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Sweet business suite

As published in NZ Business Magazine - December 2015

According to Shay Lambert, cloud service line manager for Soltius, many companies lack a single view of their business.

“We’ve met businesses of all sizes that rely on an accounting software package for their general ledger and accounts payable/receivable, and then use a mess of spreadsheets to manage everything that can’t be handled by this basic financial system.

“Maybe they’ve a separate standalone application to manage their sales and operations, but usually there’s little integration between these different silos of information – if any.

“In this environment, there’s no single version of the truth. Data has to be manually inputted multiple times, recombined and manipulated in Excel for reporting, and is almost certainly out of date by the time reports are compiled. In addition, there’s no way to drill down to see the transactions on which the figures are based. So it’s almost impossible for management to have faith in the information, or make informed and timely decisions.”

Businesses often persist with these broken systems because the cost of doing nothing seems lower than the perceived costs and overheads of implementing a new integrated system and maintaining it with the required resources, says Lambert. “However, since they’ve such poor visibility of the business they’re often unaware of the true cost of doing nothing, which will eventuate in lost opportunities, poor decision-making, and inefficiencies caused by patched together, inconsistent business processes.”

SAP’s cloud-delivered Business ByDesign suite lets companies run all processes – sales, finance and core business operations – in a single solution. Comprehensive reporting across the entire suite means management has a true picture of the business, and standardised end-to-end business processes ensure consistent and accurate transactions so they can have faith in the information.

If you’re an organisation that delivers services – especially project-based services – Business ByDesign provides visibility of resources and people’s availability, actual time recorded from time-sheeting, the ability to carry out project-related purchasing and set cost rates.

“All this enables the business to deliver on time and on budget, and ultimately get a true understanding of the profitability of the project,” says Lambert.

Bringing in sales and forecasting with an integrated CRM system is also a crucial piece of the puzzle, to ensure your business is planning for the future as well as delivering on current customer commitments.

“Project-based businesses often deal with long, complex sales cycles and lumpy pipelines,” says Lambert. “Giving the sales team a simple, intuitive and mobile tool to manage their opportunities enables a more transparent sales process and helps management make crucial decisions on hiring and resourcing, based on sales forecasting.”

SAP Business ByDesign includes demand planning functionality to accurately predict and prepare for future sales, as well as fully integrated Material Requirements Planning and production modules enabling the business to efficiently procure and produce stock to meet that demand.

Scalable solution

SAP Business ByDesign primarily targets businesses with 50 to 500 employees, although is capable of scaling up for larger organisations as well. ByDesign meets the needs of mid-sized businesses in any sector, with features like CRM, Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and procurement, accounting, multicurrency capabilities, a flexible organisational structure to accommodate multiple subsidiaries and business units, and comprehensive financial management functionality. The project management and resource management modules make it a strong fit for professional and project-based services.

With advanced Supply Chain Management features – such as warehouse management, Intelligent Demand planning and Material Requirements planning – ByDesign is also an effective solution for manufacturing and wholesale businesses.

Cloud is quickly becoming the default option for many IT services and, up until now, many of the main ERP software vendors have addressed this with hosted versions of their existing products. “SAP is an exception to this with its Business ByDesign solution,” says Lambert.

“It’s a true Software as a Service (SaaS) solution designed from scratch to run in the cloud.

Find out more about SAP Business ByDesign at

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As published in NZ Business Magazine, December 2015 Issue

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