How the Distribution Industry is Digitizing for Tomorrows Economy

Digital tools and solutions are revolutionizing industries. Manufacturing and distribution are no exception. The industry is rapidly digitizing, and the companies that keep up will be able to save money, improve productivity and efficiency, and gain a competitive edge. These companies will also be better prepared for the future of business.

Businesses are desperately trying to keep up with the rapid pace of change that is sweeping their industry. In a world where new technologies such as cloud computing, and big data are changing the way we do business, it is essential that companies find ways to adapt and evolve to ensure they remain profitable.

The distribution industry is one area that has undergone a complete transformation in recent years as many businesses have now embraced cloud computing and ERP software. The benefits of this technology have revolutionized not only how businesses operate, but also how they can do business with their customers.

Many distribution companies have implemented ERP systems into their business to help them streamline operations and improve productivity. For example, the ability to store customer data and automate processes such as invoicing has enabled these companies to become more efficient in their day-to-day operations.

However, there are still some challenges facing distribution companies that have not yet implemented EPR software into their business. One of these challenges includes keeping up with technological advancements in other industries such as retail or healthcare.

These industries have a fast-paced environment where technology constantly changes and there are always new innovations being developed which could benefit distribution firms by improving efficiency or increasing profits.

One of the main ways that companies in the distribution industry are transforming themselves into digital enterprises is by adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions.

What is ERP software?


ERP software has been around since the early 1970s, but it wasn’t until recently that companies started to realize how much they could gain by using it. Before then, they were using MRP: Material Requirements Planning. MRP was what they used to handle their inventory, scheduling, and purchasing before ERP came along and changed everything.

These days there’s no excuse for not having an ERP system in place if you want to stay competitive in this industry — and many others besides!

The benefits of enterprise resource planning systems are undeniable: They can save you money on your logistics costs; improve productivity and efficiency throughout every department within your company; give customers better.

As the world is constantly changing, new technologies are becoming more popular and widely used. Automation has become more common in many industries and this allows for a quicker and more efficient way of working. The distribution industry is not exempt from the integration of new technologies and digital tools.
There are many benefits to using a digital tool such as ERP software, these include:

Distribution industry ERP allows you automate many processes that would otherwise be done manually:


Automating these processes also makes them more accurate, which means they can reduce errors and waste while increasing productivity by streamlining production processes al whilst saving you time and money.

Distribution industry ERP allows you to manage your inventory more efficiently:


You can track what you have in stock at any given time with an ERP system, as well as how much inventory needs to be ordered or shipped out based on customer demand. This enables companies to avoid overstocking their warehouses with products that aren’t selling well while making sure popular items stay available at all times; it also maximizes warehouse space usage so they don’t run out of room for new products coming into the facility each month or year (depending on how often deliveries occur).

Distribution industry ERP allows you to Improve productivity and efficiency:


ERP will allow you to improve the process of getting goods to your customers by making it quicker and easier. There is also no room for human error when most of your processes are automated.

Distribution industry ERP allows you to provide a better customer service:


By using an ERP system, you will be able to make your customers journey easier and simpler by giving them access to information that they need. This will help with customer retention and brand loyalty as they will be able to access information whenever they want, rather than having to wait for someone from the company to get back to them.

And finally, ERP enables higher profits & lower costs:


When your processes are automated, this means that there is less work for employees to do manually so they can focus on other tasks which will increase their productivity.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions may be the difference between your company surviving or falling behind in the digital economy.

These integrated solutions can help you manage all of your business processes using one system. They can also allow you to access data in real-time, giving you an accurate picture of what’s happening in your company at any given moment.

Many ERPs also provide planning tools to help you make decisions that are well-informed and strategic, rather than being reactive or in the dark.

To conclude, it is apparent that the future of the distribution industry is digital and distribution companies need to adapt with an ERP solution that will not only help them to change but also be able to handle their complexity.

Ultimately, the technology that helps fuel success in distribution is similar to what will help power success in many other industries. ERP software is not just becoming a standard; it is standard.

As the world becomes increasingly globalized, companies are looking for ways to simplify their systems and make all operations more efficient. ERP software, like SAP Business One, is a great way to do that.

To discuss your options for digitising your business through ERP, contact us for a friendly, informal chat.

What is ERP for Small Business?

ERP for small business is getting to be a popular topic, and it’s not hard to understand why. A small business that implements an ERP solution can add significant value to its operations.

The term “enterprise resource planning” may sound like one of those daunting business concepts reserved for Fortune 500 companies. However, it’s becoming increasingly popular with small businesses as well. But what is ERP, who needs it and what benefits will it give? Let’s take a brief look…

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning software (ERP) is a business management system that allows for the organization of all a businesses’ different departments into one overall system. Examples of departments are accounting, supply chain management (aka purchasing), and production control. ERP software connects these departments in one single system.

Who needs ERP?

If your business is still small but you are facing the complexities and difficulties of managing it effectively, then you might want to consider implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

In fact, most of today’s growing businesses start with only a few people or even just one person. As their business grows and more employees become involved in different aspects of running the company, these companies eventually reach a point where they need to implement an ERP system to help them manage their operations efficiently.

What are the signs that you may need an ERP?

  • Inventory is hard to manage
  • No visibility into business data
  • You struggle to meet customer expectations
  • You (and your customers) suffer from manual input errors
  • Business relies heavily on excel spreadsheets

What benefits do small business get from ERP?

  • Improving overall business performance
  • Reduce costs
  • Support business growth plans
  • Gain visibility into business data and financials
  • Eliminate manual processes
  • To replace disparate systems
  • Technological advantage over competitors


If you’re looking to bring all aspects of your small business together, ERP may be the solution you need. When considering the complexity and time-consuming nature of running a small business, it’s essential to make your most important tasks easy.

Adopting an ERP system and improving a business’ productivity is one of the most important initiatives that a small business owner can make. If your business is still using old-fashioned paper systems to manage your finances, shipping, and your inventory, you are missing out on many benefits and growth opportunities.

There are many software options for small businesses looking to implement Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP software. Therefore, it’s important to do your research before deciding on a solution.

Signum Solutions is an SAP Business One Gold Partner and has been helping clients with their ERP projects for over 18 years. We are committed to helping small businesses thrive, and we would love to speak with you about the value ERP can provide your business.

If you want to figure out whether your company is ready for an ERP software solution, contact the team at Signum today!

SAP Business One for SMEs is the Perfect Fit

SAP Business One for SMEs is an up-to-date, comprehensive ERP solution that adheres to your availability requirements while implementing the needs and requirements of small and medium sized enterprises.

As your business grows, you may look for ways to streamline operations and boost productivity. By choosing an affordable business system designed specifically to fit your needs, you can achieve these goals and more. One solution that’s ideal; SAP Business One for SMEs.

A medium-sized company of today needs a flexible and efficient system that processes data as quickly and accurately as possible. SAP Business One ERP offers you the right solution for your business.

Specifically designed for the SME market, it combines key business functions in one system to help you get control over your operations, reduce costs, increase profitability, and improve your service levels.

With dedicated software, built for SMEs, you can react more quickly to customer requests and make your company more profitable. It also provides the speed and efficiency needed to deliver products or services while managing costs competitively.

SAP Business One’s unique point of view makes common business processes easier and helps companies to grow profitably, develop their brands and strengthen relationships with customers.

In addition, SAP Business One supports the integration of partner networks or business partners and third parties, facilitating cross-organizational collaboration and integration opportunities for customers.

This enables your business to grow and evolve with its own level of complexity and still always use the standard software and interfaces. A wide array of add-on products is also available to enhance the core functionality of the solution.

This extensive range of functions allows you to record all company processes in accordance with current business requirements. This saves time and simplifies business procedures. You not only streamline single processes, but also link them to each other, so that you can view the results of each individual business process at any time.

Take a look at the SAP Business One Solution in detail here

SAP Business One is a global industry-leading business management software solution, used by over 70,000 small and medium-sized enterprises. It is also available in the form of the SAP Business One Starter Package, ideal for businesses who initially only require the services of up to 5 users.

SAP Business One transforms your business by enabling you to manage it in real time, from anywhere. Operationally, you can increase efficiency and reduce IT management costs.

Powerful yet simple, SAP Business One for SMEs gives you access to enhanced visibility and better decision making at a small business’s cost.

Want to know if SAP Business One is the perfect fit for your business? Contact one of our business experts today!

SAP Business One Hosting

SAP Business One hosting solutions have become the most effective and feasible way to access SAP Business One.

Gone are the days when the only viable way to run SAP Business One was to purchase a hardware system or hire an internal IT team to create, maintain and support it in your workplace. Hosting for SAP Business One can now be delivered from a cloud system, meaning that you’ll gain all of the benefits of software on demand.

When using SAP Business One in a hosted environment, businesses are able to avoid initial capital expenditures that come with in-house installation of SAP software as well as ongoing maintenance costs.

Small and midsize businesses need to grow. And never is the need for this more obvious than during economic downturns. That means that if you’re a small business owner, your number one priority should be to give your business every chance of surviving and, hopefully, thriving in these conditions. But starting out, it can seem like a steep climb.

That’s why SAP Business One software is so vital for SMBs.

Businesses run best optimally when they are able to get the most out of their time and assets. This is a simple statement, but the implications of this are far reaching.

From an IT perspective, a seamless experience for your users is a key aspect to supporting this objective. As such, SAP Business One Hosting offers a vast array of features that will help you build a secure cloud-based environment, with powerful business management software functionality in place to achieve this objective.

It is important to have a reliable SAP Business One solution running in a secure, world-class cloud environment so that your business can continue to run smoothly without worrying about downtime. SAP Business One Hosting enables you to outsource the technology piece and focus on growing your business.

Signum offers a whole range of options for your SAP Business One requirements. We can host the software solution on your own hardware, in our private cloud or in our public cloud. All three options require minimal upfront investment from you and we take care of all the management and support, so you only pay for what you use.

We take care of your SAP Business One Hosting to help you dramatically improve efficiency, optimize performance, and increase productivity.

Talk to us today to explore your options with SAP Business One Hosting

Food & Drink IT Summit

We’re pleased to announce that following on from our successful appearances at the BFFF and IFE events recently, we’ll be taking our Food Industry Edition of SAP Business One to the Food & Drink IT Summit at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on July 7th.

Here at Signum Solutions, we’ve recently been appearing at several different food and drink industry events across the UK. In light of this, we felt it was a great opportunity to pitch SAP Business One against other ERP systems traditionally used by the food and drink industry at the Food & Drink IT Summit. We also thought many companies within the industry would find it interesting that SAP Business One can cater for fruit wholesalers, coffee roasters, brewers, distributors and plenty of others – with nearly 20 industry specific extensions available separately as well as the core application!

This is a one-stop shop for business owners in the SME space. SAP Business One food industry edition is the only solution your company needs to help you reach your business goals. It’s the right tool from the right partner to help you transform your business. You can dramatically improve efficiency, optimize performance, and increase productivity not having so much time to deal with your business’ technological issues.

You can visit our event landing page here

You can also see the agenda for the Food & Drink IT Summit and get more details by visiting the event landing page here

If you’d like to attend and would like VIP invitations, drop us a line or give us a call and we can sort you out!

What are the benefits of SAP HANA? A Customer’s View

We know that SAP claims that the latest In-Memory innovation – SAP HANA – can help large companies and SMEs alike to cut costs, improve business performance and optimise revenue growth, at seemingly break-neck speeds, but what do existing customers say the benefits of SAP HANA are?

What SAP Business One customers say are the top 10 benefits of SAP HANA

  • The enterprise search is fantastic.  Users can now quickly find any relevant data or transactional information based on a ‘Google’ like search.  This makes an organisation easier to do business with. 
  • Crystal reports reading from HANA that took minutes, run in seconds. 
  • Real-time replication of business data ensures all reports have up to the second information, which enables fast, accurate decision making. 
  • Interactive analysis gives users access to relevant information in easy to use Excel tables.  This has the effect of confidence on users, so that they then generate their own reporting content instead of going to a consultant or support service. 
  • There is a direct connection with Microsoft Excel, which means users can add, remove or manipulate data in real-time, live reports. 
  • Real-time mobile engagement allows users access to information wherever they are. 
  • From a customer service point of view, SAP HANA enables overall better analytical knowledge of customers and how they do business, alongside quick response times which give competitive advantage. 
  • Ad-hoc reporting is reduced by using personalised reports that are quickly and easily created using one ‘dashboard-like’ view. 
  • Processing speeds that were previously inconceivable provide the ability to obtain immediate answers to complex questions and react to any problems with a few clicks of the mouse. 
  • Analytics give the ability to quickly and easily see what’s selling and what’s not, with clear concise data to show why, which frees up IT resources to focus on proactive strategy and product development.

Want to know more? Contact us and speak to one of our HANA experts, 0124 4 676 900 

AN INTERVIEW WITH: Darren Bevan, Commercial Director – Manufacturing and Export Sales at JDM Food Group.

JDM Food Group has seen exceptional growth over the last 3 years, which during a time of economic instability is extremely impressive.  Find out more about the business and how it has coped with its remarkable growth, from our interview with Darren Bevan:


Q: Tell us a bit about JDM Food Group:

A: JDM was established in 2000 and began with supplying garlic products, before expanding into the import and supply of ginger.  Today, the business supplies over 250 food manufacturing sites and is the leading supplier to Tesco for garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes and butternut squash.


Q: What does JDM’s customer base look like?

A: We supply to an extremely diverse customer base including: small independent retailers; national and multi-national supermarket chains; food manufacturers and foodservice companies.


Q: What makes JDM different to similar food companies?

A: Our focus on innovation and new product development, alongside our partnership approach with customers.  It’s a combination that has helped us to grow 54.49% in just the last 3 years.  We’ve also recently been awarded 82nd place in the Sunday Times Fasttrack 100, celebrating the fastest growing privately owned companies in the UK, which is testament to the fact that whatever our customers want, we always do our best to deliver – whatever they need we will find a way!


Q: How has the business coped with such fast and significant growth?

A: We have invested in the right staff and the right processes, including implementing a new ERP system in 2013, to help maintain excellent service and our reputation as a leader in our industry.


Q: How has implementing a new ERP system been of benefit to JDM?

A: Without a doubt, SAP Business One coupled with the ProcessForce application for food businesses, delivered by Signum Solutions, has had a major impact on business efficiency and I’m certain that it will continue to do so as the business grows.


Q: What’s next in the plan for JDM?

A: As always we are working on more new and innovative products and will be showcasing these at trade events across the country, throughout the year.

Read the JDM Food Group SAP Business One Snapshot. 


Contact JDM Food Group:

Contact Darren on 01775 822389 or via email:  [email protected] or to find out more about JDM Food Group visit the website:


Process Manufacturing: Who Needs Process Oriented Bills of Materials?

Process manufacturing can be very tricky. It involves a lot of safety and security checks that cannot be missed. It also has numerous other challenges that go with it. However, process manufacturing is just as important to the overall supply chain as any other type of manufacturing is.

Manufacturers are well aware that compliance is top priority when it comes to making products that are for public consumption.

When it comes to creating recipes and formulations, product structures can be difficult and time consuming to keep track of. Each recipe usually has a number of components involved in it. For example, a coffee plant may have hundreds of ingredients that go into one coffee drink or chocolate bar, for example. This can mean that potential wastage is avoided if particular ingredients are not delivered on time – something which could happen if staff are not fully aware of what they are required to use within each recipe. This is one example of how process oriented bills of materials could be used to streamline activity within the manufacturing process.”

If you are part of a food manufacturing company that deals with recipes or a chemicals company that creates formulations, the answer is relatively simple.

Think about how your business currently completes the following processing to create bills of materials and consider the difference it would make if there was a simple and flexible solution that could keep track of absolutely everything, alongside all of your business functions such as ordering, reporting, accounting etc.

  • Items – define materials  within the product structure
  • CoProducts – define a product that is usually manufactured together with another product
  • ByProducts – define material of value produced as a residual of the production process
  • WIPItems – define work in progress materials for reporting and visibility purposes
  • Scrap – define the scrap that is produced during production
  • Simple or Product Formulas – define simple or formula based relationships between materials and parent products
  • Scrap, Yield and Factors – define value and percentage uplifts for materials
  • Revision – define revision specific product structures
  • Phantoms – define phantom product structures
  • Multi-level – define multi-level product structures
  • Attachments – to define and link to detailed instructions, procedures, videos and other such media files
  • Warehouse – define the warehouse where the product is produced
  • Back Flush Location – define the warehouse where material is back flushed
  • Project – define the project associated with this product for reporting purposes
  • Distribution Rule – define the distribution rule for financial transactions
  • Cost Dimensions – define the dimensions for reporting purposes
  • Issue Type – modify the picking method of inventory transaction per product
  • Mass Replace – replace selected materials and bill of materials within another material

 It is not too good to be true!

The solution exists and it is part of an SAP certified industry solution for process manufacturing called ProcessForce, which is a core part of the Signum Solutions Industry Edition for SAP Business One.  What’s more, it’s tried and tested for both food and chemicals companies.  For more information, call us on 01244 676900 or email [email protected]

Not convinced?

If you’re still not convinced that this solution can save your business time, money and a great deal many headaches for many years to come, have a look at how this solution has worked for our customers in some of our manufacturing case studies.

Hannah Food Service: Business System Proves its Worth in Scalability, Efficiency and Incredible Growth

Hannah Food Service is a family run business which has been serving the food service sector for over 35 years.  Based in Skelmersdale, West Lancashire, Hannah Food Service supplies foods to a wide range of catering outlets, including fish and chip shops and pizza retailers. With a turnover of over £18 million and sixty seven staff, the company now also offers food services to schools, hospitals and care homes. Started from a freezer in the back of a house thirty-nine years ago, Hannah Foods moved into a purpose-built 40,000 square foot warehouse in 2008, which currently stocks just under 4,000 product lines.

In 2003 Hannah Food Service started to experience explosive growth. Eleven years later, the business is continuing to expand at an annual growth rate of 20%.

However, with such immense growth, Hannah Foods started to experience problems with the existing system, which it had been using since 2007, as Anthony Whiteside, General Manager, explains. “We had been using the system for about four years”, he says, “and initially it met our needs reasonably well. But, as the number of products and volume of transactions grew, it started creaking at the seams and response times were becoming completely unacceptable. It was clear we needed a new system.”

Why SAP Business One?

After an initial meeting, where Anthony was given an overview of the SAP Business One application, Signum arranged a more detailed demonstration.

“I had never heard of SAP Business One”, says Anthony, “but I liked what I saw at the initial meeting and thought it was worth exploring further.”

The fact that the company would soon be moving to a new, purpose-built warehouse, with a pallet capacity ten times larger than the existing facilities, meant that effective stock control was a key requirement for the new system. “The old system, which was predominantly an accounting package, only had very basic stock control, but people in the warehouse knew where everything was”, explains Anthony. “With so much extra capacity we needed the system to drive the picking and packing process.”

The second demonstration went well. Afterwards Anthony met with his staff and Hannah Foods’ directors. The decision was unanimous – everyone agreed SAP Business One was the application the company needed.

“Signum’s technical people did a very good demonstration”, says Anthony. “We could see that SAP would not only do what we wanted it to do, but that it was capable of expanding as we did. We felt comfortable we would not outgrow it.”


Since SAP Business One went live stock control has improved considerably. “We can now obtain reports about stock usage, which enables us to anticipate demand more accurately”, says Anthony. “I would estimate that we have been able to reduce our stock holding by 30-40%.”

“The report writing features in the application are very powerful and Signum helped us write some special reports”, says Anthony. “Now we are alerted to potential stock shortages before they affect us. The system also automatically provides purchasing with replenishment lists, complete with the supplier contact and pricing details. Previously, this would all have been done manually using spreadsheets.”

“The picking and packing functionality of the system has really been thought through well, the system tracks the end-to-end process, increasing efficiency and reducing the possibility of errors”, says Anthony. “It’s also extremely flexible. It’s so easy to combine orders for multiple customers onto one vehicle, which is important to us.

“In fact, SAP Business One now drives the whole sales process using daily deliveries and run numbers. “The telemarketing team knows which day of the week to call each customer and their normal delivery day”, explains Anthony. “Order processing knows on which day and run number the customer delivery will be made.”

5 Years Later

“Turnover before we implemented SAP was at around £5million” says Anthony, “Now we’re turning over double that.”  Staffing has also expanded – going from 35 members of staff in 2009 to 67 in 2014.

Perhaps the greatest statistic is the difference in the amount of product lines.  From 600 in 2009 to just under 4,000 now, the number of product lines Hannah Foods is able to offer to a much larger and more diverse customer base has increased by over 500%.

Commenting on how SAP Business One made the transition into Foodservice a much easier one, Anthony says: “The system allowed us to expand very comfortably and it has been easy to set up lots more product lines and groups.”

Why Signum Solutions?

From not having heard of SAP Business One, Anthony is now very enthusiastic about the application. “I think it’s awesome”, he says. “The controls are right and it has brought benefits to all areas of our business.”

Anthony is equally enthusiastic about the help Hannah Foods has received from Signum. “Signum’s staff are fantastic people, very thorough and always willing to help us. They are continually working with us to enable us to gain the maximum benefit from the system, which is essential for a growing business like ours.”


Read the full case study.

To learn more about Hannah Food Service, please visit the company website


Evolution Foods: Supporting rapid expansion, compliance and traceability

Evolution Foods was also experiencing problems in traceability and product compliance with increasingly tight legislation in the field of food safety. They also found that most systems on the market had outdated user interfaces and were not able to handle complex client reporting. Evolution Foods needed a system that could grow with them and support rapid expansion, compliance and traceability

Evolution Foods experienced significant growth and tripled turnover in the last 2.5 years and now has over 200 products, but its previous system could not cope with this level of rapid expansion. With supermarkets looking for better full life-cycle tracking of products, the business looked for a system with capabilities to support food industry requirements as well as enabling room for further growth.

Having implemented SAP Business One and ProcessForce 3 months ago, Mike Alexander comments: “The amazing thing is, I’ve implemented a lot of computer systems before but with this one I’m really impressed by how quickly we got to the stage where everyone is completely comfortable with the system. I’m very impressed with the functionality too.  I would absolutely recommend it and would definitely choose it again!”

Why Signum Solutions

“It was the ProcessForce add on that Signum Solutions offer alongside SAP Business One that ultimately made us decide to partner with Signum.  With the need to support BRC requirements alongside more and more regulations that are being put into place, we could see that the solution would handle all of that really well.”

Mike continues: “The relationship with Signum has been really good.  I’d actually been speaking to them on and off for 2 years, so when the time came to look for something new, I knew it was worth getting back in touch.  Since implementation any issues have been dealt with quickly and it’s easy to call up and speak to the staff.  Signum offers the type of flexibility and approach to customer service that you don’t tend to find with similar bigger companies.”


Read the full snap shot.

Planning for Your Food Business ERP Project

Food business ERP system, do you need one? 

The idea to purchase an Food business ERP system to dramatically improve the way your business works is not one that is usually thought up overnight.  Ideas of ways to improve processes or remove time consuming, erroneous tasks are what usually leads to the hope that there is an ERP system out there that can make things easier, less risky and in the long-term a great deal more cost and time effective.

Ideally, this ERP system needs to have the obvious features: not be too expensive to buy, host or implement; not be too difficult to learn and use; not be restrictive in terms of functionality needed for your business, or in terms of being able to deal with future company growth.

These features perhaps are not the best place to start for a food business though.  As part of an industry that relies on compliance and traceability to survive, the first thing that you need to do is to look at what should be easier and faster to accomplish in your business.  Then, list the specific features of an ERP that you need to achieve your ideals (such as integrated stock control, inventory management and sales so that you can track ingredients from origin to final customer) and from these, the benefits that you would hope to achieve.

Take a look at the current ERP system in your business, if you have one, and identify any opportunities for operational improvement.  This will form a basis for identifying areas for future growth, which in an ever-changing and evolving industry, is something you’ll need to make sure you have ticked off of your list when looking at food business ERP system features.

Once you have decided on your core requirements, make sure that the ERP systems you look at have solutions for these and can provide immediate business benefit.

How?  On top of checking ERP system features against your list of core requirements, there are some factors that should also be important in your food ERP decision making process:

1.       Modern

Firstly, ensure that the solutions you’re looking at are up-to-date.  It’s a competitive marketplace so most solutions are likely to feature the latest technology – it is these that you need to look at so that you can avoid future costs when something like going mobile with sales orders, becomes a necessity.

 2.       Food industry specific

Make sure that the solution is one that has been created with the food industry in mind.  This way, you’re far more likely to find that your food business requirements are met without the need to make enhancements to the base product, which can be expensive to create and to maintain – especially if a bespoke version becomes out of date and needs to be re-written if the software is upgraded.

 3.       Choose an experienced partner

Does the software vendor have experience in the food industry and really understand the ins and outs of food businesses?  They should be able to tell you what will and won’t work for a food business and know about the changing challenges that the food industry is facing.  In addition to this, check for plenty of examples of how their solution is already benefiting other food businesses like yours.

4.       Easy to use

Is the solution user-friendly?  One of the best things about a food business ERP system is that it should cater for all of your business processes and the best ones will do that altogether, in one centralised system.  This however also means that all of your business area employees may need to know how to use it – which creates the necessity for the software to be universally accessible, intuitive and easy to understand.

 5.       Scalability

Is the solute suitable for a global business?  Even if that’s not you at the minute, it might be one day and the last thing you’ll need at that point of your business growth is to have to go through another ERP implementation overhaul when you could be making waves overseas.  It is essential for growing businesses to have an ERP system that will grow with them.

 6.       Calculate the value

No ERP system is likely to be 100% perfect but if you can get 80% of what you identified in your requirements as standard, then you’ve cracked it.  Make sure you’ve considered value aspects such as problem solving, faster processing, how it will aid new business whilst keeping track of purchasing and inventory before weighing up the project costs, based on return on investment.

 7.       Making friends

When you choose an ERP vendor to partner with, you’ll hope that they can support you with the ERP system for many years to come (especially if you’ve made sure to pick a solution that is scalable).  You are going to have to work closely together for at least several weeks, if not months to begin with, to ensure that you get exactly what you want and need out of your ERP project.  Consider it in relation to hiring a member of staff – can you really see yourself working with them long-term?  Do they have a positive track record in your industry and have they got good references?  As with any product or service, success is measured by what the customers think and so, so if food businesses similar to yours have succeeded with a partner that you like, the chances are you will too!

To evaluate SAP Business One  for your food business, give us a call on 01244 676 900


Signum Solutions Awarded ‘Most Net New Names’ in CompuTec ProcessForce 2013 Partner Awards

“2013 was a very exciting year with ProcessForce entering new markets, winning Large Enterprise subsidiary rollouts and significantly increasing the number of customers in key markets. From our growing partner ecosystem we awarded “Most Net New Names” to our partner Signum Solutions, in recognition of their 2013 sales achievements. This award is testament to the value ProcessForce can provide to both customers and partners”, says Martin Gore, Global Sales Director, CompuTec.

Commenting on how Signum Solutions advocates the benefits of ProcessForce to customers, Martin Linch, Sales and Marketing Director says: “Our strategy at Signum has been to focus on food and beverage, chemicals, food service and wholesale vertical markets.  Focusing on the food and beverage sector, where we already have a good base of foodservice customers, meant that we started to see an increasing number of enquiries in the food manufacturing sector.  As we started to explore the available solutions, it became apparent that ProcessForce was, and still is, the only solution in the market that offers the detailed industry required functionality whilst being both a solution that is native to SAP Business One and easy to implement and use.”

Summarising, Martin says: “Well over fifty percent of our new customers in 2013 have included the ProcessForce solution and achieving Gold Partner status with SAP is testimony to the success of our vertical focus and the ProcessForce solution.”

“Signum is a great example of how vertical industry focus can create business growth and attaining a higher status level with SAP”, concludes Martin Gore.


About Signum Solutions

Signum are long-standing SAP Business Partners that specialize solely on the Business One solution for small to medium sized businesses.  Industry sectors where the business offers a unique and proven solution are: food and beverage, chemicals, food service and wholesale.  With offices based in the North of England and in the Midlands, Signum Solutions has over 40 customers and focuses on providing industry leading, affordable ERP Solutions alongside expert knowledge and implementation experience, to SMEs in all of its chosen key industry sectors.  Discover why Signum are SAP’s fastest growing partner for Business One in the UK and find out what our customers say by visiting the Signum Solutions website:

Contact Signum Solutions on 01244 676900 or email [email protected].