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.

Top 10 ERP manufacturing requirements for Food & Beverage

As a result of greater reported health incidents due to poor labelling, cross contamination and false ingredient declaration across the supply chain has led to increased regulation in the Food and Beverage industry. Changing your current ERP landscape may be necessary to meet the regulatory demands of today and also for the future. We have compiled a list of the 10 most popular requirements you should be thinking about when evaluating your current ERP.

Here  are the top 10 manufacturing requirements you should be adding to your ERP section checklist:

  1. Ingredient Declaration and Allergens – calculate nutritional and allergen data, and record supplier certificates and specifications data for Halal, Kosher, Bio categories.


  1. Batch Traceability and Recall – simple and easy to use forward and backward tracking to understand and answer all your batch related questions.


  1. Batch Date and Quality Status Control – shelf life, expiry date, and inspection dates to reduce stock  write-offs, obsolescence and increase business profits, and status control to block batches to be consumed or sold.


  1. Material Consumption – based on a FIFO and/or FEFO basis, and in high volume production backflush traceable products.


  1. Quality Control – manage pre, in-process and post production quality control checks, batch and serial re-testing and purchase goods receipt to increase product quality and safety.


  1. Recipe Management – create percentage based recipes to include scrap and yield, co-Product, by-product and scrap management – to manage product variation as a result of the production process.


  1. Yield Planning and Analysis – build into your recipe planned yield percentages and method for calculating actual yield.


  1. Complaint management – centralise customers, supplier and internal business complaints into your ERP system, for analysis and business process integration to product returns, financial credits and quality processes.


  1. Scheduling – optimise the factory based on an allergen vs non-allergen production plan, while keeping to customer delivery dates.


  1. Certificate of Analysis – print general and customer specific certificate of analysis documents for the same batch


If you want to know more about upgrading your ERP system, give us a call on 01244 676900 or visit our contact page





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


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:  darren.bevan@jdmfoodgroup.co.uk or to find out more about JDM Food Group visit the website: www.jdmfoodgroup.co.uk


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 Foods 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 Foods 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.


Food Businesses: Will Failure to Innovate be Your Downfall?

There are many risks in the food industry.  With food safety, food testing and potentially food crime to now be concerned with, running a food processing or manufacturing business is continuously growing in complexity.

Recently Food Manufacture Magazine reported that recommendations to the Government, of tightening the auditing of food premises and establishing a Food Crime Unit, made by Professor Chris Elliott, who is conducting the independent enquiry into 2013’s horse-meat contamination scandal, are likely to be implemented.

This of course is good news to retailers and consumers, but for those creating the products and having to track them from ingredient to plate, this is another line of red tape that food companies must comply with – and quite rightly so – but with what impact on the way that you run your business?

Historically, food businesses are not early adopters of technology but could it now be the most advantageous time to change your game and invest in technological innovation?

Many food businesses are finding this is the case, as technology that simply and easily manages compliance and traceability is becoming essential in order to maintain efficiency and to grow as a business, at a time when numerous legalities are being thrown into a pot that is already at risk of boiling over and leaving food businesses in a sticky mess.

Even if you feel as though your business can cope, it’s worth having a look at what is available at this point, so that if you do feel as though processes could be made significantly easier with time (as more compliance issues are sure to arise as the food industry continues to grow) you’ll have an idea of what the latest technology is and where to find it.

Read ‘Planning for Your Food Business ERP Project’ for tips on how to take the next step and begin a search that will point you in the direction of a solution that is specifically created with food businesses like yours in mind.