Manufacturing businesses have a ton of data to manage, whether related to material procurement, sales, production, scheduling, or logistics. All those numbers are being tracked in software somewhere, somehow. To be successful in the rapidly evolving manufacturing industry, you need to break down data silos and have complete visibility into your entire operations.
How do you do that? By investing in centralized ERP technology specifically designed for manufacturers looking to uncover new ways to increase efficiency, optimize processes, and realize value.
Read: 5 Manufacturing Technology Trends
Instead of juggling data from multiple systems across their business, modern manufacturers invest in ERP software to fully integrate every aspect of their business. Today, many ERP solutions are tailored to meet unique and complex manufacturing requirements. One of those options is SAP Business One.
SAP Business One is a reputable ERP solution particularly suited to the manufacturing industry, with extensive functionality, including supply chain management, procurement, material and resource management, financial reporting, and MRP. As one of the largest enterprise solution vendors globally, SAP is well-known in the manufacturing world for its flexibility, fit, and functionality. This blog will discuss why growing businesses choose SAP Business One for manufacturing over other ERP systems. We have also provided real-world stories from some of our manufacturing clients who have transitioned to SAP Business One.
What Makes SAP Business One a Top Choice for Manufacturing?
SAP Business One is an integrated ERP system with specific modules directly relevant to manufacturing in whatever industry you produce for, from medical to food to industrial components and parts. Here are six reasons why SAP Business One is a top ERP solution choice for manufacturing businesses of all types:
1- SAP Business One Brings All Your Business Data Together in One Place
Many businesses start with a couple of different software systems, like QuickBooks for accounting, a custom customer relationship management (CRM) system, and another separate solution for inventory and logistics. This works when a business is relatively small but becomes clunky and inefficient as you grow, requiring tons of manual reconciliation and duplicate data entry. SAP Business One is a single integrated ERP platform that includes a wide range of essential functionality in one place, from financial management and purchasing to supply chain and warehouse management.
In SAP Business One, everyone in your business works in the same system with the same dataset. This single point of entry provides fewer errors and better productivity. For manufacturers, it allows you to capture g and manage all the business information, from the C-suite to the shop floor.
2- SAP Business One Lets You Trace All Your Products and Materials to the Source
All manufacturing systems must accommodate the regulatory and compliance requirements for various industries. Keeping track of all the compliance requirements, certifications, and material expirations can be challenging. SAP Business One allows you to store and track all the critical data, including managing the rotation and use order of raw materials and expiration analysis. You can trace all the components back to the source with the integrated data for full transparency.
3- SAP Business One Provides 360 Degree Visibility from Big Picture to the Tiniest Details
SAP Business One gives you the data visibility to see the big picture with trends and forecasting to the minor details about specific materials and their exact bin location in the warehouse. For your employees, this convenience and accessibility allows them to focus on areas of the business that matter: developing new business relationships, driving stronger sales, and increasing profit margins. They can easily manage and schedule all resources, human or machine, keep track of stock levels, price lists and agreements, BOM, and sales orders, and be fully integrated with your shipping logistics and supply chains.
Having everything in one place and being able to zoom out to the big picture view or drill down into details will reduce your planning, lead time, and indirect hours. The reliability and organization of operating in SAP Business One will also improve relationships with your existing clients because you’ll be consistently delivering orders on time and in full (OTIF), which helps improve their business and customer relationships. With more time to pursue new leads and nurture existing relationships, your team will be able to drive your business growth to match your company’s goals, and SAP Business One will support and empower them along the way.
4- SAP Business One Includes Advanced Reporting and Business Intelligence Capabilities
All ERPs have reporting systems with templates included but many, like NetSuite, require expensive developers to create custom reports. The reporting module in SAP Business One is incredibly robust and makes it easy for users to create reports on any of your business data. There are plenty of built-in reporting templates that you can start using immediately, or you can quickly and easily customize reports to suit whatever situation you need to run the numbers on. For manufacturers specifically, SAP Business One includes a comprehensive set of reports to meet any of your warehouse and inventory reporting needs. It also includes material planning forecasting to help you predict demand and adjust items that are to be produced or purchased.
In your research, you will also come across a different database option for reporting and analytics in SAP Business One called SAP HANA. SAP HANA is an in-memory relational database management system (RDBMS) that efficiently processes massive amounts of real-time data, so your executive teams can have the information they need to instantly analyze and make decisions. This is an excellent solution for manufacturers with growing data volume concerns and a need for high performance and advanced analytics.
5- SAP Business One Includes Manufacturing Specific Modules Directly Out of the Box
One of SAP Business One’s greatest strengths is its ability to adapt to your manufacturing business. Depending on your needs, you can choose to implement any of these flexible modules that fit within the manufacturing industry:
- Accounting and Financial Management
- Sales and CRM
- Inventory Management
- Supply Chain and Warehouse Management
- Purchasing and Procurement
- Business Partners and Vendor Management
- Manufacturing Production Management
- Material Requirements Planning (MRP)
- Human Resources
- Reporting and Analytics
These modules blend your manufacturing ordering, sales, and production into the same accounting, HR, and inventory system, so your whole team is working effectively in one platform with a central data source. This means more accurate data and reporting, faster planning and scheduling, and less downtime due to unexpected maintenance, inventory, or staffing issues.
6- SAP Business One is Designed for Flexibility
If you’re looking to grow your SMB to the enterprise level, then SAP Business One is a flexible ERP solution that can be tailored to fit your unique requirements and grow with you as those needs evolve. With upwards of 500 integrated add-on solutions available, a customizable Software Development Kit (SDK), and a strong ecosystem of over 700 partners, SAP Business One has been around for over 50 years and is popular in the manufacturing industry – for good reason.
In addition to its scalable functionality, SAP Business One can also be deployed in the cloud, on-premise, or co-located. Depending on what works for your business, SAP Business One is not limited to a single approach, and you can choose from a range of on-premise, cloud hosting, and hybrid options.
How Other Manufacturers are Using SAP Business One
The key to success with any ERP implementation is finding a solution partner who will understand your business and support you through the process to help you achieve your goals. At Clients First, we know SAP Business One inside out and have an extensive background working with manufacturers of all sizes and complexities. Our MES Sensor Technology integration and Batch Processing Pour Level technology have even been recognized in SAP’s Intelligent Enterprise Program.
We have helped dozens of manufacturing companies select, implement, and successfully adopt the best technology for their needs, budget, and goals. To show you the impact that SAP Business One can have on your operations, we have shared 5 SAP Business One customer stories below. With Clients First as their partner and SAP Business One as their ERP system backbone, these clients have all streamlined their manufacturing businesses and experienced incredible results.
Steele Canvas knew they wanted to upgrade their systems from QuickBooks to SAP Business One to keep growing their business. When they started the process of looking for an ERP solution, Steele Canvas had a list of their most important considerations for a system:
- Integration with existing software
After reviewing the available options, they determined that Acumatica, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite were not suitable options for their requirements. Once they had settled on SAP Business One, they were then faced with the challenge of selecting an implementing partner. They considered quite a few but most didn’t quite fit with the company culture or the budget requirements.
When they found Clients First, they found the right balance of support, pricing, and transparency. Working with Clients First, they had a successful rollout. Clients First answered all the questions Steel Canvas had, expected and unexpected, that came up throughout the process. The MRP module has produced valuable insights that have improved efficiency, and overall, they have much better visibility and transparency across all the functions in the business. According to Jessica (Jones) Frank, Procurement Manager & IT Business Analyst at Steel Canvas, “Clients First was our #1 choice because we were on the same page from sales through on-site consultation. Things were clear, and there was a genuine willingness to understand who and what Steele Canvas was as an entity.”
I-K-I Manufacturing knew they needed to upgrade their systems when COVID-19 hit. Demand for their aerosol products rose drastically, and they had many different variables to manage in their production process. Their disparate software systems just couldn’t handle the load.
I-K-I reviewed their options and decided that Oracle and Microsoft were unsuitable for what they needed, so they reached out to SAP directly. SAP provided a list of partners, and I-K-I chose to work with Clients First based on the knowledge and transparency about what SAP Business One could and couldn’t do.
With Clients First as their partner through the transition, they had almost no downtime and quickly doubled their production, going from 40 to 80 million cans per year. SAP Business One had a well-established and respected presence in the manufacturing world, and it also came with a large ecosystem of products that connect to it. The system has allowed them to identify many opportunities for efficiency tweaks and drastically reduce staff time on redundant tasks.
Translectric has harnessed the power of SAP Business One to optimize its operations, better manage inventory, and find efficiencies for its lean team. Producing over 5,000 unique items, Translectric is a distributor and manufacturer of aftermarket parts for heavy industries like mining, construction, agriculture, and public safety.
With a robust training program and support plan, Clients First was able to help Translectric recognize a 10% revenue increase, develop more accurate inventory, and work through some significant challenges when COVID-19 threw a few wrenches in the works. Ruth Niswonger, CEO at Translectric, said, “Choosing the right partner is critical to the success of SAP Business One. Clients First’s level of knowledge and willingness to share it showed us that no matter what your level of experience is with SAP, you can learn it to enable better business decisions.”
Hernon Manufacturing had aggressive growth goals but unfortunately did not have the systems to support 38% annual revenue growth. Switching to SAP Business One with Clients First as their partner, Hernon was able to simplify tons of complex processes and eliminate workarounds. With all of their data and business processes in one place, they have become much more efficient and streamlined and don’t have to worry about their systems impeding their growth plans.
Nabtesco Motion Control Inc.
Nabtesco already had SAP Business One, but they had difficult experiences with previous partners and weren’t getting what they needed from the system. Clients First was able to help them take ownership of the system and turn it into precisely what they needed.
Since partnering with Clients First, Nabtesco automated their entire system, eliminating the need for almost 90% of their paper records. Besides becoming more efficient, they benefited from more accurate and reliable data, better reporting, and fewer auditor processes. They’re finally able to use the system for what it was intended. As Jim Gruszczynski, Business Development Manager, put it:
“It’s always a pleasure working with Clients First because I know I’m going to get 100% effort from their support team. If they don’t have an answer, they don’t blow smoke—they just find it. And as soon as they get an answer, we move forward.”
The Secret to SAP Business One Manufacturing Success is Partner Support
There are several ERP choices available for manufacturing companies, and they all have different specialties and features. To decide which technology is the right fit for your company, you need an experienced partner who understands your industry. Whether you’re sure SAP Business One is suitable for you or want to consider what else is available, the Clients First team can help you.
At Clients First, we focus on scalability and ensuring that SAP Business One will support our clients’ needs now and grow with them over the long term. With over 70 Certified SAP Business One solution partners in North America, Clients First has consistently ranked number one in client retention. Our goal as a partner is to put your needs before anything else. If you are interested in meeting with our team and learning more about what SAP Business One is capable of, book a meeting with us below. Our knowledgeable staff will answer any of your questions and can help you determine whether SAP Business One will suit your business. If it’s not a fit, we can help you explore other avenues.