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Overview

As a heating and cooling controls manufacturer, SALUS, expanded its presence across North America, it needed a modern, flexible ERP solution to help scale the business. Now, with SAP Business One from Sapphire, SALUS benefits from visibility and control over its operations, and the open-ended capabilities to meet its long-term growth ambitions and open up new revenue streams.

Greater control over inventory

Visibility in the order-to-cash process

Streamlined financial management processes

Objective

To deploy a robust ERP solution with open-ended capability that would support the expansion of the business. 

Solution

SAP Business One

Organization

SALUS designs and manufactures industry-leading hydronic, HVAC, and fan coil products for residential and commercial applications, and wireless “smart home” ecosystems. As a wholesaler of heating and cooling solutions, SALUS enables heating engineers and contractors to provide home-owners and building managers with the comfort and control they need, while reducing installation times and minimizing call-backs.

Why SAP Business One?

A proven leader in the European market, SALUS is currently expanding across North America. The company’s offices in Redwood City, CA, are a center for research & development and house its regional sales and marketing operations. Expansion, coupled with a new product launch, meant the business was rapidly outgrowing its legacy accounting software. As Rebecca Tiu, Finance & Operations Director, explains, “In 2016, we were using very basic software for recording expenses, and our inventory management relied on spreadsheets, which was labor-intensive and unsustainable. We also needed an ERP solution that could handle the growing complexity of our business, as we are selling services in addition to selling branded and white-labeled products.”

“Our UK office was already running SAP, so we were familiar with the software’s reputation for robustness. What really impressed us about SAP Business One was that it was right-sized for our current needs, with a variety of modular add-ons that would let us take advantage of rich functionality down the road, so we would be well positioned for future expansion. And while we weren’t looking to integrate with our sister company in Canada at this point, the potential is there,” adds Rebecca. 

“We kicked off the implementation in November of 2016, with a target to go live the following April at the start of our fiscal year. There was a degree of customization required, as we needed to raise specific documentation for cross-border shipments between the US and Canada, along with customer invoices and delivery notes. We also had certain information parameters that we needed to visualize in very specific ways, so we used an add-on to extract data from SAP Business One, and automatically populated and formatted dynamic reports in Excel to meet our unique requirements.”

The Benefits

“We quickly started realizing the benefits of SAP Business One in terms of our financial management, but most importantly, we now have a complete record of the order-to-cash process, which provides us with day-to-day visibility into our operations. SAP Business One gives us the kind of control that we couldn’t achieve with our previous software and spreadsheets, for example on credit limits and approvals. As we use a third party warehouse, the ERP system ensures we can only pick orders according to warehouse availability, giving us the internal controls to use resources more effectively and avoid wasting time on rectifying errors. All in all, SAP Business One is enabling us to operate very efficiently with minimal resources.”

“This is only our second year of selling,” observes Rebecca, “but we have ambitious growth plans and there have been a lot of changes to the business already. We’ve gone from wholesale-only to working with companies that want us to co-develop branded products for them, and the next stage of our evolution will be to sell direct to consumer. SAP Business One will help us achieve that ambition through point of sale integration. We don’t have electronic data interchange with the warehouse right now, but we certainly anticipate the need once we start to scale.”

“We’re still using a discrete application to handle employee expense claims, but we foresee this being handled within SAP Business One before long. We also have some other projects in the pipeline, such as a pilot to enhance orders, and we’re looking to make greater use of data for management decision-making.”

“We’re interested in exploring what Business Intelligence can do for us. We’re using the forecasting capability in SAP Business One today, but as the business grows, I anticipate the need for real-time, relevant analytical insights for our sales, inventory management, supply and finance teams. We’re still only scratching the surface of the software’s full functionality, but there’s a lot of potential to be tapped as we grow and evolve.” 

Working with Sapphire

“We chose Sapphire for their deep understanding of our business needs and their responsiveness. We had many discussions up front about how to ensure the data we input will translate into the outputs we require. Their expertise and knowledge is impressive, and they always provide timely answers to any questions we may have, which makes for a very comfortable working relationship.” 

“We may not be a big business with deep pockets right now, but the Sapphire team regards us as a valuable partner. They see where we’re headed and are helping us navigate that journey, so the partnership is indispensable to us,” concludes Rebecca.

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