Stuart Tarrant (right) is the Head of Communications at Codeless Platforms and has been working in the IT industry since 2003. Codeless Platforms is a strategic partner for SAP Business One integration, as well as rapid application development.
Manufacturing and distribution can often be complex, costly and time-sensitive, relying on real time information to operate. Therefore, improving efficiency, keeping costs down and having immediate access to information is essential to stay competitive and increasing profits.
SAP Business One provides a comprehensive suite of tools to manage a wide-range of business functions. But many manufacturers and distributors will be reliant on several other legacy or standalone programs, such as a warehouse management system, EDI solution or bespoke manufacturing product. Additionally, in this digital, 24/7 world, organisations will often have an e-Commerce solution in place to increase visibility and improve sales.
In order to streamline operations, improve the sales process and make warehousing and stock management easier to oversee, all these systems need to be fully integrated and the flow of information between them consistent and reliable. If these systems are not fully integrated, it can result in a large amount of manual data entering and can increase the potential for data anomalies.
Organisations therefore need to deploy a very flexible, accessible and real-time technology environment to streamline operations and remove many of the administrative duties that employees can end up bogged down with, thus ensuring that they have the time to concentrate on their actual jobs and explore value added tasks that can help increase profits.
Automating sales orders with SAP Business One
Many companies can simply suffer from an increase in the volume of sales and daily orders, with the large amount of manual administration required to process orders becoming prohibitive and time-consuming. Automating this process can alleviate the problem. By integrating an eCommerce solution with SAP Business One it will provide the ability to automatically transfer customer and order information directly into the system, as well as push data back into the platform such as stock levels and price changes.
Additionally, any company that uses an EDI package can easily integrate it with SAP Business One and then automate the transfer of orders. This can include placing some basic rules validation for orders received from customers, such as price checking, and ensuring that each order has a unique purchase order number. Sales orders can then be imported from external sources into SAP Business One and order confirmations exported from SAP to the EDI package. Furthermore, resulting invoices can be synchronised between systems to eradicate unnecessary data entry. For customers with complex requirements, it is also possible to generate documents such as recurring sales orders.
Order processing is another significant aspect for many organisations, along with the purchase order approval process. With a workflow automation solution in place, any order raised will automatically generate an email, which is then sent to a designated approver containing a link which they must click to approve.
Integrating WMS with SAP Business One
Integrating SAP Business One with warehouse management systems (WMS) is another essential area for manufacturers and distributors. A dedicated business process automated (BPA) solution can automatically transfer a wide-range of data into a warehouse management system from SAP Business One, including product, customer and supplier data, along with purchase orders, sales orders, sales returns and stock changes. This enables the WMS to recognise products when they are scanned, understand what goods are being received, manage sales orders, enable goods to be picked and despatched, as well as update stock levels and new stock that has been added.
Data also needs to be transferred the other way, making sure that SAP Business One is up to date, and it has a record of purchase order receipts, sales order despatches, sales order returns, stock additions and write offs. Once orders are shipped, job completion notifications can be imported from the warehouse management system to SAP Business One.
By integrating SAP Business One with other systems and then applying automation to numerous processes, manufacturers and distributors can easily improve business efficiency, reduce costs, optimise inventory levels and increase the visibility of critical information.
Automating business processes with Codeless Platforms
Over the years, Codeless Platforms has equipped manufacturers and distributors, from a variety of industries, with its BPA Platform to gain a competitive advantage and to meet their needs. Common tasks that have been automated include:
- Importation of orders and export of confirmations and invoices in EDI package
- Order processing including purchase order (PO) approval process
- Rules validation for orders, including price checking and applying unique PO numbers
- Data processing between warehouse management systems and back office systems
- Importation of job completion notifications from warehouse management system to ERP system
- Generation and distribution of sales and stock reports, in real-time.
- The credit control process and the production of Crystal Reports
- Event-driven information on stock levels to assess impact upon production techniques, such as Just-In-Time (JIT)
- The purchase ledger process – comparing invoices against expected cost
- Importation of payment notifications from credit card gateways
For more information about integration, automation or the BPA Platform for SAP Business One please get in touch with one of our solution experts today on +44 (0) 1932 212 777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.