ProcessForce and SAP Business One

If you’re already in the manufacturing industry, you’ll know that it’s a complex world to conquer. From raw materials all the way through to distribution, there are several interlocked processes that all have to work together perfectly and in a timely fashion. But it’s not just enough for the manufacturing side of things to be successful: your sales, marketing and aftersales departments also need to perform at their best.

This article explains what both SAP Business One and ProcessForce are. How they work together and why they benefit companies with more complex manufacturing requirements.

What is SAP Business One?

SAP Business One is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution from SAP that helps you to manage your business from one place. It is designed for small and medium size companies, because of its simple functionality, but powerful for its capability to connect you with an integrated systems and real-time information.

It integrates the manufacturing process with basic modules such as manufacturing management, sales and distribution, materials management, customer relationship management, financials, and more.

The flexibility of the solution allows you to tailor it to your company’s needs by adding integration solutions that are designed specifically for process manufacturers, wholesalers and chemical suppliers.

With SAP Business One, you get the advantage of easy implementation, low implementation costs and flexible deployment options.

Businesses of all sizes can greatly benefit from SAP Business One. You can use SAP Business One to transform your entire business by centralizing all of your data, information, and processes in one single system. From finance and accounting to customer relationship management (CRM), you’ll be able to manage your entire business more efficiently with real-time access to up-to-the-minute data.

As an ERP solution, SAP Business One can streamline key processes to give you better insights into your business and enable you to make data-driven decisions with real-time information to drive profitable growth.

SAP business one modules

What is ProcessForce?

Manufacturing companies have been using SAP Business One for years. Many use it as their ERP backbone, and rely on its tools to track inventory, build quality control reports, export data for importing into or exporting from other systems, report on production trends and much more.

SAP Business One contains great functionality for basic manufacturing operations. If you’re a business that predominantly manufactures standard items, it may be all that you need.

However, if you’re an advanced manufacturer, with specific production processes, specialised inventory management requirements or complex item structures – then SAP Business One might not have the capabilities that you require. ProcessForce gives you advanced capabilities tailored specifically to the needs of your process manufacturing business.

CompuTec ProcessForce is an add-on solution for SAP Business One that offers advanced capabilities for manufacturing companies. It works with the tools already offered by SAP, such as inventory and quality control, to provide new capabilities tailored to manufacturing needs.

The ProcessForce application interface is used to manage inventory, create production orders and design bills of materials, track and manage quality control issues and complaints from customers as well as manage products through procurement, manufacturing and support processes. This powerful solution can be accessed directly from the SAP Business One interface for simplified use.

ProcessForce is easy to use and can be implemented virtually anywhere in a production process. The solution increases visibility into the entire production process, giving you a single source for collecting, managing, visualizing and analysing information about your products and processes, with features for improving manufacturing quality, managing global supply chain issues and identifying opportunities for operational cost savings.

Businesses that run SAP Business One can improve their business operations by installing CompuTec ProcessForce. This software adds advanced capabilities for production systems to the functions already offered, including materials management and inventory.

Using the resources already provided by SAP Business One, along with the added functionality of CompuTec ProcessForce, manufacturing organizations can shorten time-to-market, keep costs down, increase sales and profits, and grow their businesses.

SAP Business One for manufacturing, functionality diagram

How does ProcessForce work with SAP Business One?

SAP Business One helps manufacturing SMEs on a tight budget to control their operation. But there are times when business owners need help from the experts and rely on third party application providers to help them get the most out of their SAP Business One installation.

ProcessForce has been built “inside SAP Business One” using the SAP Business One Software Development Kit.

This provides a seamless user experience to add to your core manufacturing functionality within the SAP Business One ecosystem. ProcessForce is purely native to the SAP Business One environment, therefore it naturally fits with your existing layout and processes, thereby reducing training costs and making it simple to use. This allows you to easily run factories, order materials, and improve efficiency in a manner that is familiar to you.

How does ProcessForce benefit companies with more complex manufacturing requirements?

Advanced manufacturing companies and factories face continuous challenges. With consumer needs becoming more demanding and complex, and stringent regulations being imposed on industries, the ability to execute complex manufacturing processes quickly is essential.

ProcessForce automates SAP processes to ensure that the company’s customers receive goods cost-effectively, on time, and of the highest quality. The manufacturing module in SAP Business One, when paired with ProcessForce, can become a comprehensive solution for any industry segment or size.

Let’s take a look at some features that ProcessForce provides that benefits more complex manufacturing requirements.

Supply Chain Management

SAP Business One’s seamless integration of data from suppliers, products, resources, processes, inventory and customers translates well with the addition of ProcessForce for increased efficiency. Consolidation of data remains a crucial step towards increased efficiency.

The pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries face unique challenges with supply chain data management. Manufacturers must have a reliable system in place to allow traceability of products throughout the supply chain to protect consumer safety.

One way to ensure supply chain accountability is with the ProcessForce 360 degree traceability application, which allows organizations to easily track and assess all related traceability transactions.

ProcessForce does this through:

Predictive Analytics

Traceability Dashboards

Relationship Maps

Data Integration

Quality Control

In the manufacturing industry, quality control is a particularly important concern. Any inconsistencies in a production process, from purchasing supplies to shipping products to customers, can be costly.

If you have any problems with the purchase of goods, manufacturing, or delivering to customers, you need software that will monitor those processes and alert you of any inconsistencies.

ProcessForce enables quality control teams to perform inspections and audits on a regular basis. This can be done without any manual intervention.

The system allows users to define:

  • The type of inspection or audit
  • Frequency of such inspections
  • Items required for testing or inspection
  • Resources required for testing (like weight scales, microscopes etc)
  • Alerts for maintaining communication with inspectors on the required tests and inspections

ProcessForce provides tools for management to review and analyse the results of audits performed by quality control team members. It also provides visibility on records and history of performing quality control audits. This helps management in understanding the effectiveness of their quality control process.

Product Routing

Product routing at its most fundamental is a standardization of the production process. When you know what comes before, what goes after and how much time it will take, you are in better control of your job flow. This can make a big difference in your plant’s efficiency and production rate.

Setting up your production is an essential first step to streamlining your workflow. It ensures that every machine on your premises is producing the right goods at the right time, with the right specifications.

ProcessForce makes this easier through an intelligent data integration system that seamlessly merges the pieces of all your individual processes into a single machine-to-machine interaction.

Product routing enables manufacturers to define machine control settings during production. These alter properties such as temperature, pressure, and machine speed. ProcessForce also helps manufacturers improve their production time through queue management, stock time, and run time.

Traceability and Accountability

Ingredient transparency and accountabi­lity are crucial aspects of running a manufacturing business. From the customer’s perspective, it is clear that ingredient transparency is a key to brand integrity.

Transparency and accountability are often used in tandem when discussing requirements for a manufacturing management system. It’s vital for customers to know what they are investing in, and just as important for businesses to know where their money is going when dealing with suppliers and employees.

ProcessForce has made full transparency possible by delivering the simple process that businesses need at every level of their organization. A full batch control and forward supply chain traceability allows uncomplicated exchange of data between all parties involved in the business model.

ProcessForce enables manufacturers, and their partners, to deliver transparency and confidence in the supply chain by giving access to data at the point of origin.

Customers can verify good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliance and identify batch performance. With enhanced accountability, ProcessForce helps businesses to meet their business requirements for traceability and recordkeeping.

In Summary

SAP Business One with ProcessForce gives you full control of your ingredients from incoming raw materials and shipping documents, to purchase orders and receiving reports. Keep track of every ingredient you take in and pay for, as well as all the ones you sell.

If your manufacturing business is process-based and you are looking for a way to streamline the key aspects of your operations, then you should take a closer look at SAP Business One with ProcessForce.

By leveraging both applications, you’ll be able to gain insight into production levels, costs and enhance customer service. Ultimately, this solution can help you become more efficient and deliver high quality products and services to your customers at lower costs.

Signum Solutions provides SAP Business One and ProcessForce implementations, support, and consulting. With over 15 years of experience working with these solutions, we are your experts for all your needs.

Our mission is to provide the highest quality business management solutions. We’ve helped organizations like yours gain a competitive advantage through innovative technology and service. Let us show you how ProcessForce and SAP Business One can propel your business forward. Contact us today.

Manchester Rusk Company: An Interview with Adam Salisbury, Finance Director

A privately owned family business, Manchester Rusk Company 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 Manchester Rusk Company’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 Manchester Rusk Company?

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: Manchester Rusk Company 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.