10 Reasons your business needs SAP Business One

Signum Solutions understands as a growing business you are one step closer to selecting a business management software for your company’s changing needs. We know this is an important step in your company’s path and one not to be taken lightly.

To aid you in your journey we have listed the top 10 reasons why your business needs to move to SAP Business One. So you can see first-hand how you can significantly improve the way you manage your business.

  1. SAP Business One is affordable
  2. Specifically developed for small to medium enterprises (SME’s)
  3. SAP Business One is designed to grow with your business and can easily adapt to your changing needs
  4. Provides real time analytics ensuring you have full visibility of the data you need to make better business decisions.
  5. SAP Business One offers a wide range of industry specific solutions
  6. ERP solution that is fast to implement, easy to use and needs minimal IT support
  7. Gain fully integrated functionality across your entire business with SAP Business One
  8. SAP Business One gives you a fast return on your investment
  9. SAP Business one is from the word leaderin business applications – SAP
  10. It’s supported by Signum Solutions, Gold partner with SAP Business One Recognised Expertise and industry expert for Food and Drink, Food Service, Chemicals, Wholesale and Distribution and Manufacturing.


Your business has a lot of distinctive features. It’s time to make the move and find the perfect software fit for your business, contact your SAP Business One Industry experts, Signum Solutions on 01244 676900 for more information.

Food manufacturers: Tracing the Genealogy of a Product

With traceability of the full life-cycle being vital to anything that is being manufactured in the food industry being of the utmost importance when supplying to wholesalers, supermarkets and smaller retail outlets alike, here’s a handy guide to ensure that you don’t miss anything out!

  1. Start with the batch and serial number, checking that all number formats and counters are defined
  2. Check that the shelf life of a product is clearly defined – in both days and hours
  3. Define the batch management policy for expiry or consumption
  4. Calculate the expiry and consume by dates, based on the shelf life of the product
  5. Record the vendor/supplier batch number for each product
  6. Define the period between inspections and plan in future inspection dates
  7. Define the warning period for batch review and expiry date inspections
  8. Record all properties inherited from the product master data, including batch properties and values
  9. Record quality control results using actual test result values, which should be stored against batch properties
  10. Ensure that all of these stages are ticked off and that everyone is aware of this at each stage!


That’s a lot of information to trace.  How best to keep track of all of this?

That’s the easy part.  There’s no need for numerous spreadsheets and reports to provide all of these processes and controls, which are ultimately completely necessary when tracing the genealogy of a product.

The system that more and more food manufacturing companies are choosing is part of an SAP certified industry solution called ProcessForce, which is a core part of the Signum Solutions Industry Edition for SAP Business One. It handles all of the above, easily.  As well as doing all of this:

  • Creation of batch genealogy trees, providing a forward and backward historical view of all processes
  • Creation of recall and audit reports, including lists of customers and batch recall reconciliations
  • Drill downs of transactions and document traceability navigation functionality
  • Creation of inventory and batch reports

Want to find out more? 

Call us on 01244 676900 or email enquiries@signum-solutions.co.uk


The Need For 360° Traceabilty

360 Tracability

If you’re part of a regulated industry supply chain whether it’s pharmaceutical, chemicals or food, traceability is a necessary evil. Governing bodies and codes of practice regulate the industry to ensure standards are implemented for consumers, examples include FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 (CFR) and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) http://1.usa.gov/1mh3QfJ , FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) http://1.usa.gov/1mh36ay  and the BRC Global Standards http://bit.ly/1mh4Vo2

Just saying “Batch Traceability” sounds really easy, but in reality it’s a complex multi-dimension business issue which touches all parts of the enterprise, and should be managed in a holistic manner.

We all hear the term Big Data and its loose definition of large volumes of data, and its related problems with data capture, storage, search, analysis and visualisation to name but a few. But depending on the industry, product, customer and user, Big Data problems tend to be specific to you!

Searching through batch records and other related data can take time, with input from different departments, when trying to understand the cause and effect, when undertaking a real life recall or a BRC audit. But with the paradigm shift created by SAP HANA, data visualization and predictive analytics totally changes the way users consume data and analyse business problems.

Visualisation is the optimum way to view data, dramatically increasing visibility to help hotspots, while predictive analytics can provide early warning of problems before they arrive, thus reducing time and cost to make timely and informed decisions.

An example of Visualisation would be a traceability dashboard or plotting customers with the defective batch on a google map. While for predictive analysis trending customer complaints indicating a potential product re-call.

ProcessForce  provides relationship map visualisation to tackle the topic of batch traceability. For example, it has helped one of our customers, UK food and beverage producer Evolution Foods support their BRC requirements, ensuring  timely compliance within the reporting timelines.

Visit our case studies page and read the Evolution story.


An Interview with Adam Salisbury, Finance Director at MRC – The Flava People

A privately owned family business, MRC has been making tasty marinades, glazes, coaters and sauces for butchers, retailers and the wider food industry since 1976.  Now with over 350 products on offer, MRC has won numerous awards for its innovative manufacturing and energy saving processes over recent years and as an investor in people the business has also increased the amount of jobs it is able to provide and currently employs over 50 people at its base in Manchester.


In this interview with MRC’s Finance Director Adam Salisbury, find out what steps the business has taken to achieve impressive sustainable growth in the last year:


Q: What has the last year been like for MRC?

A: We’re currently going through a period of sustained, planned growth and have managed to achieve this by making planned and well informed changes to the business.


Q: What changes have you made to support business growth?

 A: We have worked to ensure that we have the right people and structure, so that our staffs’ best skills are used to their best potential, as well as employing more people to maintain consistently excellent customer service.  We have also employed a ‘Head of Innovation’ whose experience is chef-based.  He has been able to accurately predict future trends, such as what ‘BBQ 2014’ would look like.  We’ve then been able to promptly pass this on to our customers so that they can present the right products at the right times, to their customers.


Q: How has the business coped with changes?

A: It’s all been about planning and investing, which is where SAP Business One came in.  We didn’t feel that our current ERP system was able to cope with our anticipated growth and it didn’t have the financial controls needed to reap the rewards of growth.


Q: What were your considerations in choosing a new ERP system to support growth?

A: Our previous software and server were both old and hadn’t been updated.  If anything was to have gone wrong it would have been extremely disruptive and time consuming to get everything back, which didn’t feel very safe.  Choosing a modern system that had the latest technology was an obvious step to take in order to minimise risk.  We found that SAP Business One was more than just an accounting system and the ProcessForce addition, which Signum Solutions implemented together with the SAP system, really appealed to us as a food business because of the flexibility it would give us.


Q: Was there anything that stood out as a key differentiator for the new system compared with other similar systems?

A: The usability for a wider audience was one of the main reasons that we chose SAP Business One.  Some well-known accounting systems are very good, but the usability is invariably aimed at Accountants.  SAP Business One makes our business-wide IT usage far easier for everyone from store people to planners, who perhaps aren’t very experienced in using different software systems. Basically, it isn’t just an accounting system – it ticks more boxes for the entire business.


Q: How affordable have you found the new system to be?

A: To be perfectly honest, everyone thinks that SAP is expensive.  I’d used a different version before in a much larger company and when we say we use SAP to people they automatically assume that’s the one we’re using.  What many people don’t realise is that the SAP Business One software is for SMEs, with pricing for SMEs.  Affordability is not an issue – the pricing for SAP Business One is certainly comparable to other products that are similar or just accountancy focused.


Q: How has the new system benefited company growth so far?

A: MRC is a small company and so our advantage over larger companies is the high level of personalised customer service that we are able to offer, alongside rapid decision making and turnaround times.  Speed is key.  If a customer needs something very quickly, we can turn it around.  This includes sourcing bespoke products more easily, more quickly and with greater flexibility.


 Q: Are there any other areas of the business that the system benefits?

A: We’ve got far more confidence about stock holding and our ability to produce products as and when we need to.  The information is always easily accessible in SAP Business One – we can see what’s coming in and when, as well as when the raw materials go into production.  It provides great overall visibility into all of our stock requirements.


 Q: How did you decide on the right ERP partner?

A: Signum were local, we had a good rapport and they gave us the confidence that they would deliver the project.  As a company similar in size to our own, we felt quite a lot of synergy with the people at Signum and found that we could genuinely believe what they told us they could do for us.


View customer case studies to find out more about how Signum Solutions’ experience within the food manufacturing, foodservice and food wholesale industries has helped similar businesses achieve streamlined processes and financial benefits, with Signum’s Industry Edition for Food and Beverage.