How SAP Business One is the most confident ERP !

How SAP Business One is the most confident ERP !

In this article I’ll try to go through some typically churned out stuff about why you need an ERP system, but then I have some interesting questions that one should ask before going for any ERP.

Since we are SAP Business One partner, we have very good exposure to this SAP flavor. I’ll try and answer these questions from SAP Business One perspective.

A confident ERP does not claim to have all of it but definitely has resources and technology to adopt and grow with your business needs. With strong roots of experience in ERP segment, this flavor of SAP is simple yet confident to fit most organization’s changing requirements !

Now Lets first see What is Business ?

Business is an activity of making money, where money is collected in exchange of providing goods or services. To broaden this definition of business on more generalized terms we have to consider business as a ecosystem created by organization and its stakeholders where activities like making, buying,selling of goods and services are carried out by designated resources. Fair enough ?

Ecosystem of Business

Any business will have activities and resources which will carry out these activities. Either human resource or machine equipments. More often all these activities are dependent on each other. e.g. you can not sell goods before you buy or make goods first. This involves multiple operations done by more than one resource from different sections or departments in ecosystem of organization. These sections / departments could be geographically in same building or situated far away across continents.

For running a business, one may have following assumptions / expectations

All activities will have business rules which should be enforced.

  • Human resources will make sure that those rules are enforced using their skills and expertise.
  • Machine resources will work with their full efficiency.
  • Human resources will work with their complete efficiency.
  • All inter dependent activities are to be in sync and in sequence and done as per roles and responsibilities.
  • All related book keeping are done on timely basis.
  • When activity is done respective involved resources are notified for further actions.
  • There should not be any dependency on a resource to complete certain activity.
  • Business product/service has demand and business house can supply for this demand in planned manner with quality .
  • Management makes informed decisions and all required information is easily available.

When all above assumptions and expectations are fulfilled business grows. It grows in terms of turn over, profit margins and all stack holders will be benefited. Get these 10 things in place and your business is on its way towards great success ! One would think that its very easy to run a business. BUT !

Things do not just fall in place. They have to be enforced by someone or something which is neutral in behavior and has competency to understand the process. Anything out of line with above assumptions is a potential problem. This is where a good ERP system plays significant role.

So what features any useful ERP should have?

  • ERP should have mechanism through which rules can be enforced. Usually this corresponds to approvals, workflows and set of values which must be selected as part of transactions.
  • Access to information should be based on roles and responsibilities, a strong information and transaction access control helps enforcing rules and processes.
  • Minimize requirement of data entry, data entered on one transaction should be available to other transactions with all its effects and calculations. Single point data entry is MUST. Don’t tell me you have 5 accountants and 2 purchase officers who can enter as much as data and as much as time required. ERP policy should be enter data only once.
  • A good ERP should be available everywhere. On your desktop, iPad, phone. Deals are done anywhere, approvals are given when managers are traveling, so ERP should be ready !
  • ERP should tell its user what to do next, not vice versa. Show quick and configurable alerts to notify users whats in their queue.
  • ERP should make processes and transactions user independent by automating most of the work. e.g. You shouldn’t need a tax consultant to generate your tax register ERP should do it for you.
  • Core modules, ERP should have all necessary modules ready out of the box. MUST have CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Sales Management, Purchase Management, Inventory Management, Production Management, Finance Management, Resource Management.
  • ERP should be integration ready, this allows any third party extension to connect and use ERP. Integration functions, SDK / API allows to have a always online system.
  • ERP should be configurable,flexible and extendable and should be able to work across localization. You don’t want to buy a new ERP package if you start your branch in Europe, do you ?
  • ERP should have report / MIS engine.You need more reports, not just the ones which comes with ERP. Every business has its own way of analyzing transactions and assessing them. Your ERP should not restrict you from demanding more analysis.
  • Using ERP should be EASY. Simple and EASY.
  • Buying an ERP should not create a big hole in your pocket. Remember you started business to make money, not to run an ERP.

13. ERP system itself should have a defined road map, no one can say everything is done and ready. If it does not evolve its not ERP !

Now that we have a good understanding of our requirements, here are few questions that one should ask ERP provider.

  • How does this generic looking ERP package fit to my industry ? Our industry is different ! I run my business in my own way, do I need change my process ?
  • How much its going to cost me upfront and further every year ?
  • I have 3 companies, do I need to buy licenses for each one separately ?
  • How much time you are going to need to get things started ? Will you start all departments together or one by one ?
  • Is it web based, mobile enabled ?
  • Do I need to buy a server, I already have one for ….. ?
  • I need alerts, SMS, email and other sorts of notifications, do you have it ?
  • Can you integrate with, lets say, my attendance system ?
  • I have x branches, does this show me which one if profitable and which one is not ?
  • What about my analytical reports ? Do I need to come to you again and again for new ones ?
  • You are saying all the good things, whats not so good about this package ?

Now lets see why SAP Business One is a confident ERP when faced with user expectations

  • Fitment to Industry – Apart from being a top ERP in its segment, SAP Business One stands out as a framework which can be extended beyond limits. You would find some amazing industry specific solutions built on top of SAP Business one. Few examples like Poultry ERP , Dairy ERP, Sugar Factory ERP and many other solutions which are using and extending power of SAP Business One. So it can be extended to any industry.
  • CostIt wont create a hole in your pocket. Yes its cost effective. Though it can fit any sized industry, it is priced for MSMEs. For vanilla implementation with 5 licenses cost would be around 8,00,000 to 10,00,000 ₹ (~ 15,000 to 20,000 $) and for industry specific solution it would range between 25,00,000 ₹ to 45,00,000 ₹ (40,000 $ to 75,000$) for 20 users. At any given day for any industry this will be most cost effective solution which is used by more than 80,000 organizations.
  • One user for all companies – SAP Business One License model is not company specific, it is user specific, even if you have more than one company you can use same user in other company as well. It requires all companies to share same server for its operations. This is a usual case in multi company group when one accounts team manages accounts for all group companies.
  • Centralized and Integrated – It brings all departments and operations under one system. Book a sales order and it would have impact on your production order queue or book a direct or an indirect expense and it will give you updated production cost as soon as you enter your expense numbers. So usually SAP Business One implementation would start from core accounts department and then it will span through other operations and departments. Depending on industry SAP Business One implementation would take from 4 weeks to 30 weeks.
  • SAP Business One can be accessed from Web and Mobile, this way where ever you go your ERP goes with you, kind of prompt and hectic but it is always available. Best part is you done need to buy separate licenses or infrastructure for this !
  • For on premise installations, Yes, you may need a good, strong server which will cost you somewhere between 1,80,000 ₹ to 4,50,000₹ (~7000$), this is one time investment and you always get depreciation for your hardware. If you prefer cloud then SAP has SAP Business One on cloud , this way initial investment goes away and you are ready within a day to get rolling ! How cool is that ?
  • NotificationsSAP Business One comes fitted with alert and email based notification. You can configure as per your requirements and turn them on or off, Best part, pass them to other users when you are on leave !
  • Integration ! Its Configurable and extendableSAP Business One Integration framework allows partners to extend SAP Business One and make it talk to other systems in smooth and secure way, use it for IoT, third party integration and what not ! No there are no Indirect user access in SAP Business One, so you dont need to buy indirect access licenses for SAP Business One. It is truly extendable !
  • Manage Branches – Starting a branch in Europe ? SAP is ready with localization and branch structure out of the box ! SAP Business One Supports localization for 110 countries and as many currencies.
  • Analytical engineWhat good is your ERP if it it does not tell you whats next or make you aware that things are not as per plan ! Here where SAP absolutely rocks, with little help and training you can design your own analytical channels. See it for yourself !

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