aimed at supporting Canadian companies that are looking to increase internal efficiencies by adopting new forms of technology. Subsequently, firms that take on technology adoption projects with the purpose of implementing, upgrading, or customizing an ERP system within their organization can receive up to $100,000 in small business funding grants which covers 80% of direct labor and 75% of subcontractor costs associated with the ERP adoption or upgrade project. This program also requires that the recipient firm has been incorporated for at least two years and have between 15 to 500 employees.
The Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI), iSTEM: $15K Hiring Grant
GEI, or “iSTEM”, provides small business grants for hiring recent grads. SME’s are able to hire graduates from any of the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). This Ontario government funding for small business hiring program covers 50% of a recent graduate’s wages up to $10,000 for a recent graduate of a Bachelor’s degree program, and up to $15,000 for a Master’s or PhD graduate for a six-month work term. Recent graduates hired through this program can help the recipient firm with ERP installation, customization, maintenance, and training.
The Yves Landry AIME Initiative: $50K Training Grant
Companies in the manufacturing sector can also take advantage of a fourth Canadian small business grants program that will cover 50% of trainer expenses and direct labour hours of trainees. This $50,000 business funding grants for training initiative can include ERP training for multiple skill levels, such as splitting up your training for user levels (ie. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) or department (ie. Finance, Marketing, Operations) and can take place over 16 weeks or less. In addition, these Canadian government grants can be used towards training documentation and SOP creation.
Canadian Government Funding Updates and Support
Mentor Works Ltd. provides Canadian SME’s with government funding for business advice to help with the selection and application processes. Mentor Works’ team continually monitors updates and releases of small business grants and loans across Canada. To stay up to date on government funding mechanisms please subscribe to our Canadian Government Funding Weekly E-Newsletter. Please contact a Small Business Funding Grants & Loans Expert for more information regarding the above programs or to learn more about business funding grants that can help your firm achieve its goals for strategic growth. Visit us on www.mentorworks.ca