Small and medium-sized inventory-based businesses have very specific needs when it comes to their ERP solutions. And while there is a plethora of tech to choose from, these businesses often can’t just turn to any solution on the market. That’s because many ERPs are designed for large-scale businesses and might be too complex or too costly for most SMBs.
Because of this, finding an ERP which can still handle the lift of your supply chain needs without overdoing it for your small or medium-sized inventory-based business is a fine art. If you’re in the market for a solution like this, then SAP Business One (SAP B1) might be exactly what you’re looking for.
What is SAP B1, and what is its role within an inventory-based business ecosystem? SAP B1 is a single ERP (or enterprise resource planning) solution which is designed to handle all the needs of a small business, and it has many features which are specific to inventory and supply chain businesses.
From financial management to inventory control, SAP B1 is a top contender for small and medium-sized inventory-based businesses, and we’re going to dissect exactly how it can fit into your operations.
To understand how SAP B1 can work for your business, it’s important to understand why it matters. Why are ERPs such as SAP B1 essential for inventory-based businesses of all sizes?
Today’s inventory and global supply chain landscape is riddled with unprecedented and complex risk, which ERPs can swiftly mitigate. Consumer habits and preferences can change at the drop of a hat, new products can quickly be developed and explode in popularity, and global orders can soar, thanks to today’s digital tools. But inventory-based businesses are also vulnerable to disruption and risk, whether it be from one of those factors, or other unexpected events.
For example, as we saw during the coronavirus pandemic, which rattled the global supply chain, unforeseen events can easily disrupt supply chain operations. In the aftermath of the pandemic, surveys found that the top priority for businesses was increased visibility 2022, and that other leading priorities included increasing efficiency, and increased resiliency. Other data reveals that over 80% of businesses experienced a supply chain disruption in the past year.
One of the best ways to increase supply chain visibility, resiliency, and efficiency is by deploying a perfect-fit ERP for your business and pairing it with a leading supply chain suite. EPRs can handle your financial management, sales, and customer management, and even provide you with tools that help with purchasing and inventory control. When paired with a supply chain suite, leaders and decision makers can access real-time data and insights on things such as inventory levels, sales and or purchase orders. They can also leverage advanced demand forecasts, and can access comprehensive reporting and analytics, to receive instant answers to mission-critical questions.
But for an ERP to move the needle when it comes to an inventory-based business and lead to optimization and improvements, it needs to be the right fit for the scale of an organization. That’s where SAP B1 comes into play.
SAP B1 is an ERP that’s designed for small businesses of all types, and offers tools related to accounting, purchasing, inventory, sales, customer relationships, and reporting and analytics. Many of these features are designed specifically for small and mid-sized inventory-based businesses.
SAP B1 can be deployed on-premise, or over the cloud, and it runs on both the SAP HANA® and Microsoft SQL server platforms. And whichever way you deploy it, it’s also built for the modern business leader, and can be accessed on mobile devices. It also can operate well for international businesses: SAP B1 supports twenty-eight (28) languages and has fifty different country-specific versions.
Here are some of the key features of SAP B1:
SAP B1’s financial management features are designed to improve margins, reduce errors, and allow leaders to make data-driven decisions.
StockIQ produces robust forecasting and analytics, distilling key insights on your inventory operations. For example, StockIQ produces bottom-up, top-down, and middle-out forecasts across item, group, channel, or customer level to help you understand the full scope of your inventory needs and cost factors. It also measures its forecasts against actuals, to ensure that meaningful adjustments can be made, which keep your costs ideal.
With StockIQ, you can always know information that’s key to your financial management, such as what you’re going to sell, what you need to buy, what isn’t shipping, and what you’re out of.
Customers are the lifeblood of inventory-based businesses, and with SAP B1, you can oversee the entire sales process and customer lifecycle more efficiently.
Provide customers with transparent updates regarding stock, thanks to StockIQ’s advanced inventory tracking & visibility features. Identify and rectify stock-outs, identify excess stock, and seamlessly deal with brand new items, all while keeping your customers happy.
Manage the complete order-to-pay cycle, from invoices to payments. Also easily navigate receipts and returns.
Inventory control is StockIQ’s bread and butter, and StockIQ is specifically designed to help your inventory-based business improve its bottom line. With accurate forecasts, you can reduce stockouts, and improve operations. Stratify your inventory based on factors most important to you to improve service levels, and leverage StockIQ to optimize purchasing daily, to reduce planning cycle time.
And as we mentioned earlier, StockIQ is focused on providing you with answers to key questions. Immediately know what you’re going to sell based on forecasts and allow StockIQ’s replenishment engine to manage any scenario you might encounter when it comes to what you need to buy. StockIQ will also expose dead inventory, help you target shortages, and identify your most critical items.
Intelligent business practices are part of what gives inventory-based businesses the visibility and insights they need to thrive.
StockIQ has advanced business intelligence features, which give you even deeper, more distilled insights into your operations. StockIQ’s software generates in-depth demand forecasts for each channel, which can be fed back into your ERP to help you generate accurate reports and POs. It also has special event smoothing logic, which can predict demand against special events and outliers, without breaking your replenishment cycle.
SAP B1 is an excellent ERP which gives you front-to-back control over your operations and is a great option for 3LPs looking to take greater control over their business operations. By understanding “what is SAP B1,” inventory-based leaders can use it to change the way they run their business. Leverage features and smart tools to automate regular tasks, check your work on the go, and effortlessly manage your stock.
When it comes to your business, SAP B1 + StockIQ go together. To learn more about StockIQ can revolutionize the way you manage your inventory, contact us. We’re an ERP integration-friendly solution, and we add value to nearly every ERP and WMS on the market.