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Overview

As a new start-up in the United States, this global food brand needed a back-office solution to manage their business processes. Initially the company investigated implementing SAP ECC, the larger product in SAP’s portfolio, as this solution was already being utilized by other parts of the organization.

Pinpoint areas of over-consumption and reduce wastage in some areas by up to 50%

Streamlined processes and improved accuracy

Reduction in the number of interfaces with third party system integration

Objective

To upgrade the company’s previous installation of SAP Business One in order to more efficiently meet business objectives.

Solution

SAP Business One 9.0

Key wins

  • Reduction of manual processes
  • Improved management of raw materials
  • Ability to pinpoint areas of over-consumption and reduce
  • wastage in some areas by up to 50%
  • Streamlined processes and improved accuracy
  • Better reporting, forecasting and analysis
  • Improved integration with other key systems
  • Decrease in the number of required interfaces

"I love Sapphire - that’s the bottom line. Any time I have raised something the team has been right on top of it...I truly felt like the success of this project was as important to Sapphire as it was to my company."
IT Business Analyst

Finding the right solution

As a new start-up in the United States, this global food brand needed a back-office solution to manage their business processes. Initially the company investigated implementing SAP ECC, the larger product in SAP’s portfolio, as this solution was already being utilized by other parts of the organization.

However ECC was deemed too large for the company’s needs, so they selected SAP Business One, a smaller enterprise solution that would easily sync with ECC.

After the initial implementation the team realized the solution still wasn’t meeting the needs of the company. So after re-evaluating their requirements, they made the decision to upgrade to version 9.0, which offered a lot more of the functionality required.

System Benefits

The company’s IT Business Analyst said the team loves the new system since the upgrade. “The processes surrounding the management of raw materials used to be manual, and there was lots of paperwork to keep track of. There were even some practices we couldn’t put in place as they were just too cumbersome to manage. So having it all in a system where we can just create a report that pulls out all the information is a huge time saving, and also improves accuracy. So these were important features,” she said.

All of this additional data allows the company to perform trending and analysis so they can now track actual consumption versus predicted consumption.

“We already allow for a certain amount of materials wastage within our processes, but now we have to supply a reason on the production order as to why any additional over-consumption occurs.

This allows us to identify the root cause and as a result we can make changes to the process and reduce overconsumption. I’d say we have been able to reduce it by as much as 50%. With our previous system we could tell we were over-consuming, but the key difference is we now know why! Plus we have had less instances of running short on materials because our awareness of a problem means we can more accurately plan what materials we need to account for this over-consumption. SAP Business One has brought us lots of other benefits, but that has been our primary area of cost saving and improvement,” she said.

Working with Sapphire

In terms of working with Sapphire, she felt the team always had the company’s best interests at heart.

“I love Sapphire - that’s the bottom line. Any time I have raised something the team has been right on top of it. I’ve done enough projects in my life to know they never go without any bumps, it’s just the nature of the beast, but one of the biggest things for me is how vendors present themselves when issues arise. Am I left to figure out how to fix it myself, or is it truly a partnership between myself and the vendor? Throughout the whole upgrade project I always felt like it was a partnership, I truly felt like the success of this project was as important to Sapphire as it was to my company.

For example, it was actually Sapphire who suggested that an upgrade to a newer version of SAP Business One would solve a lot of our system requirements. Unfortunately there are companies out there who will build you customizations and then just hand you the bill, but it meant a lot to me that Sapphire wanted to do the right thing as opposed to only considering what they could get out of this deal. So not only has it saved us money, but less customization also means
it’s easier to get support.”

The company’s IT Business Analyst even said Sapphire’s approach to the project closure meeting was professional.

“If a project goes well, people often just want to move on to the next project. So I really appreciated the fact that Sapphire wanted to still look at what they could do better next time. That tells me a lot when a company is keen to continue improving, even when they were already great,” she said.

SAP Business One

She also said it was comforting to see a company as big as SAP was still focused on developing products for smaller businesses.

“I truly believe SAP wants the Business One product to be as viable as it can be. The amount of functionality is perfect for a mid-sized company, but it’s also not cumbersome, so even a small company could use it without lots of overhead.”

The global food brand primarily utilizes SAP Business One for financials, management of raw materials and production order processing. The solution has been integrated with SAP ECC and the Accellos Warehouse Management solution, with middleware software utilized to interface data between the three systems.

With the upgrade now complete, the company is still considering further elements and customizations to address any remaining requirements.

“We’re looking into elements such as cost centers and budgeting, and we have a list of about 15 things that our business users have identified as improvements. I figure that when we started out with a list of 192 requirements, and we’ve reduced that to 15, we’re doing well!” the company’s IT Business Analyst said.

Advice for other companies

She also had some advice for other companies considering implementing new software, or undertaking an upgrade.

“The biggest piece of advice for any software implementation is to think of it like a house – you need a solid blueprint first, and you can always add small improvements later on in the process. I know businesses want to get things done quickly, but put
in the extra time and effort, stop looking for the quick fix, and you’ll be more successful. Perform that due diligence upfront, determine the requirements, and undertake thorough testing. Often businesses don’t realize it’s those things that help you when you get to the point of development, because you’ve already worked out a lot of potential kinks. That doesn’t mean we didn’t still encounter little issues, but undertaking proper project management was important to the company because that wasn’t done during the first implementation, and this had a negative impact,” she concluded.

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