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The Clear Leader for Small and Mid-Sized Manufacturers

SAP Business One is the premier enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform for small and mid-sized manufacturers. It’s an all-in-one solution that provides accurate, real-time information and integrates production, profitability measures, EDI, supply chain management, shipping logistics, and advanced manufacturing capabilities unique to discrete, process, and project manufacturing. With over 60,000 small and mid-sized enterprise (SME) customers and 1 million users, SAP Business One is the ERP of choice for managing end-to-end operations in today’s successful small and mid-sized manufacturers.

 

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Challenges

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The manufacturing industry is characterised by rapid changes and fierce competition. And global competition is challenging enough without the on-and-off trade war between China and the U.S., tariffs, and ever-shifting supply chains that require manufacturers to be agile and ready for changing conditions and opportunities. To remain viable, your business needs streamlined operations, efficient production processes, and real-time information for critical decision-making. It’s the only way to gain agility, minimise costs, and win against competitors that rely on cheap labour.

Understanding new technologies and choosing which to adopt in this morphing environment can be perplexing. A recent Forbes study found that 90 percent of businesses recognize the importance of technology, but only 40 percent believe they’re providing their employees with the best tools. As the economy swings wildly, manufacturers must ensure they select beneficial technologies that simplify business processes, improve efficiency and productivity, and grow with them.

The increased demand from consumers for more personalised products also requires manufacturers to be more agile. More opportunities emerge to perform smaller, customized production runs, which requires manufacturers to have excellent visibility into their supply chain, lead time information, inventory levels, production capacity, and delivery capabilities. 

There’s never been a greater need for an ERP solution like SAP Business One to increase visibility into every aspect of your manufacturing operations and solve your most demanding production challenges. 

Critical Manufacturing Business Challenges 

  1. Managing bills of materials (BOMs)
  2. Controlling inventory
  3. Managing cash flow
  4. Fending off cheap-labour competition
  5. Accelerating your digital transformation journey
  6. Implementing D2C (direct to consumer) channels when appropriate

ERP Solution for Food and Beverage

 

No matter what you manufacture, a poorly managed bill of materials can lead to massive inefficiencies and missed sales opportunities. Often, poorly managed BOMs mean different departments work with different sets of BOM data, so no one knows exactly what the company’s position is regarding inventory levels, production lead times, product cost, and other critical information. You cannot quote jobs accurately, ensure delivery dates, or take advantage of new and evolving opportunities if you don’t manage your BOMs efficiently.

SAP Business One eliminates BOM information disconnects. The platform provides a ‘single source of the truth’ for your BOM data and ensures everyone sees identical, accurate information. When all departments have the same knowledge regarding the BOM and BOM-related information, your core functions align. This means you can increase your revenue via faster product releases, lower product costs, and quote projects and lead times more confidently. Together, these improvements maximize customer satisfaction and profitability.

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eBook: How an Automated, Accurate, and Integrated Bill of Materials (BOM) Solution Improves a Manufacturer’s
Bottom Line

Download this insightful ebook for vital success factors, common errors, and tips for simplifying your BOM management process.

Read the eBook
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Watch how this furniture manufacturer uses SAP Business One to manage and share multiple product configurations and hundreds of BOMs.

They quote more accurately, have more available options from stock, and consistently issue the right materials to their production lines.

Watch the Video

Inventory control is a significant challenge for manufacturing businesses. On the supply chain side, many manufacturers have poor visibility into supplier inventory, lead times, and other critical data, making it difficult to plan production schedules, maintain inventory levels, and fulfil orders with fluctuating deadlines. When manufacturers lack customer-facing data from EDI, it’s nearly impossible to synchronise inventory with shipment updates, which leads to double counting inventory items and creates backorders due to unexpected fulfilment delays.

SAP Business One overcomes inventory control issues by leveraging BOM information as the basis for automated inventory forecasts. SAP Business One’s ‘Intelligent Forecast’ report predicts material requirements by examining previous customer orders and associated BOMs and applying advanced algorithms to recommend future inventory requirements. The BOM report guides your manufacturing process while helping your planners make intelligent decisions. SAP Business One also leverages common EDI interfaces to integrate with eCommerce systems, automatically launching new purchase orders when inventory drops to a user-defined level and ensuring inventory is optimised and stockouts don’t occur.

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How SAP Business One BOM Reports Improve Inventory Forecasting


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Many SME manufacturing businesses must wait 90 days or more to receive customer payments. But because manufacturers need cash to purchase their inventory, many have turned to financing, either by loan or factoring. Factoring involves a financial firm assuming your payment risk, so if your B2B customer doesn’t pay, your business still receives payment. The downside of loans and factoring is when SME manufacturers can’t provide the financing company with data that supports the viability of the customer orders. Without irrefutable data, the finance company takes a larger fee to account for the higher risk.

SAP Business One helps you get paid more and have more cash available to keep operations going. With all customer history and customer-related data stored digitally, you can quickly aggregate the critical data that supports your claims of customer/order viability. Information, including customer-, order-, and SKU-specific details and projected costs, revenue, and timelines lead to lower loan rates and factoring fees. The result is more cash faster. 

Competing against manufacturers who use cheap labour forces you to find innovative business practices to thrive because you can’t compete on price – usually a deal-breaker for customers. Your products running head-on against foreign, low-cost competitors no longer means the end of your business, however.

SAP Business One helps manufacturers reinvent their business models. Rather than competing solely on the cost per unit produced, they become higher-value-add businesses. They add new channels, expand sales territories, open additional warehouses, tap into CRM, and offer more services to customers. SAP Business One provides the standardisation, controls, and integrations between your business areas to enable your organisation to shift how it operates and overcome challenges. Vision33, as your local expert, will map your existing business processes and recommend how to improve the efficiency, workflows, and reporting that will benefit your business as you define your new identity.

Digital transformation is reimagining business in the digital age by using digital technologies to create new (or modify existing) business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements.

The Vision33 Saltbox Platform [LINK] for integration and workflows provides the pathways to add new systems and processes and modify existing processes for greater flexibility and agility in changing times.

Fully integrated with SAP Business One, Saltbox allows for innovative connections between systems and new ways of accessing and using applications and data with human interactions in workflows through app-builders and forms.

With the Vision33 portals and near-real-time integration for eCommerce with Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, SAP Business One can easily support your efforts to engage with consumers in the eCommerce mode of your choosing. Whether it’s for making additional sales to customers or attracting new customers through your shop, SAP Business One supports your sales efforts. There are also connections available for Amazon, eBay, and Facebook shops.

For over 17 years, SAP has continuously upgraded SAP Business One to help manufacturers grow fast while maximizing profit. SAP Business One’s features and capabilities are specifically designed to deliver the key benefits you seek from ERP. 

With this platform, small and mid-sized manufacturers can:

Quote more accurately – Provide detailed quotes and efficiently manage employees, resources, and materials.

Stay on-time and on-schedule – Provide reliable delivery times by reducing lead times and optimising processes.

Reduce preproduction time – Start projects faster with improved planning, communications, and responsiveness to ever-changing requirements.

Adapt faster – Adapt quickly to change orders with transparent data-sharing to keep your projects on schedule.

Achieve better customer satisfaction – Use advanced quality controls to ensure your customers are getting high-quality products.

Drive higher direct utilisation rates – Enhance machine and labour utilisation rates by improving efficiencies with fewer indirect labour hours.

SAP Business One provides the all-in-one solution your growing manufacturing company needs to run your daily operations effectively.

Benefits of SAP Business One for Food and Beverage Industry

ERP System for the Manufacturing Industry Product Guide

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Nuts and Bolts

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For gaining agility and efficiency across your manufacturing business, you must optimise four operational components: 

  1. Bill of materials management
  2. Inventory management
  3. Traceability
  4. Automation

Small and mid-sized manufacturers that optimise all four components well are winning more customers and producing more without adding excessive headcount. Using SAP Business One, they gain a single source of company, customer, and supply chain data and the workflows and reporting to plan and execute everything they do. 

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Small and mid-sized businesses that don’t take advantage of a true BOM when planning their operations are missing out on dramatic business process improvements. To appreciate how ERP can help your business thrive with better, more comprehensive information management, it helps to understand all the data an ERP-based BOM incorporates.

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The Four Types of BOMs Explained

There are four types of BOMs. Each serves a separate function while pulling information from the ERP’s unified database. This blog describes the four BOM types and how they ensure your departments work together.

Read the Blog
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The Information Found within a BOM

A BOM, also known as a product structure, contains a massive amount of information. This blog breaks down a BOM and illustrates it for you at high and medium levels.


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Why You Need Accurate BOMs

Regardless of what you manufacture or the BOM you use, an accurate and well-managed BOM increases your revenue by speeding product releases. It also lowers your product costs by eliminating errors throughout the manufacturing value chain of purchasing, warehousing, production planning, production, packaging, and delivery. Proper BOM management dramatically improves your bottom line. 

 

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Managing Production Lines and Tracking Inventory via BOMs

Because they implemented an easy-to-use product configurator, Emerald Home Furnishings can accurately determine stock levels, correctly quote made-to-order products, and issue the right product to their production lines.


Watch the Video
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Help Your Sales Team Close More Deals with Better BOMs

Assessing the BOM report in SAP Business One ensures that your sales pros know what they can sell, when, and to which customers – with associated lead times. Armed with this data, they can optimise sales strategies and improve customer satisfaction.


Read the Blog

Inventory management and superior inventory control are critical to manufacturers’ ability to meet their commitments efficiently. When you can see inventory in real-time and automate around perfectly timed replenishment, you no longer accidentally understock or waste resources tied up in stock. Production runs smoothly while your customers happily experience consistent on-time deliveries. 

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Advance Adapters Exceeds Revenue Doubling

The complex products of Advance Adapters require detailed information-sharing with customers and prospects. The manufacturer switched to SAP Business One and more than doubled its revenue by better managing its production lines and streamlining customer views and feedback around project-specific data.

Watch the Video

Whether you’re a discrete or process manufacturer (e.g., food and beverage, medical device, and auto parts), traceability is necessary for product and consumer safety. Manufacturers need to see forward and backward in their supply chain and identify where faulty ingredients or components originated, where they were incorporated into finished products or batches, and which customers received them.

 The information customers and regulators expect during a recall includes:

  • Manufacturer identity
  • Manufacturer address
  • Ingredient/component names
  • Ingredient/component supplier
  • Manufacturer's batch/lot number
  • Customers’ receiving data
  • Transportation and distribution records
  • Expiration dates (food & beverage, pharmaceuticals)

Traceability is closely related to inventory management, and like inventory management, manual tracking is overwhelming and insufficient. This is why so many small and mid-sized manufacturers have a head start in traceability when adopting SAP Business One.

Highlights of Traceability Using SAP Business One

  • Understand and track a product’s complete life cycle via batch and lot codes. 
  • Track materials and products from procurement through production, sale, and delivery.
  • Enforce rules to ensure procedures are followed when allocating batch and lot codes.
  • Batch track raw materials or components and the units created as part of a production order. 
  • Incorporate workflows that create product labels and prohibit products from passing to certain stages in the fulfilment cycle before label verifications occur.
  • Stay updated on the evolving rules and regulations governing product safety and quality checks.

With SAP Business One, you can leverage your current ERP system, making traceability a bonus to your deployment.

The manufacturing industry is fast-paced, and automation can help you keep up by increasing productivity, reducing costs associated with waste, and making you more agile. For example, BOM automation. With ERP, the same system that contains your inventory data can automatically create BOMs. This eliminates the data silos made by disconnected systems and prevents inaccurate materials requirements, miscommunications, and production bottlenecks and shortages.

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How to Become Data-Driven with a Single, Unified ERP System

Many manufacturers struggle to share information between multiple systems. Read why SAP Business One’s single source of all product, operational, and business data automate and accelerate your manufacturing business.

Read the Blog
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Engine Manufacturer Eliminates Manual Processes to Focus on Growth

Using SAP Business One for manufacturing, this business now enjoys automated processes for accurately quoting customers, empowering their salespeople, managing orders, and providing traceability from the warehouse through in-field service care. 

Watch the Video

Next Steps

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For most small and mid-sized manufacturers, ERP represents a more transformative step in their business evolution than any other software platform because it affects the entire business via unified data and workflows. To maximize ERP’s value and transform your manufacturing operations for maximum agility and efficiency, follow six critical steps. 

As the largest SAP Business One partner in the world, we’ve based these six steps on hundreds of successful first-time ERP implementations:

  1. Assess your need for business management software
  2. Understand the difference between ERP and accounting software
  3. Assess your business’s ERP readiness
  4. Evaluate ERP software on the market
  5. Select an ERP partner
  6. Choose an ERP deployment option

Each step involves careful consideration, planning, and the participation of multiple stakeholders from different departments and levels of your organisation. Following these six steps ensures proper selection, implementation, and use of your ERP software. We strongly recommend starting with this comprehensive ERP software selection guide.

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Tips for Making Your ERP Shortlist

Most ERP platforms are sold and serviced through channel partners. Vision33 is the largest SAP Business One channel partner in the world. After you’ve narrowed down your top three ERP solutions, consider the local partner’s qualifications, as that local partner is integral to your success. Read this blog that outlines the qualities you should consider when selecting your ERP software and local partner.                

Read the Blog

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 Review the ERP Software Selection Guide

Each step involves careful consideration, planning, and the participation of multiple stakeholders from different departments and levels of your organisation. Following these six steps ensures proper selection, implementation, and use of your ERP software. We strongly recommend starting with this comprehensive guide.

Get the Guide 

Customizations

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Growing small and mid-sized manufacturers perform better when using an ERP system that delivers features, functions, and workflows that match their company- and industry-specific needs. However, many ERP solutions are off-the-shelf applications that can’t be customized. Vision33 has deep expertise in planning and implementing SAP Business One to enable industry-specific processes that work the way you work. 

Whether you compete in discrete, process, or project manufacturing, powerful SAP Business One customizations and add-ons optimise the platform’s value. Our SAP-certified consultants will deploy SAP Business One to maximize your company’s unique differentiators, and SAP Business One’s broad range of capabilities will speed your operations and maximize your efficiencies.

 

The Saltbox Platform by Vision33 is a cloud iPaaS (integration platform as a service) solution for enterprise integration, workflow, and collaboration between business applications. It provides a large list of pre-built connections for common business applications like Shopify, HubSpot, Concur, and Salesforce and technology connectors for SQL Server, JSON Converter, SAP HANA, REST API, and SMTP. 

This supercharges your SAP Business One environment and increases the value gained from existing business applications integrating with SAP Business One. To learn more about the Saltbox integration platform visit the integrations & Saltbox web page.

Vision33 offers three value-add web portals for SAP Business One: Customer Portal, Vendor Portal, and Employee Portal. Each portal makes SAP Business One a powerful enabler for speeding daily work and saving your staff from the burden of mundane support tasks.

Customer Portal gives customers a secure, flexible, and personalised self-service gateway to retrieve and interact with information in a standard web browser. It’s a convenient way for your customers to make online payments and manage orders in an environment that builds your brand identity.

Read more about Web Portal Add-Ons

Vision33 offers an exciting extension to Customer Portal, called B2B Marketplace. Companies using B2B Marketplace with SAP Business One can offer their customers a complete B2B shopping experience by giving them online access to order and account information in a familiar shopping cart format – anytime, anywhere, on any device.

B2B Marketplace features include:

  • Easy access to account information
  • Advanced reporting and analytics
  • Support for multiple currencies and languages
  • Access to order history
  • Catalogue views
  • Multiple payment options

Read more about B2B Marketplace

Your vendors have needs, and Vision33’s Vendor Portal provides real-time, on-demand access to multiple custom queries to meet those needs. Vendor Portal is a powerful integrated solution for online collaboration, with real-time workflow and data tracking through SAP Business One that makes it easy for others to do business with you. For example, vendors can get instant answers to inquiries regarding purchase orders, overdue shipments, open invoices, payment history, and inventory supply.

Read more about Vendor Portal

Vision33’s Employee Portal puts your employees in the driver’s seat with a real-time, web-based solution that’s seamlessly integrated with SAP Business One. Employee Portal is ideal for employees who don’t need a named SAP Business One user license but need to access its data. With real-time, on-demand data access, report viewing and modification, and user-level security, Employee Portal gives your staff cost-efficient and flexible tools to get their work done wherever they are.

Read more about Employee Portal

SAP Business One incorporates a wealth of features that will drive business efficiency and position your company for profitable growth. The platform’s ten key features deliver unsurpassed operational benefits. They include:

 

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Project & Production Management

Stay on top of projects with real-time, cross-functional reporting, including manufacturing and logistics management, cost accounting, and controlling.

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Materials Resource Planning (MRP) II & Production

Leverage extensive material management features, such as order and stock-related production, mixed and variant production, and other production controls.

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Pool Controls

Increase planning efficiency with pool controls defined by the volume of work.

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Quality Control

Plan and execute quality tests during the material flow, from initial procurement through the manufacturing process.

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Cost Estimation

Prepare estimates for standard products and quotes for custom manufacturing orders and easily calculate profit margins.

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Supply Chain & Sales Management

Manage sales and purchase orders, including blanket orders and automated transactions based on EDI industry standards.

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Dashboards

Create custom dashboards to gain a 360-degree view of your business and enhance reporting with flexible ad-hoc queries and analyses.

 

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Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS)

View order times, lead times, transition periods, capacity allocations, bills of materials, batch groups, and resource availability.

 

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Multiple Warehouse Management

Enhance inventory management with advanced warehouse and bin location tracking.

 

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Product Configurator

Manage product variants to configure, calculate, and integrate your product..

 

SAP Services

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With over 400 employees in offices throughout North America and Europe, the Vision33 team has unmatched experience delivering solutions and services to the manufacturing industry. We’re the only SAP Business One partner that holds the AWS SAP Competency, and our Global Services group routinely helps SMEs expand into new geographies, making us the ideal implementation partner for growing businesses. 

Post-implementation, Vision33 continues to deliver value through our industry-leading support program, TOTAL Care, and ongoing ideation and implementation services from our world-class consulting team. The team helps customers continuously innovate using the best manufacturing industry-specific add-ons and integrations to support new business initiatives and evolving market demands.

To learn more about Vision33’s expansive value-add services, including TOTAL Care, visit our SAP Services Page.

Manufacturing Operations

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SAP Business One for Your Type of Manufacturing Operations

SAP Business One can be deployed in any manufacturing operation. Vision33 routinely consults with companies adopting SAP Business One for these manufacturing operations: 

  • Job shop production 
  • Batch manufacturing
  • Make-to-stock
  • Make-to-order 
  • Mixed mode
  • Assembly 
  • Repetitive 

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Project Manufacturing

Vision33 has solutions that integrate with SAP Business One and offer unparalleled project management and budgeting functionality for companies in an engineer-to-order (ETO) or project-led manufacturing and delivery environment.

SAP Business One for Project Manufacturing aligns all areas of project management, including planning, budgeting, quoting and estimating, material and capacity planning, and time and material tracking. These industry-specific features are built into core business management functions that join with production, inventory, accounting, CRM, sales, and service management to provide an end-to-end tool for project-centric manufacturers, suppliers, and services. Project manufacturers benefit from a flexible and tightly integrated project management process perfectly adapted to their needs.

 

Discrete Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing

Success Stories

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Companies like Hydrafacial experience the same issues you do: multiple disconnected systems, a lack of visibility, and an inability to access real-time information for decision-making. Operating a manufacturing business with these challenges can stunt your growth and prevent you from taking your business to the next level. These companies recognized the need for an all-in-one solution to manage their operations, including production, inventory, and logistics. Read about other companies that have taken steps to point their business in the right direction.

 

Get Started

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Vision33 makes it easy for you to learn more about SAP Business One and how it compares to other ERP Solutions. 

Our 9-Point Comparison Guide is the best place to start.

 

Read the Guide

ERP PARTNER

 

For a comprehensive set of SAP Business One resources, check out the SAP Business One Information Kit our experts compiled. It provides an in-depth look at the software and access to ERP solution briefs, videos, and demos designed to improve your operations.

See the Kit