SAP Business One Small Business ERP with CRM and Manufacturing Functionality

SAP Business One Small Business ERP with CRM and Manufacturing Functionality

Its Payable are long time gone.  Accounting systems came through the evolution or better say transition to so-called ERP and even MRP.  Relatively recent move is CRM or Client Relation Management.  Modern day ERP/MRP and CRM hybrid with accounting background is what you typically looking for and implement.  Each application is different and has its history, evolution and life cycle.  Applications designed in late XX Century have to catch up with new trends and they often find themselves restricted in their legacy technologies.  Business One is relatively new ERP and it is looking into the future without such the restrictions.  Lets review generic business operations and how they could be automated in SB1:

1. Sales process automation in Opportunity Management often also referred as CRM.  Good salesperson could be compared with cowboy with his own lead generation ideas and database.  When sale is closed then traditionally you are entering new customer into accounts receivable module and issue invoices from there.  This method requires two systems to be synchronized – whatever is salesperson database and accounting.  Business One allows you to begin sales cycle directly in its opportunity management module.  If fact if you are business owner you have perfect tool for auditing sales activity of your firm.  When you got the business the lead is turned into the customer with all the sales phase related documents preserved.  We really hate the procedures where you have to enter the same information twice into your databases as these practices require micromanagement and extensive internal communications.  Plus consider the potential danger of salesperson to resign and break away with his own prospects database collected at your expense

2. Manufacturing.  United States are in transformation from production mills to customized assembly on order.  Manufacturing is often divided into two categories: discrete and process.  Most of the SCM and distribution oriented businesses are practicing discrete manufacturing where you know exactly the input and output.  Process manufacturing doesn't exactly but rather approximately knows the input and output.  It is popular is food processing, mining, oil and gas drilling.  B1 offers simplified discrete manufacturing and bill of materials.  It also has MRP wizard aimed at inventory replenishment automation.  There is also disassembly bill of materials where you are receiving return from your customer and in your opinion all the parts are good and ready to be placed back on the shelves in their bins

3. Field Service.  Business One offers warranty contract module with technician service logs.  If your serialized item is sold with warranty contract it is up to you to decide if technician time, expenses and spare parts are covered or should be billed to the customer.  It is possible to realize rentals logic by moving rented item via transferred to technician login and upon the expiration turn it back via received from technician form

4. Negotiation and Purchasing.  New version 8.81 offers purchase quotation form where you can negotiate with several suppliers to announce tender or select the best offer

5. Human Resources.  It doesn't have Payroll module and this is understandable as Payroll is often outsourced and covering Payroll in international perspective is similar to eclectic.  HR is about hiring process audit beginning with resume and potential employee interview

6. Customizability.  You can add custom fields to existing tables as well as create new user defined tables.  Data entry and editing interface is automatically created and there is no need to do coding.  These fields and tables could be used in managerial reporting where natural tool is Crystal Reports as SAP acquired Business Objects with its Crystal Reports product.  Just user defined table is often not a solution without its custom business logic.  If you feel that you need to animate user defined tables and fields the SAP B1 Software Development Kit is probably the way to do it

7. Exposure to International Business.  Initially this ERP application was architected in Israel by TopManage Financial Systems and was acquired by SAP in 2002.  Israel is small country and if accounting system is designed there it is probably exposed to such features as multicurrency, Corporate ERP localization and supporting Unicode alphabets especially Chinese, Japanese and Korean hieroglyphs.  SAP is facing real challenge to update tax tables in such countries as China, Russia, Brazil or India and if you are opening small facilities in these countries we recommend you to catch the train

8. Competition.  It looks like B1 is carving its niche by taking some market from Dynamics GP and such small business accounting packages as QuickBooks, MYOB and Peach Tree

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