6 Reasons to Choose SAP Business One for Manufacturing


SAP Business One

Table of Contents

By Ryan Howe
sap business one for manufacturing business header

Complex supply chains, rapidly changing customer demands, and stringent regulations are just a few of the challenges manufacturing businesses have to deal with. Many end up crumbling because successful manufacturing requires breaking down data silos and ensuring complete operational visibility.

To achieve this, you should invest in a centralized enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology designed specifically for manufacturers. Which is where a robust solution like SAP Business One provides an impressive advantage. How? Let’s walk you through.

SAP Solutions for Manufacturing

SAP offers a comprehensive suite of solutions tailored for the manufacturing industry, each designed to address specific needs and improve various aspects of your operations. Here’s a brief overview of key SAP solutions and how they can help:

SolutionWhat It IsTarget MarketDeployment ModelFunctionalityComplexityCost
SAP GROWEnablement package for SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Pre-configured)Mid-Sized CompaniesCloudFacilitate cloud ERP adoption with services, solutions, and resourcesMore Complex (Services & Customization)Cost-Effective
SAP RISEEnablement package for SAP S/4HANA Cloud (Customizable)Broad (Large & Mid-Sized)CloudEnable cloud ERP adoption with customizable services and supportMore Complex (Customization)More Expensive
SAP Business OneFull-Fledged ERP Software (Core functionalities)Small & Mid-Sized Businesses (SMBs)On-Premise or CloudManage core business functions like financials, sales & CRM, inventoryLeast ComplexMost Affordable
SAP Business ByDesignFull-Fledged ERP Software (Core functionalities + Industry-Specific Features)Fast-Growing Mid-Sized BusinessesCloudManage core business functions with pre-configured industry best practicesBalanced (Pre-configured & Customization)Potentially Higher
SAP Manufacturing ExecutionShop Floor Execution Management SoftwareDiscrete ManufacturingOn-Premise or CloudManage real-time production execution on the shop floorModerately ComplexVaries
SAP Manufacturing Integration & IntelligenceManufacturing Integration & Intelligence SoftwareManufacturingOn-Premise or CloudIntegrate shop floor data with enterprise systems for better insightsModerately ComplexVaries
SAP Plant ConnectivityShop Floor Device Communication SoftwareManufacturingOn-Premise or CloudFacilitate communication between shop floor devices and SAP softwareLess ComplexVaries


This is not a software product, but rather an enablement package for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, specifically pre-configured for mid-sized companies. Deployed in the cloud, it facilitates cloud ERP adoption with services, solutions, and resources. More complex due to its customization needs, it improves production, sustainability, and efficiency with features like predictive MRP and seamless warehouse management.

For example, a mid-sized manufacturing company can use SAP GROW to enhance their production planning with predictive MRP. This feature allows them to react and adjust in real-time, reducing waste and improving efficiency.


Like GROW, RISE is also an enablement package, but with tailor-made services and support that make it more complex and expensive. A large manufacturing firm on SAP S/4 HANA can use SAP RISE to transition smoothly to the cloud, gaining scalable resources and enhanced data security, which facilitates smoother operations and better disaster recovery planning.

SAP Business ByDesign

This solution manages core business functions with pre-configured industry best practices. Say you’re a mid-sized manufacturing company, you can use SAP Business ByDesign to optimize production and gain real-time data to make smarter decisions and improve customer service.

SAP Business ByDesign in use

SAP Manufacturing Execution 

A discrete manufacturing company can use this solution to automate production processes, allowing for a production lot size of one, significantly enhancing customization capabilities. SAP Manufacturing Execution manages real-time production execution on the shop floor. 

SAP Manufacturing Integration & Intelligence

Deployed on-premise or in the cloud,  SAP MII integrates shop floor data with enterprise systems to deliver better insights. This way, you get actionable insights that improve decision-making and operational efficiency.

SAP Plant Connectivity 

This product facilitates communication between shop floor devices and SAP software. It is a complex solution, available on-premise or in the cloud, and supports seamless data exchange between shop floor devices and SAP systems. 

SAP Business One

If you’re looking for full-fledged ERP software offering core functionalities for small and mid-sized businesses, SAP Business One is where it’s at. Available both on-premise and in the cloud, it manages core business functions like financials, sales & CRM, and inventory. 

It is the least complex and most affordable option. Growing manufacturing businesses can leverage SAP Business One to streamline accounting, inventory management, and customer relationships to enjoy improved overall productivity and cost savings.

Why Choose SAP Business One for Manufacturing?

1. Get Rid of Data Silos: Untangle the Knots

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 consolidates all your business data into a single platform. 

FeatureBefore SAP Business OneWith SAP Business One
ReportsMultiple sources, manual reconciliation neededUnified platform, quick generation
Inventory ManagementSeparate systems, duplicate data entrySingle system, real-time tracking
Order ManagementDifferent software for different tasksIntegrated, streamlined process
Financial ManagementMultiple accounting tools, complex consolidationCentralized financial monitoring and control
Data AccessScattered across various systemsAll critical data accessible in one place
ProductivityTime-consuming and error-proneIncreased efficiency, fewer errors

This single point of entry provides fewer errors and better productivity.  Imagine the ease of accessing all your critical data in one place. You can quickly generate reports, track inventory, manage orders, and monitor financials without switching between multiple systems. Everything from the C-suite to the shop one place!

2. Traceability and Compliance, Made Easy

In manufacturing, you need to trace your products and materials back to their source to ensure they meet regulatory standards. SAP Business One provides comprehensive tracking capabilities, storing and managing all the critical data you need, including certifications and material expirations.

With SAP Business One, you can trace components back to their source, manage raw materials, and analyze expiration dates. This level of transparency not only helps you maintain compliance but also builds trust with your customers. They’ll know that your products meet the highest standards and that you have the documentation to prove it.

3. Seeing What Others Can’t: Real-Time Ops Tracking

Thanks to the trends and forecasting features of SAP Business One, manufacturers can access real-time information on every aspect of their operations, down to granular details like material stock levels to warehouse bin locations. 

For your employees, this convenience and accessibility means they can easily manage resources, coordinate logistics, or optimize supply chains. Then they can focus on areas of the business that matter the most: developing new business relationships, driving stronger sales, and increasing profit margins. 

4. Gain Decision-making Superpowers with Analytics

All ERPs have reporting systems with templates included but many, like NetSuite, require expensive developers to create custom reports. SAP Business One offers robust reporting and analytics features tailored for manufacturing:

  • With SAP Crystal Reports, manufacturers can design detailed production reports, view accurate print previews, and export data to PDF, XML, and MS Excel. 

  • Pervasive Analytics allows you create real-time dashboards and KPIs, fully integrated into your manufacturing Cockpit, providing insights directly from the shop floor. 

  • Excel Report and Interactive Analysis Designer enable interactive analysis using MS Excel, helping you slice and dice production data, acquire information from SAP HANA models, and visualize datasets with various chart options.

  • SAP Analytics Cloud enhances these capabilities by offering real-time analytics, data enrichment, and collaborative story creation, all accessible via a web browser. 

There’s also SAP HANA and its advanced analytics that enhances real-time data processing. This option is ideal for manufacturers with growing data volumes.

5. Manufacturing-specific Modules, Out of the Box

SAP Business One adapts to your specific needs with flexible modules that cover every aspect of your business. We are talking some of the best modules that are best for a manufacturing company:

  • 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)
  • Service
  • Human Resources
  • Reporting and Analytics

6. Future-Proof Your Operations

SAP Business One is highly flexible and scalable, with over 500 integrated add-ons and a customizable Software Development Kit (SDK). Whether you need additional functionality or want to integrate with other systems, you can tailor this ERP to evolve with and fit your changing requirements.

Integrating Business One into Your Manufacturing Workflow 

SAP Business One is purposefully designed to integrate seamlessly into the core processes that drive your manufacturing operations. The solution maps onto your existing workflows, providing tailored functionality at every step. Here’s what that might look like:

1. Production Planning and Scheduling

SAP Business One’s Production Management module allows you to plan and schedule your manufacturing runs efficiently. You can optimize resource allocation based on real-time production data and material availability insights. 

For example, it automatically generates production orders, material requirements, and timelines that align with customer demands, ensuring that your production processes are always in sync with market needs. 

With SAP Business One, you can create detailed production plans that account for various constraints, enabling smoother operations and minimizing downtime. This results in a more agile manufacturing process that can quickly adapt to changes in demand or supply chain disruptions.

2. Shop Floor Operations

By integrating with machine sensors and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) devices, the system captures labor, materials, and operational metrics directly at the point of manufacturing. This real-time data collection allows you to monitor the current operational status, material stock levels, and asset performance. It gives you a clear picture of your manufacturing health. 

If a machine is underperforming, the system can alert you immediately so you take swift corrective actions. This level of integration ensures that all aspects of shop floor operations are transparent and manageable, leading to improved efficiency and productivity.

3. Inventory and Warehouse Management

SAP Business One’s Supply Chain and Warehouse Management module tracks goods movements precisely, so your inventory is always up to date. You get optimized warehouse layout, pick/pack processes, and inventory control methods. 

Automated replenishment based on actual production consumption and forecast demands ensures that you never run out of critical materials. 

Say a particular component is used more frequently than anticipated, the system will automatically reorder it, preventing production delays. This streamlined approach to inventory management reduces waste.

4. Quality Control and Compliance

The system enables stringent quality checks and approvals at all stages of manufacturing, from raw material inspection to finished product evaluation. Its comprehensive documentation of processes, test data, and certifications ensures compliance with industry standards and regulations. 

If a batch of products fails to meet quality standards, SAP Business One can trace the issue back to its source, allowing you to address the root cause promptly. This traceability extends to finished goods, providing complete visibility from production to customer delivery. Your products will always meet the highest quality standards, thanks to this feature.

Adapting to Future Manufacturing Trends 

Manufacturing is changing fast, thanks to emerging technologies that are shaking up how companies design, make, and deliver products. As a growing yet forward-thinking manufacturer, you can’t afford to be left behind. And adopting solutions like SAP Business One positions your business to ride this  wave of innovation.

Predictive Maintenance

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is one of the biggest trends shaping manufacturing’s future. Imagine being able to predict and prevent equipment failures before they occur. By integrating smart sensors and connected devices across your production lines and facilities, you gain unmatched real-time visibility into operations. This wealth of data, combined with SAP Business One’s robust analytics capabilities, allows you to:

  • Optimize processes for peak efficiency
  • Improve asset utilization and prevent costly downtime
  • Streamline your supply chain with end-to-end transparency

Collaborative & Agile Manufacturing

The future isn’t just about connected machines; you’ll also need to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to make smarter, data-backed decisions. With SAP’s AI-powered solutions, you can:

  • Uncover valuable insights from vast data sets
  • Work with product designers to develop innovative products aligned with consumer demands
  • Have operation teams fine-tune processes, enhance quality control, and maximize resources.

Carbon Footprint Monitoring and Optimization

As sustainability becomes a critical concern for businesses and consumers alike, SAP Business One equips you to embrace circular economy practices and reduce your environmental impact. You can precisely track product lifecycles, optimize resource recovery, and monitor energy consumption to:

  • Minimize waste and promote reuse/recycling
  • Shrink your carbon footprint
  • Design sustainable products from the ground up

But perhaps the biggest advantage of choosing SAP Business One is its scalability and future-proof architecture. As your business grows and new technologies emerge, You can trust your ERP to adapt and expand to meet your new needs. 

By embracing these trends, you future-proof your business and stay ready to compete, regardless of the degree of technological advancement. 

How Other Manufacturers are Using SAP Business One 

The key to success with any ERP implementation is finding a solution partner who understands your business and supports you throughout the process to help achieve your goals. At Clients First, we know SAP Business One inside out and have extensive experience working with manufacturers of all sizes and complexities. Our integration of MES Sensor Technology and Batch Processing Pour Level technology has also 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. Below, we share five SAP Business One customer stories:

  • Steele Canvas upgraded from QuickBooks, finding the right price, scalability and existing software integration with Clients First’s transparent guidance. The MRP module provided valuable efficiency insights.
  • I-K-I doubled production to 80M cans/year after upgrading systems during COVID demand spurts, virtually eliminating downtime.
  • Translectric increased revenue by 10%, optimized inventory, and saw through pandemic disruptions by learning SAP Business One through Clients First’s robust training.
  • Hernon eliminated complex workarounds and inefficiencies, streamlining processes in one system to support 38% annual revenue growth.
  • Nabtesco automated 90% of their records, improving data reliability, reporting, and auditing by taking full ownership of SAP Business One.

The Secret to SAP Business One Manufacturing Success is Partner Support

With several ERP choices available, deciding which technology best fits your manufacturing company requires an experienced partner who understands your industry’s unique needs.

At Clients First, we focus on ensuring SAP Business One supports your immediate requirements while providing the scalability to grow with you long-term. With over 70 Certified SAP Business One solution partners across North America, we’ve consistently ranked #1 in client retention – the proof of our commitment to putting your needs first.

If you’re interested in exploring how SAP Business One can transform your manufacturing operations, we invite you to book a consultation with our team. Our knowledgeable experts will answer all your questions, assess your specific needs, and guide you in determining if SAP Business One is the right fit. If not, we’ll gladly help you explore other avenues.

Ryan Howe

Ryan Howe

Partner, Clients First Business Solutions New Jersey

Ryan Howe is a Certified Public Accountant turned SAP Business One consultant. Leading the SAP Business One practice at Clients First, Ryan has over 23 years’ experience in the financial management and ERP industry, specializing in business analysis, relationship building, and business process optimization. When he’s not helping customers leverage SAP Business One to meet their short and long-term needs, you can find him at any Michigan State sporting event with his family – go Spartans!