The team at Blue Ocean Systems works closely with clients throughout the entire SAP Business One implementation cycle; from pre-sales to post implementation support. During this time, several reccurring questions arise from staff from various levels within small and medium sized enterprises. In this week’s blog, we set out to answer some of these insightful queries.
What are some of the operational and process challenges SMEs face without an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system?
Legacy systems used by SMEs are often numerous and cumbersome. As a company becomes more established, they use separate systems for their various departments – HR, accounting, warehouse etc. Once a critical mass is reached, the old systems do not support business growth; time, effort and resources are lost due to inefficiencies. Departments, warehouses and offices work in silos and as sales teams grow, opportunities can be lost. It is often at this point that an SME might look to invest in an ERP to take their operations to the next level.
How disruptive is an SAP implementation? Will my day-to-day operations be affected?
The Blue Ocean Systems team works closely with clients in the pre-implementation phase to fully understand their business operations. They work around the business function and communicate regularly with the key contacts to plan and prepare for the new system. Wherever possible, the implementation ‘switch’ will be performed during off-peak operational times to minimise the disruption – if required, this can be overnight, during weekends or public holidays. Post implementation support will be there for as long as needed until the client and the employees are working on the new system to its full capacity.
How important is change management as part of the SAP implementation process?
Very! As with any new system or process, there will inevitably be some initial resistance. Employees might feel uncertain of their role, especially long-standing staff members who might have been with the company from day one. All the new technology, systems and procedures can be unsettling so it is important to prepare the team for the changes and include them as much as possible in the planning. The front line operations and warehouse team can often provide the most valuable information in an SAP implementation; after all, they are the ones who are facing daily challenges in their roles. Communication is key to the success of implementing SAP. Read more in our blog about how to increase your SAP implementation success.
What are some of the key benefits of SAP for SMEs?
This really depends on the company and the challenges they faced prior to implementing SAP. Some of the main benefits of using SAP include:
Sales OpportunitiesSAP Business One allows you to record sales opportunities with specific details such as lead source, size and stage. If your company has offices around the world you can track and share international business opportunities.
PurchasingSAP ensures you have all the raw materials you need, when you need them, by improving simple processes before they get out of hand.
Inventory ManagementSAP Business One creates customised item master lists and inventory reports so your company can stay on top of deliveries and purchasing cycles.
ProductionSAP Business One enables you to stay informed of shipments and inventory levels allowing you to proactively manage your customer’s needs and expectations.
Banking and FinancialsSAP Business One develops simple processes to track incoming payments, create automatic reminders on overdue accounts and reconcile your month / year-end reports.
AdministrationSAP Business One integrates organisational management and customised standard reporting to allow many of your ongoing processes to be automated.
Stay MobileWith SAP Business One’s mobile apps for your Smartphone and iPad you can view your customised SAP Crystal reports from anywhere in the world, ensuring your business doesn’t stop when you leave the office.
One SolutionSAP Business One integrates your entire core business functions; eliminating the need for multiple applications or complex integration of separate modules.
SAP Business One grows with your organisation and fully supports you in all ways. Read our blog post about the cost benefit of SAP for SMEs.
Contact Blue Ocean Systems to learn more about how we can help you make the move to SAP.