SAP Business One - from a 12 year veteran implementer
Updated March 16, 2016

SAP Business One - from a 12 year veteran implementer

Dr. Don Maes | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review

Software Version

SAP Business One OnDemand

Modules Used

  • Accounting and Financials
  • Operations and Distribution
  • Administration and Reporting
  • Mascidon Bar Tender Labels, Brother Labels, Job Cost, Quality Control, Right Click, Cost Rollup, BOM & Routers

Overall Satisfaction with SAP Business One

As a consultant for SAP Business One I recommend, sell and implement it for many companies, the majority of which are in distribution and manufacturing. SAP B1 addresses the business processes required to manage inventory - straightforward distribution inventory, and complex manufacturing environments. Examples of companies that are using SAP B1 include: a capital equipment company in Woodstock Ontario that has BOMs that are 11 levels deep and average 3,000 components / sub-assemblies; a distribution company in Toronto with 6 distribution locations and salesmen throughout North America; a steel stamping company in Toronto making complex file cabinets and desks that are sold throughout North America; an automotive aftermarket distributor in Florida supplying parts to large retail chains such as Autozone; a manufacturer in Indiana that captures labor by operation in real time on the floor.
While these companies have different specific needs, the individual SAP B1 implementation is tailored (using SAP tools) to their individual needs.
  • SAP B1's technology is superb. SAP provides user tools to quickly add fields to a screen, re-arrange fields on a screen for optimal user interface, and create SQL queries to verify data as it is entered.
  • SAP B1 is tightly integrated. This is a product developed for this millennium - all of the modules are tightly integrated and the flow from one module to another. Even third party add-on products use the same technology platform for development -- making it seamless integration.
  • SAP B1 has integration to phone technology as an integral part of the software, allowing user's access to their data not just from their office but from anywhere they have network access.
  • The look and feel of the software is the same no matter what module you are using. Training is simplified - if you are trained on the sales order --> shipper --> invoice process, the same user could easily manage the purchase order --> PO receipt --> A/P invoice process because the screens are so similar.
  • SAP's education is superb. They have literally hundreds of hours of on-line training available for their customers. If you need to brush up on a process or train a new employee, you simply direct them to the appropriate video and they can learn at their own pace.
  • The software is robust. There are many 'wizards' included in the software. For instance their is an A/P payment wizard that leads you through the payment process.
  • SAP includes approval processes as an integral part of their software. For instance, if purchasing requests could be entered by any user but all (or some) could require approval by the head of purchasing.
  • There are alerts for out of condition processes. For instance, you can define an alert for the sale of any item below 10% margin, or an alert whenever a major client shipment is near to missing on time delivery. The alerts are all SQL queries that look for conditions that you define as requiring an alert.
  • No payroll module.
  • The initial implementation of the dashboard is overly complicated. Once it is set up it functions well, but it takes more effort than it should to get operational. And it takes lots of computer expertise to get operational.
  • Few customers use the Outlook integration with SAP. The ease of use between Outlook and SAP B1 could be improved.
  • Few customers use the CRM module heavily. Mostly this is because of the Outlook integration and the discipline it takes to use it properly.
  • As a consultant implementing SAP B1, I can only give examples of SAP B1's affect on clients.
  • Capital equipment company heavy user of manufacturing functions: full cost rollup functionality eliminated errors in knowing the full cost of a machine (11 level BOM, 3000 plus parts). Let to proper pricing of end products and improved profitability.
  • Automotive aftermarket company - using SAP enabled them to quickly add and manage 600+ parts to their product mix for a major retail customer - doubling their business with that customer.
  • A manufacturer of arts and crafts products integrated SAP to Amazon and generated an incremental $60,000 in revenues per month.
  • A distributor with sales employees all over North America integrated the sales employee portal to SAP and now allows these employees to have up to the minute real time information on orders, invoices, stock, etc. - on their i-Pads, while at the customer.
I was a consultant for several other products in the 80's and 90's and early 2000's. The support I get from SAP far exceeds any support or assistance I ever got from Microsoft or other vendors. Specifically, I have worked with: Microsoft CRM; Microsoft Solomon; Microsoft Dynamics; Macola; BPICS;
None of the products were developed from scratch and fully integrated from the beginning. SAP puts more effort and dollars into R&D than any of their competitors - combined. And it shows in the products being delivered and the continuous improvements being made.
The key thing - I have no doubt that the SAP will continue to improve upon functionality and the underlying technology for SAP over the next 10 years or more.

Since I mostly implement distribution and manufacturing systems, let me address those areas. In those companies the accounting functionality of SAP B1 is very complete and there are no holes.

Inventory handling of bins, warehouses and items is superb. The system handles serial controlled items (1:1), batch controlled items (1:many) and normal stock items. The number of SKUs is not an issue - I have one customer with 150,000 SKUs. Hand held devices for data collection are third party add-ons, but there are several options available. The inventory is set up for discrete parts handling. There are few distribution industries where SAP B1 would not be a good fit.

The manufacturing functionality was weak until the latest release of SAP B1 in 2014. Now the BOMs support routers and processes - as they should have. Plants making discrete products that follow specific routing steps are excellent candidates for SAP B1. The MRP functionality is very good and allows for quick creation of POs and production orders from the results. New functionality in SAP 9.1 allows for import of transaction data to most SAP processes - so integration to data collection functions on the floor have been streamlined.

SAP Business One Feature Ratings

Accounts payable
Accounts receivable
Inventory tracking
Automatic reordering
Location management
Order entry
Credit card processing
Cost of goods sold
Standard reports
Custom reports
API for custom integration
Role-based user permissions
Single sign-on capability
Not Rated

Using SAP Business One

2 - 1 - accounting - uses all the accounting modules - G/L, A/R, A/P, Banking
1 - uses all ERP modules for SAP - have implemented over 30 customers, each with varying use of modules
1 - 1. Detailed knowledge of SAP Business One functions - all modules. When not familiar with current module capabilities - access to SAP's videos for this module or function.
2. Knowledge of the SAP Business One database structures - allows me to write queries, alerts, formatted searches and Crystal reports from the data.
3. Knowledge of the setup functions required for SAP Business One.
4. Knowledge of when a function requested by a customer cannot be performed by standard SAP Business One - AND the knowledge of how to extend SAP by creating an add-on product. Detailed add-on design capabilities.
  • I am a consultant, so internally I am using SAP Business One for accounting.
  • My expertise is in inventory - manufacturing and distribution. This entails detailed use of the product with sales order processing, purchasing and all aspects of inventory control.
  • Combining my knowledge of the customer's business processes with the capabilities and extended capabilities of SAP Business One to make a more flexible and user friendly implementation.
  • Integration of SAP Business One with 2 label programs - Bar Tender from Seagull Scientific and P-Touch editor from Brother. Allows users to automate & control the production of labels at various points in the workflow. Included are a couple of label systems that are integrated with automated packaging systems - direct to SAP delivery orders.
  • Integration of SAP Business One to meet Automotive EDI requirements.
  • Addition of a performance measurement program to allow SAP users to review a vendor's on time delivery and fill rates. Same program also show how you are doing with deliveries to your customers.
  • Added a 'remanufacturing' functionality to SAP Business One to allow users o 'repair' drive shafts, pumps, engines, etc - items that are brought in for repair and the same item is shipped back to the customer.
  • Added a surcharge handling function to a customer that has a high percentage of copper within their product (solenoids).
  • Added hand held units to collect physical count information and pass this to SAP Business One - eliminating the need to hand write the data and face transposition errors.
  • In plant data collection for production work orders.
  • Many ways - I am a consultant, so whatever the next customer requires.
I cannot run my business without SAP Business One in place. I only consult on on product and that is SAP Business One. Business volume goes to zero if I don't use SAP Business One.
It is the best product on the market - head and shoulders above other ERP packages I have looked at or implemented in the past.

SAP Business One Reliability

For most small businesses, the only way you outgrow SAP Business One is if the nature of your business changes radically. Going from 1 to 50 users is quite easy with SAP B1. Going beyond 50 may require moving to the Hana SAP B1 platform to maintain or improve performance, but the path is there.
Add-ons to SAP B1 can also be added as specific needs are encountered that are not closely met by the standard product. These may be required early in the product life because of the nature of your business, or as you expand the use of SAP B1.