Supercharge Your Business Growth with ERP System Inventory Management
As a thriving small business in areas such as apparel and consumer products, distribution and wholesaling, or manufacturing, you know that growth is exciting — but it can also be painful.
The growth is there; the customers are there for the taking. But the systems and software that have gotten you to this point — like your current accounting system — are making you feel stuck. They can’t keep up with you, and it starts to feel like you can’t keep up with your own growth.
More Than Just Inventory Management
Organizations look to an ERP system for better inventory maagement, but that’s just one slice of the pie. Most growing small businesses on the verge of making the change from accounting software to ERP are struggling with other functional and operational challenges too, including:
Third Wave’s Commitment: The 3 Vs
To resolve the growing pains common at thriving small businesses, a holistic solution is a must. At Third Wave, we build such solutions for each customer, using SAP Business One or SAP Business One in the Cloud as a centerpiece — but not typically as the sole solution.
Central to our approach is our commitment to the 3 Vs.
These three markers comprise a sequence or framework that help your organization achieve higher productivity and efficiency — regardless of the size of your business. The 3 Vs are Validation, Visibility and Velocity.
Flexible solutions like SAP Business One ERP system inventory management along with other tools like our custom Bizweaver and Versago applications give you a powerful holistic approach. We help you automate data collection and Validation. Doing so makes your operation more Visible, and you gain data-driven insights that improve your overall Velocity.
SAP Business One ERP System Inventory Management
At a high level, inventory management may be defined as four elements: monitoring inventory data, interpreting that data (properly), building a strategy from that interpretation, and executing that strategy.
SAP Business One touches your inventory process in numerous ways across these areas.
- Managing your inventory master data
- Assigning serial, batch, and catalog numbers
- Optimizing your pick-and-pack process
- Maintaining price lists, discounts, and special pricing
- Controlling all aspects of your transactions
- Generating reports and surfacing insights
How do these show up in day-to-day operations for businesses facing growing pains? And more specifically, how does the SAP Business One ERP system improve inventory management?
We’ll take a look at what SAP Business One can do in four crucial areas:
- Integrating operations across physical locations
- Goods movement
- Materials management
- Automation of sales order entries
Integrating Operations Across Physical Locations
Perhaps the most obvious pain point a growing small business faces is when it jumps from operating a single location to managing multiple facilities including sales outlets and logistics centers.
As a single location, your business didn’t encounter show-stopping problems involving integration across departments. But as you grow, the lack of synchronicity between various departments and even physical locations (multiple warehouses, multiple retail stores, etc.) becomes painfully clear.
Managing multiple locations with SAP Business One also means you’ll be connecting multiple departments — delivering both validation and visibility across business units and locations.
We’ve found that this interconnecting of departments is another compelling reason businesses move to an ERP. With a single system integrating accounting, warehouses, inventory management, production management, and more, your business gains visibility that didn’t seem possible before.
SAP Business One’s ability to integrate data across locations and departments demonstrates the first V: Validation.
SAP Business One (along with SAP Business One in the Cloud, if a cloud deployment is right for you) delivers powerful visibility into the movement of goods into, within, and out of your organization. The Goods Movement function can tell you when goods move internally and when they arrive at a destination (vendor or customer), feeding your data capabilities surrounding supply chain.
In addition to at-a-glance or high-level goods movement information, SAP Business One delivers detailed reports, such as goods receipts, transfer postings, and return delivery notices.
Materials management (also called materials requirements planning or MRP) is crucial to effective inventory management, and it’s yet another area that does not usually scale well with a basic accounting system: the processes and systems that used to work well just weren’t built for the scale you’re approaching (or have already reached).
Consider these four ways that SAP Business One, a leading ERP system inventory management solution, improves materials management and MRP:
- Fewer bottlenecks: SAP Business One materials requirements planning (MRP) software analyzes market demand and supply shortages, maintaining the right (and timely) levels of resources and lowering the chances of bottlenecks in production and supply.
- Improved efficiency: In manufacturing, complex products often require complex processes (multiple suppliers, sub-assemblies, process steps) that cannot be tracked manually — at least not without sacrificing efficiency and accuracy. Similar complexities exist in retail and eCommerce: the more numerous or varied your sales channels, the greater the process complexity of serving all of them well.
- Lower purchasing costs: SAP Business One materials requirements planning (MRP) software can search across vendors and accounting for delivery costs and timelines, helping you find the best options for materials (considering both time and price). Automating this data-heavy process saves your purchasers time and increases their throughput.
- Better inventory control: Business One’s MRP Wizard delivers the ability to analyze and act on inventory issues, determining when to buy more of what you need so that your business always has enough (but not too much) of any given product or component.
With superior materials management capabilities that extend across your organization, SAP Business One delivers on the second V: Visibility.
Automation of Sales Order Entries
Businesses that are feeling the limitations of basic accounting systems or standalone inventory management software are usually struggling under the weight of too many manual processes. These processes cannot scale in any way (short of hiring an unworkable number of new staff), and they can quickly become a bottleneck that limits growth.
The sales order entry process is one example (along with all the behind-the-scenes steps it requires).
Remember our friends at Triple S Sporting Supply? Before SAP Business One, they were stuck verifying inventory levels manually. They had just two employees trying to do it all (and one of them had another full-time job!). It just wasn’t working.
If you’re entering sales orders manually, chances are you’re still checking inventory levels manually, too. If you don’t have the confidence in your systems or record-keeping to make a sale without checking first, your sales process slows way down.
Of course, selling items you don’t actually have is just as much of a problem. Here’s where the SAP Business One ERP really shines.
SAP Business One automates the order process, start to finish. Sales orders are automatically and instantly linked to inventory data, so your inventory stays current in real time. Even when you receive a quick influx of orders, your inventory data keeps up. This automation continues through the packaging and shipping stages, too, so your team will always know (with a high degree of confidence) where orders are in process and that the listed inventory levels are reliable.
Gaining Speed: Enhance your new ERP with Automation Apps
Business One is already powerful, but working with Third Wave gives you access to industry-leading custom tools that speeds that power even further along.
Third Wave’s powerful web app Versago makes it easy to check inventory levels and statuses from any device, even without a deep understanding of the SAP Business One platform.
Business One’s powerful automations, including in sales order entries, deliver on the third V: Velocity. With fewer manual processes and greatly increased accuracy, your business can move faster and accomplish more, especially with Bizweaver and Versago.
It’s Time to Ditch Accounting Software and Choose an ERP System for Inventory Management
Basic accounting systems have their place, but once a business reaches a certain level of growth or complexity, those systems can become a liability, stifling progress, limiting opportunities, and creating information silos.
That accounting suite tells you where your dollars are, but it doesn’t know where your stuff is. (Or where it needs to go. Or when you need to order more. You get the idea.)
An ERP absorbs those accounting and finance functions, placing them into a broader context and suite of tools that do track inventory levels, sales, materials, and much more.
Of the ERP solutions we’ve seen, SAP Business One is the ideal choice for small businesses ready for more. Its comprehensive and integrated approach is the catalyst that supercharges growth.
Inventory Management Is the Key
Proper inventory management is vitally important for businesses ready to thrive, for those who want to take their operations to the next level. Manual processes, accounting software, and standalone inventory tools don’t deliver proper inventory management at scale. The right ERP does.
SAP Business One in the Cloud (or on premises) is the ideal solution for many growing businesses. But it’s not the sort of platform you simply install and start running. You’ll need a partner to help you build out an optimal Business One environment.
That’s where we come in.
Supercharge Your Growth with Third Wave and SAP Business One
Third Wave Business Systems is an ERP partner. We’re independent, which means we take the time to learn your business and your needs. SAP Business One is usually at least a part of the solution we recommend. But we select from multiple vendors to create the perfect customized solution for your business. We’re also more than just SAP Business One. We’ve created powerful applications and integrations other vendors cannot offer, like Bizweaver, Versago, and ShipEasy.
Ready to start supercharging your growth by switching to an ERP system for your inventory management?
Feeling Stuck? You’re Not Alone.
If this sounds familiar, you’re far from alone. Most of our clients have been there.
Take Triple S Sporting Supply. This fishing and outdoor goods wholesaler has seen considerable growth during its over 50-year history. Much of that growth came since the rise in B2B eCommerce. As they grew, their inventory and operational scale badly outpaced their warehouse management tools and their dated ERP system for inventory management.
With over 18,000 items in inventory and ongoing seasonal market opportunities (ice fishing, for example), they needed a better way to gain visibility and to allocate inventory.
Let’s make a long story short (though you can read the longer story): They needed (and ultimately chose) a modern ERP system for inventory management, and they chose SAP Business One in the Cloud.